With the triumphant release of the final installment of the Uncharted series behind us, eyes are turning once again to Naughty Dog’s team. Personally, I have to applaud them for their restraint. I think the temptation to wring the Uncharted franchise for every last drop is huge, and I’m glad that they chose to end it before it became too derivative. Naughty Dog works hard to create compelling, character-driven games, so although I desperately want to see Nate Drake in another adventure, I think they made the right call.
And so the question still remains: What next?
Disclaimer: What follows are my own personal predictions. I have not interviewed the Naughty Dog staff, and anything I say can and will be used against me (by trolls) if I am wrong. I accept this. Moving on.
We can probably rule out any spin offs of the Uncharted series. Naughty Dog seems to be finished with it. The way Uncharted 4 left off could lead to a possible one though. Honestly, I’m sure that if they made any sort of spin off following Cutter, Chloe, Sam and Sully, or Cassie, people would buy it. And knowing Naughty Dog, they would probably make it good. Until this becomes a reality though, I’m content with the idea that Uncharted has run its course. You did good, Nate. Take a rest.
The Last of Us 2
This is probably our best bet, and one that I’m personally rooting for. I don’t know where the story would pick up again. The ending in my opinion was so perfect that I almost don’t want them to make a direct sequel. If they did, it would have to either focus on Ellie (after Joel’s death) or a set of new characters in the same world.
There has been quite a bit of speculation on the internet that seems to suggest that The Last of Us 2 will in some way include a pregnant Ellie, given a hidden easter egg found in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. The story may then focus on Ellie trying to protect her own children, or it could focus on her children’s lives once they’re grown.
Recently, Naughty Dog has all but given a hard release date for The Last of Us 2, but has dispelled some of the rumors that have come up. They’ve basically admitted to planning and brainstorming several different ideas, character combinations, and storylines, but have yet to announce whether they are following through on any of them.
Jak and Daxter Reboot
I’m pretty skeptical about this, but it is possible. After all, Naughty Dog did start off making cartoony adventure games like Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter. They have also admitted to have been working on a more realistic reboot of the original Jak and Daxter before starting work on The Last of Us, so I won’t count it out yet. It just might come after The Last of Us 2.
In a recent interview with a Naughty Dog Community Strategist, it was revealed that Naughty Dog will have at least one, if not two new games coming out for the PS4. So if one of them is The Last of Us 2, that leaves plenty of new and exciting possibilities for another genre-defying, action-packed game. For the past few years Naughty Dog has been gravitating toward games based more and more in realism. If anything, I’d expect them to make another big step in this direction, and challenge what a videogame can and cannot be.
I’ve often felt that playing Naughty Dog games like Uncharted and The Last of Us feels much like playing long blockbuster movies. They have a way of crafting experiences unlike most other games I’ve played. As a leading company in creating excellent and well-received story-based gameplay, I’m excited to see where they’ll take us all next.
Hopefully we’ll be seeing something by them in June at E3, and whatever it is, I’m more than ready.