For all the talk of the upcoming PS4 exclusive Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End being the final chapter in the Nathan Drake saga, the series could actually have been wrapped up some time ago.
According to the game’s creative director Neil Druckmann, at one point during development on Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Naughty Dog “were saying it was going to be the last one”, before the direction shifted significantly and it finished with a more open-ended conclusion.
In a long-form interview with the Official PlayStation Magazine UK, Druckmann and writer Josh Scherr spoke at great length about Uncharted 4 being Nathan Drake’s final adventure, and the challenges faced in creating a fitting finale for such an epic series. As Druckmann told the magazine, it’s “definitely the end of an era for [Naughty Dog] as a studio”.
“Until things are pinned down then it’s never definite,” Druckmann said. “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!'”
Scherr, who has worked on every game in the series, added that there is a lot of “poignancy” in Uncharted 4’s ending, as the developers are “tying up some loose ends and answering some unanswered questions about Drake’s past and about his possible future”. The studio are “definitely ending Nathan Drake’s tale”, he added, “and just that alone makes me a little bit sad.”
That being said, he added, fans who have been with the franchise since the very beginning “will be satisfied with the way [Naughty Dog] wrap things up.”