Naughty Dog has ‘purposely deceived’ players with gameplay trailers in an effort to keep them guessing about what to expect once their respective full games are released, the studio has recently admitted.
In a long-form interview with the Official PlayStation Magazine UK, Neil Druckmann – creative director on The Last of Us and the upcoming Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – discussed his philosophy of considering pre-release teasers to be part of the overall experience of playing one of Naughty Dog’s games.
“I believe that what the player sees before they play sets up a certain expectation, and that’s going to affect how they approach the game and the kind of enjoyment they’re going to get,” he said. “From the moment you see the first trailer and the first demo, that’s already part of the experience. And so I try and have as much say in that as I can and push for certain things.”
Druckmann went on to admit that Naughty Dog “purposely deceived [players] with certain trailers” for The Last of Us, one of which hinted that Joel becomes infected and that Ellie would ultimately have to kill him. On that particular instance, Druckmann said: “That was constructed in such a way so that people would guess that and think that that’s the obvious ending, and then we could turn it on them.”
The veteran developer then went on to hint that the same approach is true of footage we’ve already seen of Uncharted 4, with the E3 and Gamescom gameplay trailers being meticulously planned in order lead the player down a particular path with their way of thinking. He added: “We’re very conscious about what we want to show in gameplay, what we want to show as far as the story goes, and then we have like a spoiler list of ‘Here are the things we’re never going to talk about and we’re never going to show’ because we want them to be completely fresh when you play the game.”
It is safe to assume, then, that there will be plenty of surprises in store when Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is released on March 18, 2016. With all the talk of the game being the final chapter in the Nathan Drake saga, could we yet see a complete twist that blows the franchise’s narrative wide open?