‘Uncharted 5’: What to Expect on the Next Adventure!
For quite some time, there’s been a rumor about PlayStation assembling a studio to work on a sequel to Uncharted 5. It would be the first mainline game in the series not developed by Naughty Dog. I’m sure many people are skeptical about another studio, especially a new one, developing a game to a beloved series, but I feel like there is room for innovation in both gameplay and storytelling to make it worthwhile. So I decided to put a list of things I want in Uncharted 5. Playing through each game in the series (including Sony Bend’s Uncharted Golden Abyss) and loving the action-adventure genre, has given me a good idea of the direction I would like the series to progress.
- Expansive Action Sequences.
Uncharted is known for its epic scale; each game tries to create a bigger and more impressive action than the last. From Uncharted 2’s train sequence to Uncharted 3’s sinking cruise to Uncharted 4’s chase sequence, it’s a series that tries to transform cinematic blockbuster sequences into something interactive, and Uncharted 5 should be no different. If there are any improvements they can make to the action, it could be allowing the player to have more options in the action sequence. I understand that Uncharted is known for its linear path, but it would be better to allow the player to have more agency of the sequence of events; instead of one path going forward, there are several different approaches you can take to get to the objective. Imagine Uncharted delivering an action sequence similar to Mission Impossible: Fallout’s plane stunt or chase sequence that relies on sliding on gravel and swinging. Action sequences in Uncharted should feel suspenseful and thrilling, but also immersive. I will always remember the beginning of the chase sequence in Uncharted 4, as Nate is trying to catch up to Sam. Jumping from vehicle to vehicle, sliding in the mud, and shooting enemies; it looked like a movie, but I was the one in control. I want that immersive and interactive feeling from Uncharted.
2. No to Open World, Yes to Open Areas.
I don’t think Uncharted 5 should dive into the open world genre, it doesn’t make sense for the type of gameplay and what series is known for; however, the open areas introduced in The Lost Legacy and The Last of Us Part 2 are excellent fit. Open Areas are small open maps where we can visit buildings and structures. When this idea was first seen in The Lost Legacy, it changed up the exploration aspect of the series. The linear nature of the series never made exploration fun or worth it, which is why I feel like Uncharted 5 should have multiple open areas, like a hidden city to explore, or an abandoned ruins. Give us the ability to search these place and discover secrets and treasures. Collecting treasures in previous Uncharted games were never fun and didn’t add anything to the game or story, it just felt like wasting time, but having treasures exclusive to these open areas, would allow the treasure collecting to make more sense. It would also be change of pace from the linear story scenes. I want to feel like I am Indiana Jones, explore and secret secrets on my own, secrets that not every player will discover. It will give more weight to exploration and make it something part of the series’s DNA.
3. Different Side of the Story.
Uncharted was always about Nathan Drake, but since Uncharted 4 ends his story, I don’t expect him to return as the protagonist. Uncharted Lost Legacy however, gives us the opportunity to play as Chloe, whose character ends up being very similar to Nate in terms of wittiness and relatability. Chloe would be the perfect protagonist for the series moving forward because she offers something Nate doesn’t have, the anti-hero personality. Nate was always depicted as the thief with the heart of gold, but Chloe ride the line between hero and villain. She doesn’t have the best moral compass and works mostly for herself, which could lead to some interesting twists in the narrative, especially if she is paired up with Sam or Nadine again. Chloe could be more flawed and show a darker side that Nate’s character couldn’t; it would also make sense to the narrative because that is Chloe’s character. With Chloe as the protagonist, we can have an Uncharted story where our character isn’t the hero of the story. This could also solve the problem of ludonarrative dissonance (the conflict between a video game’s narrative told through the story and the narrative told through the gameplay.) found in previous games. Chloe is more of a Catwoman archetype, we can never figure out which side she’s on.
4. Updating the Mechanics.
With a new studio at the helm, it’s time for some changes and improvements to the mechanics. The mechanics shouldn’t be too in-depth; there should be no weapon upgrades, skill trees, or an RPG leveling system. The mechanics and the game design should be focused on creating an interactive movie-like experience. Like a standoff mechanic similar to Ghost of Tsushima or Red Dead Redemption 2. Imagine having interactive standoffs like ‘Raider of the Lost Ark’s’ Sword Fight or the first episode of ‘The Mandalorian’. Making the cover system and the player’s patience part of the game mechanic could result in fun sequences. Having more variety in encounters than just the typical shoot and cover, won’t only add to the gameplay but also the storytelling. It would also be nice to have more destructible environments. When a grenade explodes, it should leave permanent damage to the environment and the structures, and it should be able to land on enemies, this would make the world feel a lot more organic and real. Another mechanic that can be implemented is turning the rope into a whip, which acts as a weapon, and a tool for traversal. The whip could stun enemies or throw them off balance, giving the player the choice to rush them or shoot them. The whip could also add some challenge to the platforming by making it somewhat reliable, you can swing on certain objects but not all, this makes the platform more strategic. Not every path is viable and you as the player have to discover the correct path. And of course, the stealth system should be updated and refined, something similar to ‘The Last of Us’, very minimal and simplistic.
5. Environment Storytelling.
If there is one element the Bethesda games use beautifully, it’s the way they utilize the environment to tell a story. Walking into an area and uncovering a small story that has no bearing on the main plot, can give life to a game. It’s the small details that count, but that element of storytelling is never seen in the Uncharted games. What’s the point of exploration if there’s no story or secret to find, leaving the player no motivation to explore the world. Imagine walking into a ruin and discovering a dead body, which causes a side story to develop while on your main journey. This could help with world-building and give us a better understanding of the plot. You could also tie in the environmental storytelling into finding treasures.
These ideas may or may not be implemented in the new Uncharted game, but it would be nice to see a different take on the series. It’s a series that has the potential to innovate in storytelling and cinematic gameplay, maybe even redefine the genre, especially on the PS5.
I’m not sure if it would live up to the other Naughty Dog games, but it’s worth the try.