Uncharted 1 could have been a widely different game if not for Gears of War, which inspired the developers to completely revamp the controls.
This information was revealed by Lucas Pope, ex-Naughty Dog developer, in an interview with Ars Technica. Pope recalled the time when he was at Naughty Dog working on Uncharted 1 and shared his experience working there, as well revealed some interesting information on how the Naughty Dog developers made a drastic change to the controls once Gears of War was released by Epic Games.
“One of the cool things about Uncharted 1 is, we had no fucking idea what we were doing,” Pope says. Again, he reminds me that the team was very capable, but design decisions were incredibly fluid at the last minute—including a total overhaul of the control system.
“Uncharted 1 was announced, and then Gears [of War] came out,” Pope says. “And Gears invented the modern third-person shooter.” Naughty Dog had originally begun its work on Uncharted with more of a Tomb Raider control system, Pope says, which meant more auto-rolling and auto-aiming. “Suddenly, Gears came out and showed them how to do it. So we changed everything, six months before release.”
Gears of War itself was inspired by Resident Evil 4 for the over-the-shoulder third-person camera, and Kill Switch for the cover based shooter system. It is not a strange concept for a game to take inspiration from others, but it is interesting to hear nonetheless how Uncharted 1 could have been different if it was not for Gears of War.
Uncharted series has managed to become one of the biggest selling first-party IP for Sony Interactive Entertainment. There are a total of six games released in the series, four of them are mainline stories while two of them are spin-offs.
Other games invented it, Epic Games mainstreamed it and Naughty Dog perfected it and have been doing so with every release since. Gears 5 will no doubt still have the exact same cartoony snap to cover animation, from the very first Gears game, that doesn’t need to look ultra realistic depending on any conceivable angle you put your back to a wall.
The unrealistic cartoony looking artstyle helps out the devs that way and halts the need for such current gen mind boggling detailed animations. The same rule can be applied to Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2, Crackdown 3, even cancelled Fable Legend, all games that have a cartoony unrealistic look so the animations can be too.
And now Naughty Dog’s 3rd game this generation is going to push that bar even further and all within the same console.
Naughty Dog perfected the formula though. RIP Gears