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Uncharted 4: Devs Reveal Secrets Behind the Series' Best Chase Sequence

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End crescendos at its midpoint with a bombastic, all-out chase action sequence that is not only a highpoint for the game itself but for the entire Uncharted franchise, ranking as one of Uncharted's best chases and action scenes. It's a thrilling, lengthy chase through city streets and rocky terrain, against seemingly unstoppable odds (and one frightening truck), and plenty of Uncharted's coolest moments., but it's also one rooted in its character work, a reflection of Nathan Drake's journey so far, his various personal ties to Sam, Sully, and Elena, and so much more.

It's a high point of Naughty Dog's action work, and to find out more, IGN spoke to two Naughty Dog team members - Kurt Margenau and Shaun Escayg - about how the chase came together, its emotional resonance, and more. The devs reveal the secrets behind the series' best chase sequence in our latest deep dive into how one of gaming's most memorable levels came to life. Learn about how the devs crafted this sequence, including some surprising ways they made driving, gunplay, and hand-to-hand combat feel so satisfying, how the deep, emotional stakes are brought to the forefront as Drake races to reunite with his brother, and so much more. And, learn a bit about how Naughty Dog improved on the Uncharted experience with the Uncharted PS5 upgrades as part of the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection.
 

Atrus

Gold Member
I enjoyed the Pursuit Force nature of 2 and 3’s chase scenes more. There simply wasn’t near as much fighting or shooting (which is true of 4 overall) in Uncharted 4’s which decreases the amount of player engagement.

Visually it was amazing but as for playing it, it felt short and boring.

I personally wouldn’t rate it as Uncharted’s best chase sequence.
 

Fbh

Member
Yeah that whole sequence was really awesome, and the highlight of the game


It's true, Uncharted 4 has notoriously less fights than 2 and 3


One of the best scenes in the game and they fully showed it in one of the first trailers/gameplays, a total shame.

At least I learned the value of going into media blackout.

It's also the only good setpiece moment in the game, which was disappointing
 

Hobbygaming

has been asked to post in 'Grounded' mode.
It's also the only good setpiece moment in the game, which was disappointing
Washington Dc No GIF by Suze Perlov
 

Fbh

Member

it kinda is though.
I mean there's other visually striking moments but they are so scripted the game basically feels like it's on auto pilot.

The chase captured that same feeling of the train sequence, truck sequence and chopper chase in Uncharted 2 where they give the player enough freedom that you still feel like you are active part of what is going on.
 

SLB1904

Member
It had noticeably less "gameplay" than the ps3 ones. Still enjoyed the game tho.
I wtf you talking about? Uncharted 4 has so much more stuff going on. When you could stealth in Uncharted 2 or 3. It was literally corridor shooter. In these game you can avoid most of the combat the enemies don't spam from thin hair. Plus grapling hook. More dynamic melee combat. Better ai dynamic. Are you guys serious with this nonsense
 
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TintoConCasera

Gold Member
it kinda is though.
I mean there's other visually striking moments but they are so scripted the game basically feels like it's on auto pilot.

The chase captured that same feeling of the train sequence, truck sequence and chopper chase in Uncharted 2 where they give the player enough freedom that you still feel like you are active part of what is going on.
Wasn't there a kinda cool scene at the end of the Scotland segment of the game?

I mean, I remember the car chase OP posted to be the highlight of the gamez but I also kinda remember being more scenes like it, if not just slightly worse.

SLB1904 SLB1904 sorry mate. I didn't mean less gameplay mechanics, but less actual gameplay time. Pacing felt a bit off, that's all.

But yeah agree, I really enjoyed all the improvements they made to the gameplay. Using the grappling hook and landing on a bad dude was cool as fuck.
 
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TintoConCasera

Gold Member
I don't even remember there was one in LL... I finished that but it left 0 impression on me and a bad villain.
Maybe I should replay it but I liked uc4 way more.

They made a huge disservice to UC4 by showing the whole fucking chase at e3
Hey, at least they didn't pull out a Kojima by showing the whole fucking game. :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 

SlimySnake

Member
it kinda is though.
I mean there's other visually striking moments but they are so scripted the game basically feels like it's on auto pilot.

The chase captured that same feeling of the train sequence, truck sequence and chopper chase in Uncharted 2 where they give the player enough freedom that you still feel like you are active part of what is going on.
Yeah, there was no other setpiece that came even close. People bring up the bell tower collapse but if you replay it, it is basically a 15-30 second moment. the only other setpiece in the game is the intro boat chase and the finale APC chase. Both pale in comparison to this scene.

Uncharted 3 had entire levels designed around setpieces. Chateau escape was like 20x longer than the bell tower sequence. The entire ship sequence which starts after you go from boat to boat to chase down the cruise liner and then it sinks is around 40 minutes long. Then the plane sequence which is very short but still longer than most setpieces in uncharted 4. And finally the horse chase sequence.
 

RoadHazard

Member
Pretty cool. And damn this game still looks good. If ND did that with 1.8TF, what will they do with 10.3TF (and a massively better CPU, and more memory, and an SSD to stream data from)? They're just so far ahead of almost everyone else.
 
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Hunnybun

Banned
I never particularly enjoy replaying that sequence, because for some reason I never really feel totally in control. It just feels chaotic, and not in a good way. I'll always take cover in the wrong spot or something, or the bit of cover I have manages to obscure all the enemies, and just as I start taking cars out the truck I'm on sets on fire.

I know it's probably supposed to feel like that, but I just don't really enjoy the experience.

Actually that goes for the combat generally in that game. It's one of the hardest I've ever played in terms of just aiming your gun accurately.

And it's not like I'm terrible at shooters or anything lol. I beat both Returnal and Doom Eternal. I just don't seem to click with Uncharted 4 combat.
 

SSfox

Lies about why mods reply ban and warn me.
U4 still looks phenomenal to this date.

Bro this is so hype it make me want to go back play the entire franchise, Sully Goddamn Sullyvan and his so sick charisma bro.
 
It's true, Uncharted 4 has notoriously less fights than 2 and 3

Just because the game didn't lock you in rooms and unloaded 20 thugs in every single one of them, allowing you to proceed only once they are dead doesn't mean it has less gameplay. It has more exploration, more puzzles, bigger scope than the PS3 games.

Gameplay isn't just when you're shooting people.
 
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Hobbygaming

has been asked to post in 'Grounded' mode.
it kinda is though.
I mean there's other visually striking moments but they are so scripted the game basically feels like it's on auto pilot.

The chase captured that same feeling of the train sequence, truck sequence and chopper chase in Uncharted 2 where they give the player enough freedom that you still feel like you are active part of what is going on.
Set pieces are scripted and you still have some freedom during the chase like jumping from vehicle to vehicle, shooting enemies on their bikes, etc but ultimately you're in control
 

SlimySnake

Member
I never particularly enjoy replaying that sequence, because for some reason I never really feel totally in control. It just feels chaotic, and not in a good way. I'll always take cover in the wrong spot or something, or the bit of cover I have manages to obscure all the enemies, and just as I start taking cars out the truck I'm on sets on fire.

I know it's probably supposed to feel like that, but I just don't really enjoy the experience.

Actually that goes for the combat generally in that game. It's one of the hardest I've ever played in terms of just aiming your gun accurately.

And it's not like I'm terrible at shooters or anything lol. I beat both Returnal and Doom Eternal. I just don't seem to click with Uncharted 4 combat.
Uncharted 4's combat has a major flaw that they never bothered fixing. The enemy AI in that game has pinpoint accuracy. They almost never miss. You constantly playing the game in black and white or in cover. It sucks.

Uncharted has always been about running around trying to flank people or climbing up stuff to gain high ground. This time around they give you more tools than ever and created some fantastic combat arenas but fucked up the one thing that allowed you to run around like an action movie hero.

After my first run, I played it on easy and had a much better time. You still go into black and white really fast after taking just a few hits.

No idea what they were thinking. This game isnt gears of war. you are supposed to be running around melee'ing people in the face. At least on normal, Crushing is meant to be played like Gears.
 

Hobbygaming

has been asked to post in 'Grounded' mode.
I wtf you talking about? Uncharted 4 has so much more stuff going on. When you could stealth in Uncharted 2 or 3. It was literally corridor shooter. In these game you can avoid most of the combat the enemies don't spam from thin hair. Plus grapling hook. More dynamic melee combat. Better ai dynamic. Are you guys serious with this nonsense
This. I always feel like I played a different game in these threads when I read a few people's Uncharted 4 complaints
 

SlimySnake

Member
Pretty cool. And damn this game still looks good. If ND did that with 1.8TF, what will they do with 10.3TF (and a massively better CPU, and more memory, and an SSD to stream data from)? They're just so far ahead of almost everyone else.
Their first Uncharted 4 teaser at E3 2014 set the bar for the rest of the generation to come. Maybe it was realtime. Maybe not. But it didnt matter at the time. The next gen was here. That was just six months after launch.

It's been well over 14 months and we havent seen anything from ND. It has been really disappointing. The only vision of the future has come from freaking Epic's tech demos. They are at least a year behind compared to last gen which is troubling because they started last gen in development hell forcing out Amy Henning and didnt release their first game until 2016. In the PS3's third year. It would suck if we dont get a game from then until 2024.
 

RoadHazard

Member
Their first Uncharted 4 teaser at E3 2014 set the bar for the rest of the generation to come. Maybe it was realtime. Maybe not. But it didnt matter at the time. The next gen was here. That was just six months after launch.

It's been well over 14 months and we havent seen anything from ND. It has been really disappointing. The only vision of the future has come from freaking Epic's tech demos. They are at least a year behind compared to last gen which is troubling because they started last gen in development hell forcing out Amy Henning and didnt release their first game until 2016. In the PS3's third year. It would suck if we dont get a game from then until 2024.

I was gonna say "but they just released TLoU2 right before the PS5 launched", but then I realized they also released TLoU1 right before the PS4 launched. So yeah, I do hope they have something mind-blowing to show really soon (something that's not Factions 2 - that will be good I'm sure, but it's not something that excites me). Maybe they already do and Sony just think they don't need to blow that load just yet, with Horizon, GT and GoWR coming up.
 

Hunnybun

Banned
Uncharted 4's combat has a major flaw that they never bothered fixing. The enemy AI in that game has pinpoint accuracy. They almost never miss. You constantly playing the game in black and white or in cover. It sucks.

Uncharted has always been about running around trying to flank people or climbing up stuff to gain high ground. This time around they give you more tools than ever and created some fantastic combat arenas but fucked up the one thing that allowed you to run around like an action movie hero.

After my first run, I played it on easy and had a much better time. You still go into black and white really fast after taking just a few hits.

No idea what they were thinking. This game isnt gears of war. you are supposed to be running around melee'ing people in the face. At least on normal, Crushing is meant to be played like Gears.

Yeah that's definitely part of the problem, particularly cos getting hit causes your aim to jerk so it's a double punishment.

It's weird how the game seemed to get universal praise for its combat, which you can supposedly approach in all manner of creative and dynamic ways, whereas I, like you, constantly find myself retreating to cover. Even really early in the game, too. It's just not fun imo. Actually I always found the most enjoyable way to approach encounters was to just stealth them.
 

SlimySnake

Member
I was gonna say "but they just released TLoU2 right before the PS5 launched", but then I realized they also released TLoU1 right before the PS4 launched. So yeah, I do hope they have something mind-blowing to show really soon (something that's not Factions 2 - that will be good I'm sure, but it's not something that excites me). Maybe they already do and Sony just think they don't need to blow that load just yet, with Horizon, GT and GoWR coming up.
Yep. Pretty much the same time period too. Both had June releases.

I guess they had multiple teams back then. Amy and Justin Richmond had been working on Uncharted 4 since shipping Uncharted 3 in 2011. This time around after shipping TLOU2, they apparently had nothing to work on. No interrnal side project beyond factions so they went to the VSG team and started taking over the remake project.

I dont know why that game hasnt been revealed yet. It's been in dev since 2018. I hope it's not cross gen. Schreirer had said it was a PS5 title, but now I am not so sure. Surely they would realize that the time to show us the first true next gen game would be now. Why wait until mid 2022 to do a next gen reveal?

P.S I know Spiderman 2 was revealed and while it looks good, it didnt impress me like Matrix did. I need to be blown away and only Naughty Dog can do it at this point.
 
I don't even remember there was one in LL... I finished that but it left 0 impression on me and a bad villain.
Maybe I should replay it but I liked uc4 way more.

They made a huge disservice to UC4 by showing the whole fucking chase at e3

People keep going on about lost legacy being better than U4. How? U4 is better just by having drake in it. I like chloe but can't stand nadine. Should have been either sully or Charlie from U3.
 

kyliethicc

Member
It's also the only good setpiece moment in the game, which was disappointing
That was intentional.

Game starts slow, boring Nate stuck at home. We feel how he feels. Finally we get on the adventure, have the huge setpiece chase sequence, its awesome. Lots of fun. We feel how Nate feels.

Then Elena shows up and is like "wtf you lied" and Nate says who cares and goes on the hunt. He doesn't give a fuck about Elena being mad, he just got his first taste of that thrill ride adventure he missed. Same way I feel as the player. Fuck saying sorry to her lets go do more fun shit.

Then he almost dies and it keeps going on and eventually he just wants to get the fuck home alive with Sam, Sully, and Elena all intact. Got his fill, was fun, but the craving's over now, lets go chill.

Naughty Dog kept Nate and the player aligned throughout the story.
 
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DenchDeckard

Gold Member
Can’t believe they showed this chase at E3. Pretty much ruined the game for me because nothing else came close to it in the game.
 

Fbh

Member
Just because the game didn't lock you in rooms and unloads 20 thugs in every single one of them, allowing you to proceed only once they are dead doesn't mean it has less gameplay. It has more exploration, more puzzles, bigger scope than the PS3 games.

Gameplay isn't just when you're shooting people.

It doesn't have more puzzles than previous games though, unless we are counting shoving crates into obvious positions as "puzzles". And the bigger scope and exploration are really underwhelming, it's just big areas with almost nothing to do or find in them except for the occasional useless collectible.
I mean don't take me wrong, I think the actual combat in Ucharted 4 is the best it has ever been. The gunplay is nicer, the enemies are less spongy, the rope is nice and gives combat more verticality. It's just a shame they reduced the number of combat encounters so much and replaced it with boring stuff. And no I don't need the game to be constant action, but at least put actual puzzles and exploration in it, and less of the super slow scripted stuff like the flashbacks and the whole into.

People keep going on about lost legacy being better than U4. How? U4 is better just by having drake in it. I like chloe but can't stand nadine. Should have been either sully or Charlie from U3.

Lost Legacy has much better pacing and more well balanced gameplay. They also make much better use of the more open ares by integrating them better into the design.
But yeah the story is better in UC4 and yeah I don't like Nadine either.

That was intentional.

Game starts slow, boring Nate stuck at home. We feel how he feels. Finally we get on the adventure, have the huge setpiece chase sequence, its awesome. Lots of fun. We feel how Nate feels.

Then Elena shows up and is like "wtf you lied" and Nate says who cares and goes on the hunt. He doesn't give a fuck about Elena being mad, he just got his first taste of that thrill ride adventure he missed. Same way I feel as the player. Fuck saying sorry to her lets go do more fun shit.

Then he almost dies and it keeps going on and eventually he just wants to get the fuck home alive with Sam, Sully, and Elena all intact. Got his fill, was fun, but the craving's over now, lets go chill.

Naughty Dog kept Nate and the player aligned throughout the story.

Maybe, which is why I don't like modern Naughty Dog (aka the Druckman era).
The Ps3 era ND felt like they had cool gameplay moments, setpieces and locations in mind, and then they wrote the story to fit them in. Modern ND feels like the story is king and everything else gets adjusted for it.

We need a super slow intro because of the story, we need barely interactive child Drake flashback because the story, we need less cool setpiece moments because the story (at least according to you), we need more walking and talking segments than ever because the story, we can't have supernatural elements because it's not the story we want to tell.
 
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yurinka

Member
Wow, IGN making a great video!

I loved that set piece, but missed to have more like this one in U4, or as the ones in previous games with the chopper, the building colapsing, the train, etc.

Let's hope Sony/ND stops their trend of removing white, male, straight main protagonists and makes an Uncharted 5 with Nate as main protagonist. For me it's ok to have the girl as sidekick and controlling her a part of the game, but I want to see Nate teaming up with Sully.

If they they aren't motivated or have issue with white male characters or don't want to work in Uncharted again, then put them in other game and hire other people who would be really excited to work on Uncharted with Nate as main character. And if not possible at ND then co-develop it with some other super talented team (as could be Santa Monica, maybe for those tired of GoW but excited to do an Uncharted, while a another team works on GoW and other one in a new IP).
 

kyliethicc

Member
Maybe, which is why I don't like modern Naughty Dog (aka the Druckman era).
The Ps3 era ND felt like they had cool gameplay moments, setpieces and locations in mind, and then they wrote the story to fit them in. Modern ND feels like the story is king and everything else gets adjusted for it.
Well Naughty Dog admitted Uncharted 3 was written around set pieces and its the weakest story because of it. Meanwhile all of Druckmann's games are the best written stories they've ever made. Its fine that you prefer the other approach, but its not what has worked best for them. (And TLOU was still in PS3 era.)
 

FrankWza

Member
It's still the same content as the PS4 release, but this collection allowed the team to start experimenting with one of the PS5's most exciting features, haptics.

"We wrote a whole new way of when you're driving the vehicle, there's a bunch of different systems in place in the vehicle itself. Every tire is modeled and how much it is gripping or slipping on the ground is modeled and then reflected in stereo, on the controller, in haptics. So you can kind of feel what every tire is doing just from holding a controller. These little touches and stuff, when you're drifting around in that sequence down the roads, it's a lot of fun."
 

Hobbygaming

has been asked to post in 'Grounded' mode.
Yeah that's definitely part of the problem, particularly cos getting hit causes your aim to jerk so it's a double punishment.

It's weird how the game seemed to get universal praise for its combat, which you can supposedly approach in all manner of creative and dynamic ways, whereas I, like you, constantly find myself retreating to cover. Even really early in the game, too. It's just not fun imo. Actually I always found the most enjoyable way to approach encounters was to just stealth them.
The combat is probably my favorite in the genre because I love the contextual melee
 
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