The extended Uncharted 4 demo (opens in new tab) was a stand out moment from this year's E3, and that jeep is more than a passing beat according to gameplay director Bruce Straley. "Scope-wise, this is our version of what a new set piece is in the series," he says of the car chase, adding that Nathan's new wheels have "much more significance" than just that sequence.
So, rather than the car simply being rolled out for that single set piece, it's a part of the story. "You actually see it earlier in the game," explains Bruce, "you get used to all the controls [in] much larger environments than this, you can play with the jeep". Not only are large areas specifically created for the vehicle (it "requires significantly more space"), there are whole places "that you can’t necessarily traverse through on foot" he says, highlighting "types of mud, bouldering over terrain, rocky terrain".
The jeep isn't a constant presence though. "We’re going wide when we want to [and] we’re going to narrow it down when the story calls for it. It’s all about pacing," reassures Bruce. "We look at our needs. What do we need to get out of this? What do we need to say about the characters? How do we use the tools in our kit? You have to find your way, to use these tools you have like the rope, the piton, the jeep. The jeep you can get in and out of throughout these 'explore areas'". Ultimately, it's about letting the player "key into that adventure element".
You can thank the PS4 in part for Uncharted's new addition. "Because of the PS4, we do not have the constraints with memory that we had in the past," says creative director Neil Druckmann. "So in the set piece, normally, we’d be going down one road [now] you can see the road branches and splits up. There’s a ton exploration in this game". Neil won't outright say this is the largest in the series ("you never quite know, that’s always hard to answer until it all comes together") he does admit that, "right now it feels like the biggest Uncharted we’ve ever made".
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