You can probably tell from the headline, but this article contains massive spoilers for Uncharted 4, so if you haven’t played it (and you really should) then back away now.
Seriously, last warning. After the below image we’ll all be heading to Spoilerville, population spoiler, where there will be spoilers for tea – you’ve been warned (extensively).
Okay, so I’m sure a fair number of us assumed that Nathan Drake would meet his final end in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Of course, we now know that he survived and (finally) settled down to live a relatively normal life with Elena.
Uncharted 4’s director – Neil Druckmann – recently revealed that Naughty Dog never had the slightest intention to kill of Nathan Drake, in part because it wouldn’t really have been in-keeping with the tone of the franchise, which makes sense.
Druckmann explained on a recent Writers Guild of America podcast:
It felt like Nathan Drake didn’t have too many places left to go. How do we wrap it up in this definitive way while still maintaining the tone of the series? A lot of the times, when you say it’s the last one, people go, ‘Oh, you’re going to kill him.’ That’s one way to make it definitive. We pretty early on decided that, tonally, [killing Drake] wouldn’t be right for this kind of lighthearted pulp action-adventure series.
I’m sure that most gamers who have played through the Uncharted games can agree that the sudden death of its likeable leading man would have given everyone tonal whiplash.
But would it have been a better ending? I’m not convinced, and death obviously isn’t the only way to give a character a definitive ending.
Of course, given the sheer number of people Nathan kills across four core games and one spinoff, perhaps multiple life-sentences in jail would have been more appropriate for the treasure hunter.