Uncharted would have been a Hobbit-esque fantasy game if it wasn't for Xbox's gritty shooters

We all know that Naughty Dog used to make games like Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter, but who would have thought Uncharted was originally going to continue in a similar vein? Turns out Xbox's reputation for shooters at the time has a lot to answer for, as its influence and the public's (supposed) love of all things 'gritty' turned the company's first PS3 foray into the real-world adventure we know and love today. But listen to what it almost was...

According to former Naughty Dog environment modeller, Don Poole, the game the team were working on was very different. He told Play:

"We were talking about a more 'realistic' game in terms of how it was modelled and rendered but the concepts were much more far out. One was a forest world where the antagonists lived underground. It had elements of Tolkien in for sure."

Above: What have I got in Sir Francis Drake's coffin...? STRING! Or nothing

"Sony kept pushing for a more realistic game in all respects. The market had changed a lot by then. The demographic was older and gritty shooters were really dominating. Sony wanted very much to get into that market share, it pushed all of its developers in this direction."

"So the big push from Sony, not just at Naughty Dog but at all of Sony's development companies at the time, was to craft games for PlayStation 3 that were much more realistic. The pressure from Xbox's success with gritty shooters was a very real force on our direction at that time."

Fortunately for us gamers, the team still had enough imagination left to create a magnificent action adventure full of memorable characters and moments. Consider that Killzone 2 probably stemmed from this same mentality and you can see the difference in approach. Jus' sayin, is all.

22 Sep, 2011




  • xlyesterdaylx - September 24, 2011 1:35 p.m.

    Thanks gears of war for giving us Uncharted! I love both titles!
  • IceBlueKirby - September 22, 2011 11:55 p.m.

    I love the Uncharted games, but I'd still love to see them do something with that first idea. The Crash games were a lot of fun, and I love the first 3 Jak & Daxter games, so to see Naughty Dog go back to their roots at some point would be a lot of fun. Maybe after Uncharted 3 they'll do Uncharted Kart and then start a new series based on the initial ideas for Uncharted...hey, it could happen. It won't, but it could.
  • Shiza411 - September 22, 2011 10:17 p.m.

    So an adventurer/explorer/archaeologist running around in no body armor scaling impossible cliff sides and killing heavily armored juggernauts toting mini-guns by the handful with his equally unarmored journalist girlfriend is realistic/authentic/what people like? Uncharted games are these $60 blockbusters that you blow through in 4-5 hours. At least the characters and moments are memorable and stuff...
  • ObliqueZombie - September 22, 2011 12:09 p.m.

    That's funny, because I can't imagine Killzone, an already gritty game, being an adventure/action game. Jus' saying, is all.
  • n00b - September 22, 2011 7:39 a.m.

    damn it i want a jak hd remake
  • Evanesco - September 22, 2011 6:52 a.m.

    Great. Naughty dog made an awesome game and I love them for it, but stuff like this isn't good for gamers. This philosophy hardly ever works out as well as Uncharted
  • nai1210 - September 22, 2011 6:45 a.m.

    Uncharted 2 is my favourite game on ps3 by far so i'm glad the series turned out the way it did if it had looked more like jak and daxter i would never had played it,it's also the first naughty dog series i have liked
  • Camoxide - September 22, 2011 4:53 a.m.

    FFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU Shooters. Uncharted is the only naughty dog series I haven't really liked...
  • garnsr - September 22, 2011 5:26 p.m.

    Uncharted's the only ND series I've actually liked. I liked the first Jak and Daxter, but didn't like 2 that much. And I never really liked Crash much.
  • JenosIdanian - September 22, 2011 4:27 a.m.

    Wow. Good can come out of corporate chicanery.
  • ultimatepunchrod - September 22, 2011 5:10 a.m.

    yeah im glad they pushed for it and that naughty dog put their own spin on it. if they hadn't i wouldnt be counting down the days for uncharted 3
  • CommandantOreo - September 22, 2011 3:51 a.m.

    You're welcome guys! Signed, Realistic Xbox shooter fan.
  • ChiChiRocket - September 22, 2011 8:37 a.m.

    I guess you can be good for something from time to time.
  • Hobogonigal - September 22, 2011 3:37 a.m.

    Anyway, I think we should all be glad that Uncharted became what it is today. The other idea seemed pretty cool though...
  • Unoriginal - September 22, 2011 3:34 a.m.

    Knowing that there is an internal push for the "gritty realistic" games at Sony makes me very, very sad

Showing 1-17 of 17 comments

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