Naughty Dog's The Last Of Us Part 2 has most PlayStation fanboys excited about a 2019 release, yet there are still some who won't stop asking about an Uncharted 5.
In an exclusive interview with OnlySP, Nolan North spoke about the fans asking for another Uncharted. He said that the series’ ending was “bittersweet” and that the “ship has kinda sailed.” This doesn’t necessarily mean an Uncharted 5 starring Nathan Drake is impossible, but you’d expect that to be the case for both North and Naughty Dog seeing as A Thief’s End was billed as the grand finale.
As if you don’t already know, A Thief’s End culminated with Nathan Drake hanging up his Indiana Jones boots to raise a child with Elena. The revelation of a daughter was made during the fourth installment’s surprising epilogue.
While A Thief’s End was marketed as Naughty Dog’s final adventure for treasure, this doesn’t mean the franchise has finished. The epilogue hinted at Nate’s daughter, Cassie, sharing her father’s passion for exotic expeditions, and there is a new first-party studio for Sony that has possibly been passed the torch to continue Uncharted’s legacy.
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Nathan Drake, Elena, and Sully made Uncharted tick
The point of a clock never changes, and neither did Uncharted's narratives. Yes, there were new villains, but each installment’s narrative was pretty much identical. Drake and a mate went hunting for treasure, they’d find a lost city, there’d be something supernatural, the villain’s greed would be their demise, Drake and Elena would fall in love as the sunset, and Sully would incessantly whine about his age and brag about his status as a Casanova.
The storylines were always beat-for-beat the same, but the adventures and revelations were never dull thanks to the likable characterisations of Nate, Elena, and Sully. The series’ main trio made the clock keep ticking so players wouldn’t find another.
Drake was the star of Uncharted with his witty lines and dashing good looks, but his on-again-off-again relationship with Elena came to define the franchise. It wasn’t about attaining any lost and mythical gold, it was always about Drake and Elena recapturing each other’s affection (it’s pretty much why Drake never got much – if any – of the treasure after Drake’s Fortune).
But Uncharted 5 doesn’t need Nathan Drake to be a success
Nathan Drake, Elena, and Sully made the Uncharted series keep ticking, but that doesn’t mean Sony can’t replace the old battery with a new one. This change would realistically be Nathan Drake and co for Cassie and some new characters. A Thief’s End’s epilogue didn’t verbally say that Cassie will be the series’ face from Uncharted 5 onwards, but players suddenly taking control of her did feel like a symbolic passing of the torch. Plus, in only ten-minutes Naughty Dog set up a Nathan Drake-like future for Cassie by making her an intrigued history buff like her pa.
Drake and Elena could still make cameos, and so could Sam, Chloe, and Nadine, but an Uncharted 5 with Cassie in the spotlight would benefit from a completely fresh start. This means new allies and villains, with only subtle nods to the series’ past. If an Uncharted led by Cassie had all the old protagonists in it, then Drake and Naughty Dog’s passing of the baton to Cassie and whichever Sony first-party studio would be pointless.
Uncharted has primarily been about Nathan Drake and Elena, but a fresh beginning can make it about Cassie and the adventure for treasure. The series doesn’t have to live or die by Drake’s involvement, and the start of a new saga with unique characters and descendants would be more exciting than another run of the mill entry.
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