Uncharted 4's Original Ending Didn't Feel Final Enough, Says Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann

The cathartic ending felt incomplete in an early draft, according to Creative Director Neil Druckmann.

Spoilers for the ending of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End below.

DICE 2018 is churning away with talks by industry luminaries galore. A late afternoon talk today featured filmmaker Dan Trachtenberg (known for the popular fan film Portal: No Escape and acclaimed thriller 10 Cloverfield Lane) and Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann as they talked about the Uncharted series, The Last of Us, and of course, Naughty Dog as a whole.

On the topic of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Trachtenberg asks Druckmann about how the team approached the end of the series without killing off beloved protagonist Nathan Drake. "[There's a] lot of drug metaphors in Uncharted 4, he's kind of like an addict," Druckmann says. "[We explored] what would it take for him to not go back to [adventuring]." The ideas for this definitive end with an epilogue weren't immediately obvious in crafting the game.

"It used to be a scene with Nate and Elena with a dog, but that didn't feel final," says Druckmann. "[Like] how do we know in a year he doesn't go back [to adventuring]?" To solve that, the mere dog turned into a child. Originally the game was to feature Nathan and Elena's son, according to an interview with Glixel, before the idea shifted to a daughter instead. The epilogue that made it into the game features their daughter as she explores their home, and the book warmly closes on Nathan's journey now that he has a family.

The most recent game in the Uncharted canon didn't come from the mind of Neil Druckmann, nor original writer and director Amy Hennig (who left Naughty Dog in 2014). Beyond that game, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, there's no telling where the series will go. Though there is one thing we do know: Nathan Drake's story is through. In the meantime, Naughty Dog is currently developing The Last of Us: Part 2. Stay tuned to USgamer for additional news from DICE 2018.

Reporting contributed by Matt Kim.

Tagged with dice 2018, Naughty Dog, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.

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