Turns out gray-and-brown fragfests are good for something after all. In a recent interview with NowGamer, Don Poole, former environment designer at Naughty Dog, explained how the first Uncharted was originally designed under a more fantasy-based motif before Sony made the executive decision to bend more towards the emerging trend of more “gritty shooters”.
“We were talking about a more ‘realistic’ game in terms of how it was modeled and rendered but the concepts were much more far out. One was a forest world where the antagonists lived underground,” Poole described, “It had elements of Tolkien in for sure. 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.” Poole continued, “We had a lot of internal grumbling about the realist bent. More of the old dogs were from the Crash and Jak era and preferred that more whimsical style. But alas, that was a losing battle.”
Would Uncharted have benefited from a more fantastic approach, EGs? Or do you prefer its more realistic – if bombastic – design as it exists now? Give us your thoughts in the comments section!