Naughty Dog producer defends Uncharted 3's divisive story
- Posted June 26th, 2012 at 00:22 EDT by Kyle Prahl
- 10 Comments
While Nathan Drake's third outing received plenty of critical praise, it also drew ire from fans for what some perceived to be bad writing. The target of these claims was in part the way characters dropped out of the story without sufficient exposition. Cutter and Chloe's sudden departure without reappearance is often cited, and those who lament their absence claim sloppy writing as the culprit.
In an interview with IGN, former Naughty Dog Producer Richard Lemarchand defends these decisions as crucial to the Drake's development as a person throughout the game. “The way that Drake's friends fall away over the course of Uncharted 3, finally leaving him alone, is an important and deliberate part of the game's intertwined storytelling,” he declared. “. . . Uncharted 3 is about how relentless Drake can be when he's pursuing a goal, and the dangers of that single-mindedness. He's so fixated on following the chain of clues that the story puts in front of him, and in such disregard of the growing danger around him, that he barely notices as his friends drop out of the adventure one by one.”
According to Lemarchand, the decision to highlight Drake's mistreatment of those loyal to him sets the stage for the game's unsettling finale. “So when he ends up alone for one of the later sequences of the adventure, he's really facing one of his deepest fears. We all fear being alone, but it's a particular demon for Drake, given what we learn about his background early on in the game.”
It's comforting to know that Naughty Dog is willing to forgo conventional storytelling to advance the tale of such an important character. If anything, their willingness to experiment within and redefine the writing space has us even more excited for The Last of Us – the studio's new IP that won our hearts at E3.
- 12:26am EDT - June 26th, 2012
Who said U3 had bad writing? that's a load of BS it may not be as good as U2 but come on.
- 1:25am EDT - June 26th, 2012
@2 Thanks for the question - post updated with a link to an example thread.
- 1:34am EDT - June 26th, 2012
I never thought UC3 had bad writing, in fact it was my favorite of the 3. I really feel Drake's pain when he was alone at the end.
- 1:41am EDT - June 26th, 2012
Seriously! Anyone having complaints with the story is just overly nitpicking. It starts off with him having a huge group that gets cut down as time goes on. It's all about questioning Drake's motivation for following a personal obsession for two decades. All that time Sully has been the one guy by his side. The story makes perfect sense to me.
- 1:43am EDT - June 26th, 2012
@4 Preach, my friend, preach. I was a staunch supporter of Uncharted 3's story being the most mature and smartly written of the series, and was an ardent defender in the official Naughty Dog forums. There's nuance and development here, and I guess some fans weren't ready for it.
- 3:59am EDT - June 26th, 2012
U3 has the most gripping and brilliantly written story of all the Uncharted games, I mean seriously U1 and U2 seem shallow in terms of story and character development when compared to U3. Every single character goes through such a remarkable journey throughout the game that in my opinion , anyone who thinks it's 'bad writing' needs to pay more attention to the details, every single scene sets the stage for the one after it and none seem forced.
As for Cutter and Chloe ditching Drake halfway, well anybody who's played the game ought to know the reason.
- 7:43am EDT - June 26th, 2012
I am one of the biggest Uncharted fans there is. But, I can still see the flaws that exist with the storytelling in the 3rd installment of the franchise. In the article, Richard Lemarchand makes some excellent points about the nature of Drake's obssession with "following the clues" and how it leads him into his own worst fear. However, that isn't where the problem lies. I did love the way it developed as such in the game. The problem comes in the form of no resolution to that scenario in the end. Aside from Elena (the most obvious and "easy to incorporate" option) is the only one who has any form of reconcilation with Drake in this matter. I know, she's the only one that should really matter anyways, but still. It really doesn't do the character of Drake any justice to have him not at least ackowledge and make some form of effort to reach out to those others that he has alienated. If anything, this small lack of further character development knocks Drake a rung down on the ladder of likeability.
I love the game and I love everything they did with it. I just felt they left out a crucial slice of the pie that is Drake's personal inner journey by not addressing his own mistakes regarding his friends.
I still love the character of Nathan Drake. I still love the set pieces created by Naughty Dog. I still love everything about the game. I just wish they had put a little bit more thought into what exactly the message was that they created with having Drake remain still mostly alienated BY HIS OWN CHOICE at the end of the game.
Soldier 95B | Solder_95B
- 8:31am EDT - June 26th, 2012
3 was my favorite, especially the writing.
- 8:44am EDT - June 26th, 2012
Seriously people. If you think that story telling was harsh, you are really going to have problems with what real life throws at you.
The story was fine, the gaps were fine......its not a fairy tale they are trying to tell here.
- 11:24am EDT - June 26th, 2012
Ugh, whiny gamers these days, I swear.
This will permanently ban this user and delete all associated comments. This action is irreversible, are you SURE you want to do this?!