Like any big movie, album, or videogame, it appears that not everything Naughty Dog had planned for Uncharted 4 made the cut.
In an excellent new interview with Glixel, Naughty Dog director Neil Druckmann discussed a number of the things that were cut from Uncharted 4, and there’s a fair bit.
Some of it makes sense, while some sounds like it could’ve been pretty awesome. Spoilers to follow, you’ve been warned by Sully.
IN the interview, Druckmann explains that there was a cooking sequence, where you were mixing ingredients yourself. It’s not clear who was involved (probably Nathan and Elena) but apparently you could make the food too spicy, which would effect the dialogue.
There was also an entire sequence where you were to walk around the prison yard looking for Nathan’s brother Sam, but this was cut because it felt pointless.
In Scotland, there was a fully working snowball fight sequence which you could have with Sam, but Naughty Dog felt it was “tonally wrong”. That, or people would have accused them of ripping off Witcher 3.
In the scene when the map room starts collapsing, there was a whole sequence where the crane collapses into the cave, and you had to climb through the cabin in the crane, holding as it’s rotating and flipping. Druckmann said that was probably the “toughest cut” because it was so far along.
Meanwhile, in the game’s epilogue, you could actually play fetch with the dog – this was cut because the animation didn’t look quite right.
There was also an entire mechanic that ended up being cut from the game: shootable handholds. In essence, the plan was that Nathan could shoot at certain surfaces and create handholds to climb.
It just felt like it was hard to create the right language for that, and make sure you always had ammo for those places. But as a prototype, it was a really fun mechanic.
The opening of the game, in the boat, didn’t actually used to be the opening sequence until very late in production.
Apparently you were meant to spend several minutes swimming to shore and being lost at sea, but “it just felt really long and unnecessary”. Doesn’t sound like a barrel of laughs, to be honest.
Finally, when you’re playing as young Nate and Sam in the manor, they picked up swords off the wall and they pretended to sword fight. Druckmann wanted to use the same mechanic you would then use at the boss fight at the end, but it wasn’t to be.
Druckman reflected on the cuts:
We were just coming up against the end of production and looking at everything that had to go in to make the story work, versus something that would just add to it, and be a really cool callback. Sometimes you have to make those difficult choices.
At the end of the day, none of these cuts stopped Uncharted 4 from a shit ton of critical praise and massive commercial success – Uncharted 4 launched on May 10 and sold 2.7 million copies in its first week.
Naughty Dog are still hard at work in Uncharted 4, with extensive plans for more multiplayer maps and modes, as well as single player DLC – something Uncharted has never done before.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.