The Uncharted franchise rightfully holds a place as a flagship series for the PlayStation 3. A favorite for many gamers, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was even voted the greatest PlayStation game of all time in an Official PlayStation Magazine readers poll. However, developer Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells doesn’t agree.
Speaking after the poll was announced, he stated that Ico and GTA III have had more impact on Sony’s console. Citing that these games have “both influenced the industry tremendously,” Wells also went on to explain Ico’s specific influence on his current team.
“[Ico’s] the kind of game- that linear, narrative-driven experience- that we’re focused on making right now. Everyone in the office has been influenced by it greatly.”
Keep in mind that the game they’re likely "making right now” is Uncharted 3. It's best to assume that the Ico influence will be more broad and figurative, since although there are similarities these games have many big differences. Ico and the Uncharted games are all heavily story-driven, with a huge focus on the narrative structure of the single-player campaign. However, Ico is known for its minimal dialogue while the Uncharted games are known for their excellent voice acting performances, which are quite prevalent in the games.
This could be big news, because taken at face value this could mean a complete departure for the Uncharted series. If they try to imitate Ico’s style literally, and take out most of the voice acting and sarcastic humor, and instead go for more heavy symbolism, this would completely change the feel of playing an Uncharted game. Also, would they retain the more photo-realistic graphics style that made Uncharted 2 really shine, or go for a much more simpler approach?
They could be taking the franchise is a new direction, but I believe, obviously, the influence is more symbolic.Though there are worse things to aspire to, since Ico is still very beloved even today, and deservedly so. Lionhead’s Peter Molyneux credited the game recently for heavily influencing Fable 3. Also, Sony is about to release a collection of remastered versions of both Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus for the PS3 next year.
What do you think? Is Naughty Dog simply aspiring to greatness with Uncharted 3, or will this be a departure that takes the franchise in a totally new direction and style?