Naughty Dog confirms Uncharted 4 is its first game without pre-rendered cutscenes

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is the first Naughty Dog title to eschew pre-rendered cutscenes, its lead designer has said.

Speaking during an interview with MCV, Ricky Cambier revealed that the PlayStation 4’s added technical prowess has allowed the California-based studio to transition seamlessly from cutscenes to gameplay—something that wasn’t possible during the PS3 era. 

"There have been games before that have done pretty big spaces. We wanted to do it at a certain visual quality that wouldn’t have ever been possible except on the PS4. We are able to give you this much room to explore and still offer that level of detail.

Also, one of the things we are doing for the first time is that there are no pre-rendered cut-scenes. In the past, we always went over to a black frame and we switch over into a movie. We don’t do that anymore. That was a limitation we sort of accepted back then.

The impact of removing that has been kind of profound. You just seamlessly go into these cut-scenes and then come out of them – that whole transition goes away.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is due for release on May 10, 2016. Set a few years after its predecessor, the game sees Nathan Drake coming out of retirement as a fortune hunter after being reunited with his long-lost brother, Sam. The pair set off along with Victor Sullivan on the hunt for a legendary pirate’s treasure, which leads them to Madagascar. 

Naughty Dog has said that this will be their last Uncharted game, and also confirmed that it’ll be the final one to star Drake. However, the future of the series remains ambiguous; the studio has suggested a new developer could take over the franchise at some point, but nothing is confirmed as yet. 

Regardless, Uncharted 4 is shaping up to be pretty spectacular. Naughty Dog has said the opening is among the best it has ever produced, and feels it has achieved resolution for Nate with this final instalment.