Before Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley went from The Last of Us to Uncharted 4, famed game director Amy Hennig was in charge of bringing Uncharted 4 to life. Well, after putting in some work and time on the game, she explains why she won't play it.
Glixel had an interview with Hennig, who is now working on a new Star Wars game for Electronic Arts, and she explains why she hasn't taken a dive into Druckmann and Straley's vision of Uncharted 4, saying...
If you break up with your spouse and they get remarried you don't want to see photos of the happy couple on Facebook, do you? When you're pulling these characters out of yourself, it's kind of twisted, in a way, to see them in the hands of someone else.
It's an interesting take on the situation and completely understandable after the controversial news spread that Hennig and Naughty Dog parted ways midway during development over creative differences. Druckmann and Straley came in to finish the game and changed up quite a bit leading up to release, adding their own take on the characters and story. You know what, though? It's probably best she doesn't ever play it.
I know this is likely going to be the unpopular opinion around the hardcore gaming circles, but Uncharted 4 just didn't have the charm of the games that preceded it. The biggest issue is that the tone is decidedly different from the other three games. It's no longer as lighthearted, the jokes are no longer as sharp, Nate is a shade less jocular and the interactions and dialogue go for evoking short smirks rather than full-blown smiles.
It's understandable that the characters are older and they wanted to portray that in the performances and story, but Uncharted was always an adventure series worth dipping into for its bright, fun, surface level entertainment that subtly addressed mature subject matter, something that was partially replaced with a more serious tone about growing older, settling down, giving up the life of an action hero and finding peace in the mundane aspects of an everyday life. Uncharted 4 seemed to be a huge divergence from the other three Uncharted games that didn't get bogged down too much in the more realistic and depressing aspects of life.
This more serious tone also transferred over into the actual gameplay. The set-pieces were far and few between compared to the almost nonstop action of Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3; and outside of the really awesome chase sequence through the streets of Madagascar, there were no really standout or memorable set-piece sequences that were anywhere near as memorable as some of the scenes in Uncharted 3, like the cruise ship flipping over and flooding in the pirate junk yard, or that awesome airplane fight scene that was mirrored in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, or the burning chateau, or that wickedly entertaining bar fight in the beginning. And nothing in Uncharted 4 came even remotely close to the edge-of-your-seat city shootout or train sequence in Uncharted 2.
On the technical front, Uncharted 4 is a marvel: There's a fully working stealth system, the animations are second to none and the environments are gorgeous. But as Hennig points out, you can definitely tell that the last Uncharted was like a different person after switching partners, and if I was frustrated with the outcome as a gamer, I can barely imagine the hurt and frustration Hennig feels as a writer and co-director.