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Uncharted 4 Is Wide-Linear, Not Open-World

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Uncharted 4

Naughty Dog’s upcoming action-adventure third-person shooter, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is a wide-linear and not a open-world title, according to creative director Neil Druckmann.

Speaking with Gamespot, Druckmann was asked how much effort it takes in the transition to next-gen consoles? He responds: “Well it’s a nightmare, right? We were finally coming to grips with working on the PS3, and then the rug was pulled from under us and we get whole new hardware to try and understand.

With the PS3, so much of the limitation was memory, and on PlayStation 4 we have so much of that, the new limitation is how can we get so much of that information from the disc to RAM as quickly as possible

So different bottlenecks become apparent, and the world now is so big that we are driving through so much content that needs to be created.

So to give you an example of how we simplify things, we tag certain materials in broad types, so you’re not creating every single asset from scratch.

A building is made from certain groups of materials, which lowers the processing load, which means we can create lots more content much more quickly.”

Druckmann goes on to explains how working on The Last of Us Remastered helped them create Uncharted 4 on PlayStation 4: “Working on The Last of Us Remastered really helped us. It allowed us to port our engine over.

Because the hardest thing with working on new hardware is it takes so long to get something on the screen, and then get something on the screen at a good enough frame-rate so that we can analyse how it plays.

So, just doing The Last of Us Remastered helped. I mean, Uncharted 4 was rough at first, but now we feel we’re at a good place.

There’s still a few more things we have to still add in, but most of the mechanics are in, and we’re now iterating on them.”

He was quizzed how open-world is Uncharted 4? Neil Druckmann replies: Yeah, I mean the term we use is wide-linear. It’s not open-world, because we wanted to tell a very specific story, with very specific tension.

The thing I have a hard time with, in open-world games, is that there’s a lack of tension. Say if my ally’s life is in jeopardy; I can still go off and do five different side-quests, and I don’t believe that jeopardy.

So I feel we need some way to control the pacing, and it needs to be ways where you are still active as well.

For us, the story is king. I don’t mean writing, and I don’t mean script. What I mean is, there’s a certain experience we’re trying to make, and that’s going to trump the gameplay, that’s going to trump the graphics.

This high-level experience we create should, eventually, win that argument of what this game is going to be,” he concluded.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will release in March 2016 exclusively on PlayStation 4.

 


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