PlayStation 4 may be sorely lacking in first-party exclusives this fall season, but Sony is eager to trumpet the arrival of the recently-released compilation, Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection – and it’s a small wonder why. Comprising three of the very best titles of last generation, the HD collection is the near-perfect appetizer ahead of the release of next year’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
As the first entry into the franchise built from the ground up for PS4, the excitement for the action-adventure sequel is palpable, though there is also a small feeling of apprehension among ardent fans. With such an evocative subtitle, many are questioning whether Nathan Drake will meet his maker in A Thief’s End, capping off the cocksure explorer’s arc before Naughty Dog either retire the series or shift focus to a new character entirely.
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And though he didn’t touch base on Drake’s fate, ND Creative Director Neil Druckmann confirmed that Uncharted 4 in many ways represents the “end of an era” for the acclaimed studio.
Until things are pinned down then it’s never definite. But once we put the pins in those things, it became very real. We’d been discussing it throughout production about how it’s going to be the last one, but when we said ‘Well, here’s exactly how it’s going to happen and we’re committing to this and here are the scripts for it’, then all of a sudden it’s like ‘Oh, this is the end for Nathan Drake!
If anything, Druckmann’s comments certainly fuel speculation that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will bring closure to Nathan Drake’s story in some shape or form. How exactly that will pan out will ultimately be revealed next March.
For all of the studio’s pedigree, though, presenting A Thief’s End has proved strangely temperamental when presented to a live audience. Not only did the game glitch during December’s PlayStation Experience, but a technical hiccup at E3 2015 also meant that the demo was briefly interrupted. Credit to the Naughty Dog team though, as they took each incident in their stride, and Druckmann admitted that seeing the vertical slice play up was enough to make his stomach drop like a stone.
Luckily I’m not on stage like Bruce [Straley, co-director] is. I’m in the audience. But yeah, your stomach drops and you’re freaking out, because you know you work so hard on this thing but the game is not done, so you know that there are still these bugs in there. You’re always so nervous because something can go wrong, and then when it does, first of all you think ‘Can we even play the rest of this?’ You don’t know what’s going to happen.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will swing onto PlayStation 4 on March 18, 2016.