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.
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. Let's explore.
Uncharted 5 Storyline/ Plot and Characters
Even though we think that Uncharted 5 will not carry on with Nate at its centre, it just doesn't seem plausible to make another Uncharted game without any involvement from Nate. It may be that Uncharted 5's story will centre around a different character- someone close enough to Nate for him to be involved as an NPC, perhaps? In the past games, Nate was the only playable protagonist, but he had help from others that we could not control directly. In Uncharted 5, we may actually see Nate in a similar capacity as the latter.
That obviously brings us to the question: who will we be in control of in Uncharted 5? The popular vote seems to go to a curious someone whom we were introduced to in the previous game's Epilogue- Cassie. Nathan and Elena's daughter has been sheltered from the secrets associated with her parents' past lives, but she seems to have inherited their sense of curiosity and knack for anything ancient, so the next Uncharted game being centred around Cassie Drake is a believable possibility. And that would leave a clear line to involve Nathan as an advisor of sorts to his daughter. We saw something similar happen in the trailer of The Last of Us 2, where Ellie, a popular character from the original game appears to have been given the role of the protagonist. Ellie was an obvious choice as she was playable across part of the 2013 game.
But what we don't understand is, how will Cassie's role justify the ending of Uncharted 4 where the protagonist basically gave up the life of a thief to build a family? Or perhaps Cassie will take a different kind of approach towards hunting treasures? Who knows. Another character with the potential to become a protagonist is Elena. Her background as an investigative journalist makes her the perfect protagonist material for Uncharted 5. Naughty Dog has always shown a rare sensitivity when dealing with their female characters and as Amy Hennig had said, Elena is not a typical heroine, but a proper female counterpart for Nathan. Perhaps exploring the world of Uncharted with Elena at its lead will give the game a new direction.
- An Open World: Uncharted 4 was not an open world game, but it was described by its creators as "wide-linear." Druckmann said the reason why the series had never gone open world was because it lent a lack of tension within the story. But if Uncharted 5 is developed by someone else, we are finally expecting an open world setting. This would, of course, aid the theme of exploration tremendously in the new game, but how that will reflect on the story aspect remains to be seen. But open world or not, expect to explore some marvelous new locations in the upcoming game.
- A New Setting: The previous games in the Uncharted series were all fitting adventure titles. And the relic fest took us across many beautiful and dangerous places in the world. So with the prospect of a brand new Uncharted game hanging in the air, it is only fair that we speculate about one of its most important aspects- the setting. At this point, we admit that it is impossible to take a stab at where Uncharted 5 will be set. But for the next entry, we are rooting for the Far East. That may well be a possibility as the new standalone DLC, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is taking players to the mountains of India in search of a priceless artifact. So maybe it would add to the mysticism to set Uncharted 5 further in the east where there is a lot of history to be explored. Or perhaps this time it could be set somewhere in the great continent of Africa? Who knows. But whatever the creators decide, we are surely in for another action-packed installment.
- VR Compatibility: Uncharted 5, if it happens, is still a few years away, and by that time we can expect a massive improvement in the booming VR industry. And Uncharted being an exploration based series, the new game may come with support for VR.
- Multiplayer: Multiplayer in the Uncharted series has long been a thing to be appreciated. The games feature both competitive as well as co-operative multiplayer, so there is little doubt that the new game will feature a multiplayer mode as well. However, considering that Uncharted 5 will likely be developed by another studio (in collaboration with ND, of course), perhaps we'll see some new elements added to it.
Uncharted 5 Gameplay
Gameplay in Uncharted 5 will largely follow along the lines of the previous games in the series, but seeing as it may be moulded by different hands, we can expect there to be some major improvements. Now we know that improving upon the mechanics of Uncharted 4 will be a tough thing to do. To say that playing the previous game was a true pleasure will be a gross understatement. But the least we can expect a few of our favourite things from the previous games to be making a comeback. Check them out below.
Similar Mechanics: Uncharted 4 had some pretty neat mechanisms, being partly alike to a platform game. The kind of movements that Nate was capable of performing were mindblowing, and it gave a certain amount of believability to the character. We could take cover when needed, roll out at strategic times, use a rope yo swing, and basically improvise as much as we liked to get where we wanted to go. There was also no dearth of guns and explosives, making Uncharted 4 one of the best action-packed games we'd played in a long time. However, the monotony of the action was broken by the long hard looks at the characters that we were given, which went into delivering a supremely well-crafted game and a well-told story. And we certainly don't want to see an Uncharted game without these elements. If Uncharted 5 is based around either Cassie or Elena, we will expect them to be capable of much more fluid movements and deliver some serious kicks
A More Engaging Pace: With Uncharted 5, we hope to see more of what we saw in the last game, but the one area where Uncharted 4 left a few fans disgruntled was in its slow, drawn out pace at certain points of the story. We know that it was meant to be a breather in between the otherwise breathless story and action, but they were far less intriguing than what we would have expected to be properly engaged in them. For Uncharted 5, we want this aspect to be addressed, so that another potentially great game is not brought down by something as trivial as its pace.
Vehicles and Weapons: We're not talking about futuristic stuff here, or the kind of gear that would make the game less believable. But we would like the inclusion of new types of cars and guns in Uncharted 5. Also, trading and especially crafting could be really useful here. Nate spent a lot of time on foot exploring places, solving puzzles, and fighting enemies, and it would have been great if he could use some of the pieces he found on his way to improvise and upgrade a weapon. For Uncharted 5, we definitely want to see this option being kept open. Your hunts can lead you to various places, and you can find a lot of things that can be used in your favour later.
Improved AI: This particular aspect in Uncharted 4 was absolutely top notch. Not only was the enemy we were hunting against difficult to evade, we also didn't have a clue about when we would be spotted. Which is why stealth was so important in the previous game. However, the AI controlling Sam and Sully could have definitely been better. While everything else was perfect, Nate's companions felt a little unnecessary and useless at certain points (though very useful during others). Uncharted 5 should think of a way to make the companions smarter and more prepared. We also wouldn't mind an upgraded AI for the enemy.
Multiplayer: Uncharted 5 will have a multiplayer, obviously. But in all probability, it will come with a split screen option for the co-op mode. This is actually something that was considered for the previous game, but ND finally went against it to focus more on a cohesive multiplayer economy. But Uncharted 5 will not be a Naughty Dog project, so perhaps the feature will be brought in the next game.
Uncharted 5 First Look
We don't quite have this yet, but be assured that whenever Naughty Dog or those associated with the new game makes an announcement or reveals a teaser, we'll update this section at our earliest.
Uncharted 5 Release Date
The first few games in the Uncharted series were spaced apart by two years. However, Uncharted 4 took way longer than that to launch. The fact that Naughty Dog aimed to bring a closure of sorts to Nathan Drake's story could have been a reason for that, and while the hiatus was pretty long, we certainly didn't complain when the game finally launched. But getting to predict when Uncharted 5 may come out based on past statistics may not bear any fruit because of the fact that we are completely in the dark about the future of the new game. But once the new game goes into development, it should launch within the next 3 or 4 years. Based on such speculations, we take a stab at a 2020 release date for Uncharted 5.
The thing about Uncharted 5 is that it is quite an enigma. The game has certainly not been confirmed yet, or the original creators have not said anything to hint that is on the way. But what makes it interesting is that Naughty Dog has not entirely walked all over our hopes of getting a new game in the celebrated series. The brightest hint, in this case, is the awaited launch of The Lost Legacy. As fans already know, the new game was earlier planned to be nothing more than an expansion to A Thief’s End, but ended up shaping into something much bigger and more independent. Naughty Dog’s decision to make it into a standalone title tells us that they realize the amount of potential the series still has. In addition, it also brings in a fresh protagonist (albeit someone we are well acquainted with from a previous title), who is also female, much like what we expect to see in Uncharted 5. So yes, we think that a new major game in the series is definitely on the cards.
We expect Uncharted 5 to take its time before it comes out, and when it finally launches, we think it will be different, but with a familiar aftertaste. That's what we hope for anyway. Whatever it turns out to be though, we are certain it will be worth the wait. Check out some of the other sections of this site to get more detailed info about the upcoming game's main aspects. And don't forget to let us know what you think the future will be like for the Uncharted series without Naughty Dog's magic touch.