The Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End’s that hit retail is very different from the original vision when Amy Hennig was attached to the project, which would have brought several new gameplay features to the series.
Kotaku journalist Jason Schrier’s book titled Blood, Sweat and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made (via Reddit) has revealed some features of Uncharted 4 that were cut. In the original version, the first half of the game would have had protagonist Nathan Drake fight with only his fists to remove the much-discussed dissonance between Uncharted’s storytelling and gameplay. Since the series’s inception, some have criticized Uncharted‘s portrayal of Drake as a “fun-loving hero” in story sequences but a mass murderer during gameplay.
Another scrapped feature include shooting cliff walls to create bullet holes; instead, the retail version had a piton for climbing on walls without ledges. Hennig’s team also prototyped ideas for character switching in a scene where Drake and company would steal an artefact “without drawing suspicion from the crowd.” Drake and Elena would also have to dance towards the artifact, prompting a rhythm-based-like mini-game where players would have to press buttons “along with the beat of the music.”
Aside from gameplay elements, the story was different, with Drake’s brother Sam being the main antagonist. Millions of dollars for developing the original version were wasted after the creative heads behind The Last of Us, Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley, took over the project with full creative control in mind and made it into the product that released last year. More details on Uncharted 4 and other games that experienced a turbulent development can be found in Schrier’s book.
Despite the radical changes, Uncharted 4 released to critical success, garnering an overall rating of 93 across 113 critic reviews on Metacritic. OnlySP’s Nick Calandra also awarded the title a 9.5 out of 10, saying the game sent the Uncharted series “on its highest note.”