Having had the chance to check out Naughty Dog’s upcoming Uncharted game The Lost Legacy, I sat down with Senior Communications Manager at Naughty Dog, Scott Lowe, to talk all things Uncharted, choosing Chloe and Nadine, and what we can expect in The Lost Legacy.
Coming off of the Last of Us, Uncharted 4 certainly had some tonal similarities and experimented with dark themes throughout its narrative. Can we expect to see that at all in The Lost Legacy?
I think there’s some pretty good tonal variety in The Lost Legacy. What’s cool about Chloe is that she has this kind of levity to her, but she’s also a humanised character in this case. We really wanted to bring her back to earth, you know, by grounding her story and some of the deeper emotional motivations. So I think there’s definitely an element of peaks and valleys tonally as there’s definitely some more serious moments but there’s no shortage of fun.
In the case of Uncharted 4 it really was fitting of that narrative in the sense of coming to terms with the compulsion to seek adventure and being more comfortable with normal life. I think that was just really integral to the end of Nate’s story, but here the stakes aren’t quite as high so it’s definitely more on the lighthearted realm but there’s definitely some deeper, more emotional exploration as well.A lot of fans expected the team to take Sam and make him the focus of the game’s standalone story DLC, and were surprised (and joyed) to hear Chloe would instead take the mantle for what has become a fairly large Uncharted story. Was there a plan or anything of that matter in place for where you’d take the DLC during A Thief’s End’s development?
We didn’t really have time to explore what the concepts could be until Uncharted 4 shipped so there wasn’t necessarily a masterplan for what the story DLC would be. I think Chloe, to us, was one of the most appealing options because she was notably absent from Uncharted 4, she’s a character we love, that fans love, and from a narrative-quality perspective she’s really complex and she doesn’t really let people in. So there’s like an enigmatic quality to her that I think really lent itself well to how we approached telling a self-contained story.
If you could add colour and depth to your stories then I think Chloe was a great fit for that because there is so much we don’t know about her and there’s so much about her and her story that we haven’t told, and I think by extension Nadine also shares a lot of those qualities too. We thought she was a really captivating character in Uncharted 4 and, to the same degree, we only really scratched the surface of who she is, so having the idea to pair them together and the conflict between their personalities was something interesting to pursue for us.When the team began discussing what The Lost Legacy would inevitably turn out to be, how’d you land on choosing between a prequel or a sequel?
It could probably be traced back to Nadine’s personal stakes that she’s had to endure. Chloe’s journey, in this case, could be applied in any time frame really, but for Nadine the deeper, more emotional stakes are that she’s been ousted from this company that she’s inherited and has to make a life for herself on her own or grapple with potentially trying to get it back. So I think that kind of dictated that we’d need to place it after the events of Uncharted 4, but to what length we don’t really specify — it is after.
A lot of people have been surprised by the length of The Lost Legacy, especially considering it was initially going to just be a story DLC for Uncharted 4. How’d that come to fruition?
Yeah! I think in order to tell the story we wanted to tell it just wasn’t quite possible to do it in a short, little downloadable chapter. We knew that to make it a satisfying story it’d need to basically be its own game and that’s kind of what we ended up with. It’s definitely on-par with some of the early Uncharted games in terms of scope and scale, and we’ve approached it in the same way that we’ve approached all the Uncharted games.
Fortunately we’ve had the benefit of this amazing foundation that we established with Uncharted 4 in terms of the technology and the engine and it allowed us to really focus on some of the new gameplay evolutions with the big open environment, the lock picking and that sort of thing, and also just to really focus on the narrative so we could tell a new kind of story. Can we expect to see anything addressing Uncharted characters that weren’t given a mention in Uncharted 4? Or is this a story firmly focused on Chloe and Nadine?
It’s very much focused on Chloe and Nadine’s story. I think with that kind of thing, while satisfying, the focus balloons at that point and we really wanted to make it squarely focused on Chloe and Nadine’s stories. So yeah, we don’t delve much into that.
Of all the available options, you paired Chloe and Nadine together. Were there other supporting characters floated for the role with/without Chloe? Did the team discuss any other potential options?
Yeah, I think the team considered all the options. Nothing was really off the table, except for Nathan obviously!
It all comes back to that idea that Chloe had so much more to her story that we felt we could tell, so yeah it was pretty quick that we decided on Chloe and Nadine and thought they were the best fit. There were definitely ideas and all sorts of explorations at the very earliest stages, though, but this came together really, really quickly.