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Uncharted 4's "Openness" Could Result In Technical Flaws

The Uncharted franchise has always been absolutely rock solid.

And when I say "rock solid," that's an understatement. They're typically some of the most reliable, stable video games ever created. In other words, you really shouldn't expect one to launch with significant problems like some of last year's new titles suffered through.

Two reasons for this: First, as a platform-exclusive IP, the developers have the luxury of only mastering that one platform. This is one of the primary reasons why most exclusives on all platforms are some of the most technically stable productions you'll ever find. Secondly, we're talking about linear adventures. There are only so many hand-holds Drake can grab, only so many interact-able pieces of the environment; in short, only so many outcomes from a gameplay perspective.

While on the flip side, sandbox games like Assassin's Creed can run into problems because the environment is so huge and open. As your character can essentially touch and interact with every element of that environment, it's extremely difficult to avoid some snafus. Now, while Uncharted 4: A Thief's End certainly won't be a sandbox game in the strictest sense of the word, Naughty Dog is planning to open things up. We saw some evidence of that in the gameplay footage.

And in a recent Game Informer interview with co-lead designer Ricky Cambier, they confirm that the player will never be forced down a particular path:

"I think our goal with the layouts in some of these spaces is that there's not that golden path. You turn this corner, you're going to find something surprising. Or maybe this way you're going to use your potions; the mixup of your different tools. There might be a shimmy ledge this way, there might be things that break this way; so every path has that action, that tempo that you want."

Cambier worked on The Last Of Us, which is probably what Uncharted 4 will be like, at least in terms of the openness. And that's all well and good. But all I'm saying is that with every ounce of openness and freedom we get, there's another chance of instability. Clipping, collision detection, and other issues are always a consideration when you start to expand in this fashion. Personally, I hope Naughty Dog doesn't push it too far because I happen to like the guaranteed stability of the Uncharted franchise.

Don't you?

Related Game(s): Uncharted 4

Tags: uncharted 4 a thiefs end, uncharted 4, uncharted ps4

1/20/2015 9:44:21 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (36 posts)


Temjin001
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 10:36:32 PM
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I see it as a quality control issue. I don't think AC only has those problems because they can't be helped. I think a big part of it has to do with the way Ubisoft manages the construction of an AC game. Has anyone watched through all of the credits of an AC game? Have they seen just how many hands touch that project?
Hands that may be 100's of miles away from each other.

While it's obvious that increasing the size and scope of a project could present more technical foibles (it's the nature of things) I believe the very nature of Naughty Dog's localized development on a single platform and their standard for quality assurance is simply a lot higher than Ubisoft's. The company that just couldn't delay Unity when it really needed it, despite having glaring flaws when the disc went gold (we should be able to patch them all in time for launch!).

Last edited by Temjin001 on 1/20/2015 10:38:20 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 11:17:22 AM

It is a QC issue but I can't remember the last time I played an open-world game and didn't come across at least a few technical glitches. On the flip side, many linear adventures like Uncharted and God of War are often clean as a whistle.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 6:02:04 PM

yea, I don't disagree. I do believe though that if ND tackled more open world maps it would also be of a higher standard of quality than Ubisoft's effort. I think their experience with Jak 2 and Jak 3 does allow for some promise to their ability to keep things of a high standard under such design. Granted, they're older and more simpler games.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 1/21/2015 6:06:06 PM

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Big_Boss90
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 10:41:47 PM
Reply

Change is good and uncharted def. Needs change. I for one look foward to this change, was getting tired of that old formula.ben i dont think we should worry much about bugs or anything like that this is ND we are talking about, they wont release a game that is broken!

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 11:08:40 PM
Reply

What is with all the doom and gloom articles regarding ND and their games all of a sudden? For one their QC is obviously way better than most developers. Secondly this is a new generation with more capable hardware. For instance the PS3 may have not been able to run properly with a game like Uncharted 4 but that's why it's coming out on PS4. And third we can't even begin to know how much freedom the game will have - and I couldn't care less anyways as I like Uncharted for what it is - but regardless if the development team takes their time, games don't have to have issues. It's the rush jobs that produce inequality. ND produces quality.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 1/20/2015 11:08:55 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 11:17:51 AM

"What is with all the doom and gloom articles regarding ND and their games all of a sudden?"

Uh...from where, here? What are you talking about?

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 11:24:18 AM

First it was the article about the next TLoU (which isn't even being worked on at the moment) being to action-y. That there was a concern it shouldn't turn out that way.

Then there was the article about Uncharted 4 and a concern regarding the mp focus being to high a priority.

Now this... It's not a big deal I'm just curious why all of a sudden after a proven track record and a high consumer awareness from them, where these articles are coming from? What's the basis of it all?

I've never had to question ND or worry about how their games will turn out. So it's odd especially from you.

Maybe it's because most developers are losing touch?

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 1/21/2015 11:25:43 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 11:54:41 AM

You really need to look up the term, "doom-and-gloom."

You also need to read closer. In all of those articles, I said I was convinced Naughty Dog would end up doing the right thing. I was simply voicing questions and concerns, which all fans should do if they expect the products to remain top-notch. If you'd like to sit back and sing their praises all day long, go right ahead. I've done that, too. Lots of articles in that light as well.

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 12:34:28 PM

All I was asking is where the basis from this comes from? They've had mp in their games since U2. Was there an issue then that's bringing this up for example?

By writing these articles it would appear to me that there's some lack of confidence based on those concerns which you just said existed - hence the doom and gloom analogy.

Again it's not a big deal, I was just curious.

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mk ultra
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 11:32:15 PM
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Been playing their games since the first Crash, and they haven't disappointed me once. If that footage we saw was pre-alpha, I can't wait to see the final game. I'd play that right now.

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MRSUCCESS
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 12:12:58 AM
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I think if ND would not open the game a little bit more, the review scores MAY get a hit.

Most franchises are expanding their worlds. Heck, MGS is getting bigger so as long as it's done well, I'm sure we will enjoy the experience.

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xenris
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 1:00:05 AM
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As long as all of the openness has meaning and purpose I'm down for it.

ND hasn't really failed me, and while I though Uncharted 3 was weaker than UC2, and The Last of Us while a great game was not mind blowing for me like it was for others, they were incredibly solid games and I don't think I encountered any bugs in any of those games myself.

I have faith ND will have the perfect blend of openness and linearity.

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Solid Fantasy
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 2:26:48 AM
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Open world games with unlimited choice are great and all. RefFaction:G, Skyrim, Deus Ex, MGSV. There is obviously a mound of good examples. But technical flaws aside I don't want to see linear games fade away. If the devs are not obsessing over where to put a tree on the far reaches of the level then there obsessing over a well acted cut scene or ending outcome. There are so many overriding mechanics that take center stage in more open choice games.

Please keep the story and presentation factor a #1 priority ND.

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Vitron
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 2:38:02 AM
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Maybe its something like Deus Ex: Human Revolution? You know the part where you could take more than one path to get to your objectives?

Hope they find the golden balance in linearity and "openness" for this uncharted.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 4:18:44 AM
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What? WHAT?! "never be forced down a particular path"
*rubs eyes*
Is this Uncharted we talk about here? Puppet-on-a-string gamings undefeated posterboy are now going to let me have OPTIONS, make CHOICES, albeit only of minor or no importance to the story told?!

Do I believe they do the right thing here? That much is obvious to anyone who knows me.
But really, this is big. This is doing the franchise good.


Last edited by Beamboom on 1/21/2015 4:21:28 AM

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DemonNeno
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 7:36:04 AM

Do you hate platformers? Just curious.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 8:21:14 AM

I'm not a huge fan of platformers in particular, but don't hate them either. LBP is great fun. Same with Rayman. Also I guess we could call Portal a kind of platformer too?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 9:19:15 AM

There was always more options than there seemed if you were willing to push the game

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Beamboom
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 10:14:10 AM

No there really were not, World. I still can't get over when I discovered that map early on U2 where I had to stealth take down the guards in the exact order ND wanted me to, even if I *should* be able to do it differently (from a logical point of view). Whenever I stepped out of the scripted path, all guards just by magic got alerted by my presence.

There were a *lot* of set pieces like that.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 10:27:28 AM

The Last of Us was the same, it pissed me off, but I shot them all nonetheless.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 11:19:41 AM

That's because Uncharted actually was ABOUT the set pieces, characters, and story. Something sandbox games never are and in truth, never can be.

You always want to focus on what you can do, or should be able to do. There's a lot more to a video game, in my eyes.

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 11:32:52 AM

Uncharted did give you options. You just had to expand on the gameplay. It seems your personal vendetta against most platformers and linear adventures blinded you from fully experiencing the games.

But I'm also not arguing that Uncharted didn't have set pieces because it did and that's how ND wanted to tell their story. They don't want you to make your own story, they want you to play theirs. And if given the time they are some of the best experiences in gaming history. That much is proven by their critical success.

I don't think you will find what your looking for in Uncharted 4 because it's not about making you own path. But I hope it's just enough that you can get behind the series finally. I'd like to hear you say it's a good game when that time comes. ;)

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Beamboom
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 12:31:52 PM

I don't see how it would affect the story in any way whatsoever if they loosened the grip just an *inch* and let us take down the guards in whatever order I was able to according to their guarding pattern (and so forth).

Cause that's what this is about. U4 will not go anywhere near anything we'd call sandbox, or even "open" as we define it. We all know that. But it seems they with Uncharted 4 will give us an opportunity to solve those set-pieces a little bit more according to our own ways, and not so insanely scripted as we saw in the earlier games.

Cause that is all I've criticized Uncharted for in the past. Not that it wasn't sandbox, but that it was *too* scripted down to the very last detail. Now they fix that, and I applaud it. I am 100% sure this will not affect the way the story is delivered.

And yes Big, this may very well be the Uncharted that pulls me onboard the loveboat. :)

@Big;
... I don't think I've ever argued against platformers?


Last edited by Beamboom on 1/21/2015 12:34:55 PM

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 12:40:02 PM

Did I say argued? If so that didn't come off right. All I meant was there is some displeasure with linear games some being platformers.

I don't think this will negatively affect the story in Uncharted 4 either. I'm all for this move and I think it reestablishes the franchise. And maybe converts a few non fans! ;)

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Beamboom
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 1:06:58 PM

"It seems your personal vendetta against most platformers and linear adventures[...]"

I don't think I've ever argued that a platformer should be more open or less linear. If so I had a bad day. :)

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 1:45:29 PM

I don't think you've ever argued that either. I misspoke. What I really meant by that was just leading into your preference for sand box style freedom.

You didn't have a bad day that I can recall.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 4:36:05 PM

I've really established myself a reputation as a sandbox fan around here. :)

The irony is that on my top ten games list, very few of them are actually sandbox games. In fact, most sandbox games I've played I've found rather dull. Uninspiring maps and very static environments, buggy and meaningless.

The good stuff, as usually is the case, are found somewhere on the middle ground.

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 4:48:10 PM

Well if it's any consolation I prefer sandbox style games. However I don't shy away from linear games at all. Uncharted are my favorite games ever, mainly because of the characters, which is something I don't typically care about in open world games.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 5:02:24 PM

I have good hopes that we with this new generation now will see some real advancement in sandbox games during the next 3-4 years. More vivid worlds, much more intelligent AI, much better physics, better interaction with the environments.

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Xzer0
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 5:14:42 AM
Reply

Offtpoic: There are rumors that on 28th will be some big annoucmnet form quantic dream and it is maybe an indigo prophecy remake or remaster. Here is a link http://achillingfeeling.com/

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DemonNeno
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 7:24:59 AM
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Here's my take on it. TLoU on the PS4 had practically no issues that immediately screamed out at you. Collison detection was pretty great, texture clipping was practically non-existent, and the maps offered an openness that made it enjoyable to pick your style of execution.

While I foresee UC opening up as a potential for issues, it's under the care of a very special crew. These are the gents and ladies that are building their own engines, filters, and everything in between -- in house. It's not a smorgasbord of different engines, but those that are purpose built to play well together from the ground up. That, alone, makes a substantial difference. It's likely why they can put together gameplay of a area in a game that hadn't made alpha status yet. That's impressive. Above all, that's TALENT! In a world where everything is about routine, the only routine ND seems to demonstrate is the desire to always outdo themselves.

Regarding the area paths, I don't foresee their efforts bring as big as many other games. I'm anticipating more of the "fork in the road" type of travel for some regions of the games,while other areas naturally flow in the same direction; even if you choose to divert from the "path". Does that make sense?

As far as other big games go, ACU is textbook proof that some companies are taking for granted that they're sitting on a gem that deserves better attention. It reminds me of so many employees that I've worked with and overseen throughout the years. Content with mediocre results. If it 'works', then it's good enough. That's not how to make it last, though. That attitude is why CoD has basically been dormant to progression (and why it sells so well I'll never quite understand).

ND openly wants us to tear their products apart just to find out how much we loved it instead of second guessing our decision to support it. I think the biggest grudge people have with the UC series is the Length of the game. To me, that's just a matter of opinion. I enjoy the cinematic feeling it brings, the characters and their development, and the incredible cutscenes that get your fingers ancy to jump back into gameplay.

I don't think there's another company quite like ND. They don't just "get it". They get it, get it some more, and shatter the ball out of the park. Just the progression of development and enhancements from entry to entry are unbelievable.

The main issue with 2014? A lot of devs seemed to downplay the fact that it's their hand at debugging. The talk was all about how "easy" it is to develop for these consoles and, while it's true, I think QC was erroneously overlooked for the benefit of bringing in content during a drought. It was greed. It was a lack of pride, obviously not throughout the entire company, but in some key areas. It was the simple fact that many companies sold themselves short of the credit they deserved. A shame, really.

Obviously, you have a plethora of problems that we all witnessed firsthand throughout 2014 that weren't necessarily under this category. Evolution, for example, and their servers. I'm not sure what to make of that. Driveclub has been forever tainted by the issues, not necessarily shortcomings, and I'm hard pressed to believe that it was sheer negligence on their behalf.

Micro transactions seems to be an area that's beginning to freakin annoy me... I'll keep that in the vault for now. :-)

Last edited by DemonNeno on 1/21/2015 7:29:54 AM

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pavlovic
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 9:09:40 AM
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If it is as open a MGS4, that should be ok.

I don't want an oper world Uncharted so hopefully ND won't change that

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 9:23:02 AM
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That seems to be the trend, as long as it's just enough to make it seem bigger that's fine. I've always found about 3 paths through the uncharted games, so 5 would be appreciated.

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 3:01:03 PM
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It's a Naughty Dog game... I have no worries.

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 6:02:11 PM
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yeah i'm getting a slightly more open map feel like TLOU was a bit like that i think thats where they are going to be going with the idea more openness in that way

happy gaming

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Gordo
Friday, January 23, 2015 @ 1:15:29 AM
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Please don't change... I want Uncharted to be Uncharted. I am a bit over every game being open world, having levelling up, crafting, collectables and companion apps.

Killzone on the PS4 was a prime example of that. Became more open and let you approach things in multiple ways and then lost a lot of focus and direction.

I want my Hollywood blockbuster games like Uncharted to wow me with story and graphics. I don't want to play 10 different versions of GTA or Assassins Creed.

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