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Nathan Drake is known for a lot of things. To some, he's a wise-cracking globetrotter. To others, a skilled treasure hunter. Still others see him as a liar and a thief. No matter what camp you fall in, however, pretty much everyone can agree Drake is a very, very lucky guy. But thanks to a recent tidbit of information dropped onto the internet by one of the game's animator's, we now know that luck is an actual mechanic in the game.
You can consider us a bit flabbergasted by this one. According to Naughty Dog animator Jonathan Cooper, the shooting systems within the Uncharted series actually account for luck rather than damage when it comes to the game's protagonist.
One of the complaints leveled against semi-realistic adventure games like Uncharted is that, "if the game is so realistic, how can the hero take so many bullets and then heal as if nothing ever happened?" As Cooper puts it, that's because Drake isn't actually being hit by those bullets. Instead, the red flashes that pop up on the UI to show what direction fire is coming from are basically Drake's luck meter. If that luck meter fills up too much, eventually one of the baddies actually lands a shot, killing Drake.
That's certainly an interesting way of looking at firefights and explains why Drake appears to have Wolverine-esque healing abilities. It turns out the guys he's fighting are simply really bad at actually aiming their weapons. Instead, they spray and pray like a bunch of out-of-uniform Stormtroopers and, if Drake hangs around outside of cover for too long, eventually one of them will get the job done.
According to series vet Amy Hennig's response to Cooper, that was actually the intent from the very beginning. Uncharted was inspired by movies like Indiana Jones and, yes, even a bit of Star Wars. The lovable scoundrels heading those adventures end up in similar firefights all the time and, just like Drake, they appear to be very lucky.
Having played all of the Uncharted games, I was at first baffled by these claims. But it's funny how what you remember from a game can sometimes differ from what actually took place on-screen. For instance, I recall dozens of firefights where Drake took bullet after bullet, only to have his damage subside after finding some decent cover to get behind. I just went and watched a bunch of random firefight video from the Uncharted series, though, and my recollection isn't quite correct.
As outlined by these tweets, the "hit warnings" certainly point out the direction the most dangerous fire is coming from but, as the indicator gets worse and the screen starts to fade to gray, you never actually see Drake take a bullet until it's the killing shot. Mind...Blown.