Uncharted 5: Naughty Dog, the California-based developers, are famed for the stories they tell and the characters they develop. 2016 was a good year for Naughty Dog, as they launched the fourth instalment in the Uncharted series and announced a new title that fans had been speculating over for a long, long time- The Last of Us 2. Particularly, however, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was a huge success and that was reflected in the game’s massive sales numbers. It also proved so many of us wrong about the future of the franchise, and that’s why we can actually think about getting an Uncharted 5 sometime in the near future.
The three previous games in the Uncharted series were thought to have made up a substantial trilogy, and as we all know, trilogies are thought to be a self-sufficient unit with little room for further expansion. But that is exactly where Naughty Dog proved us wrong. Not only did Uncharted 4 shake us out of our preconceived notions about the series pattern, but it actually developed the story and its characters further, creating full-fledged people out of them, and then drawing a satisfactory curtain over their life as we have known it. In many ways, Uncharted 4 was a well thought out conclusion to the Uncharted series, and for a while it looked as if that would be the end for Nathan Drake’s adventures. But not too long after, questions about a possible new addition to the series, Uncharted 5, started doing the rounds.
It is understandable for a really great money-spinner to be in continuation for years to come, especially if we consider that the Uncharted games have only gotten better with time. The 2016 entry was a clear pointer as well as a culmination of all that. But fans started asking Neil Druckmann and Nolan North about if we were to expect a future for the series. North stated that if it were to happen, he would be interested, But Druckmann’s answer was clear- it was very much possible for the story to be explored further with Uncharted 5, but it wouldn’t be with Nathan Drake at its centre.
That’s comforting to hear, as it does not immediately shine a red light on the future of the Uncharted franchise. But it also gives rise to a whole lot of questions about the new game: what would the story be like? or who will we control this time around? Considering that all that we know about the upcoming game is basically naught, all we can do is speculate, but there are some substantial hints to go by. Let’s take a look at the prospects of Uncharted 5.
Uncharted 5: What Are The Odds?
Even though there are a lot of rumours about Uncharted 5 already being in production, their veracity is dubious. More recently, the developers have reiterated the impossibility of getting a brand new game in the series, especially now that they have their hands full with a couple of solid upcoming releases. Not only is the Santa Monica-based studio busy with Uncharted: The Lost Legacy at the moment, but their commitment is also tied towards the sequel in the works for the celebrated 2013 horror survival game, The Last of Us. In fact, the upcoming game was only announced by Druckmann via a blog post late last year. Development was still in the early stages, and the studio head clarified his decision about revealing the game so early by saying that he wanted to keep fans involved along the way. The point is, the developers have a lot to focus on at the moment, and they have said once again that Uncharted 5 does not look like a possibility at all at the moment- something that they currently owe to relatively low resources. However, Druckmann did say that they still have a lot of love for the franchise, so perhaps if the game had to surface, it might do so at a much later time in a fresh new avatar.
The creators of the Uncharted series have finally released The Lost Legacy, and if its release and reception is anything to go by, then we already know that Naughty Dog’s formula for success is simple, yet very effective. The fact that the new game has already landed at the top of people’s list of favorite games this year means that the developers have certainly not lost their touch, and even more importantly, fans have not lost interest in the Uncharted universe, regardless of Nathan Drake’s involvement. Moreover, the newly released game has been appreciated for Ross and Frazer’s amusing camaraderie, as well as the attention to detail.
What we are trying to say here is that it is very clear that Naughty Dog has no real reasons to give up on the Uncharted series. In fact, Lost Legacy director Shaun Escayg has told Eurogamer that there are a lot of characters that can be used to build interesting storylines around them. Chloe and Nadine’s paring was the first pick, but Sully, Cutter, and others are also worthy of the same treatment. So it might just be possible that we will see Uncharted 5 being created with one of them at its center.
Earlier too, Naughty Dog had made it clear that they would not be in direct involvement if there ever was to be an Uncharted 5, but Druckmann did not quite rule out the possibility of any sort of involvement, and that is understandable. Uncharted is a series that the developers created from the ground up and took to heights unimaginable with each new title. And even if Uncharted 5 falls on some other developer, Naughty Dog will remain involved loosely as advisors- after all, they wouldn’t want the core flavours of the celebrated game to be destroyed.
Now coming to why we think Uncharted 5 may take a while to go into development is that its original developers are actually quite busy at the moment. In December 2016, the devs officially announced The Last of Us 2, the sequel to the post-apocalyptic shooter game that took the world by storm. For months before the announcement, Druckmann used to say that the pressure to deliver a sequel was huge, as they did not in any way want to launch a game that would fall flat or feel repetitive in terms of the story. Now that the title is expected to be the next major addition to the roster of Naughty Dog games, we don’t expect them to branch off to work on a new Uncharted game, as forming a new story around new characters would require a substantial amount of attention, uninterrupted by the pressure of a big new game.
That is not to say that we will not see Uncharted 5 happening. One thing we love about Naughty Dog is that they never deny the possibility of a new game, and that is what they have done with Uncharted too. Stories are created to be delved deeper into with each new attempt, and the original developers have left a scope for that with the ending of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, even though it seemingly pulled the curtains on some major aspects. So without wasting more time, let’s get into what direction Uncharted 5 could take us in.
Uncharted 5: Features and Wishlist
There is little doubt that the next game in the Uncharted series will differ greatly from the previous games. But we don’t expect there to be a vast deviation from the core elements that went into making the game an experience. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was a near perfect game that let us dig out treasures that pirates died to secure while beating enemies at it, all the while exploring our favourite in-game treasure hunter’s emotional past. But as we all know, it brought an end to Nathan’s story as a fortune seeker, justifying the title in the process. But in the epilogue, we may have been introduced to the possible threads of the next story.