Uncharted wouldn’t be the same without Gears of War

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Naughty Dog is, this generation at least, known and adored primarily for its Uncharted series of games. Previously, they were responsible for more whimsical, fantasy games like the Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter series’. That sort of comical, flippant ethos was meant to continue through to Uncharted – which was a very different game to what we know and love – until Sony stepped in and demanding something a little more grounded in reality, like the “Gritty shooters” populating the then much more successful Xbox 360 library.

As NowGamer reports, Former Naughty Dog Environment Modeller at  Don Poole, speaking to PLAY magazine explains how Uncharted was more of a fantasy game until Sony gave the orders to beef up the realism.

“We were talking about a more ‘realistic’ game in terms of how it was modelled and rendered but the concepts were much more far out. One was a forest world where the antagonists lived underground,” he explained.

“It had elements of Tolkien in for sure. Sony kept pushing for a more realistic game in all respects. The market had changed a lot by then. The demographic was older and gritty shooters were really dominating. Sony wanted very much to get into that market share, it pushed all of its developers in this direction.”

“So the big push from Sony, not just at Naughty Dog but at all of Sony’s development companies at the time, was to craft games for PlayStation 3 that were much more realistic. The pressure from Xbox’s success with gritty shooters was a very real force on our direction at that time.”

“We had a lot of internal grumbling about the realist bent. More of the old dogs were from the Crash and Jak era and preferred that more whimsical style. But alas, that was a losing battle.””

As Uncharted players would know, some of those fantasy elements remained – and they’re arguably the worst bits of the game – but at least this explains away the game’s capricious tone. I think we can all be glad it’s gone the way it has, because the Uncharted series offers some of the best gaming available – on any platform.

Uncharted 3 hits the PlayStation3 exclusively at the beginning of November this year.

Last Updated: September 22, 2011

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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