Creative director Neil Druckmann has revealed how the Uncharetd 4 development team went about ensuring strong women were represented in the game.
When I’m introducing and describing a new character to our lead character concept artist, constantly she will ask, ‘What if it was a girl?’ And I’m like, Oh, I didn’t think about that. Let me think, does that affect or change anything? No? Cool, that’s different. Yeah, let’s do it,” Druckmann told Glixel.
Initially, in the epilogue, it was Nate’s son. Something similar happened with the mansion they go into. That was an old English guy’s house. She asked, well, what if it was a woman?”
The developer also revealed how they studio was forced to drop one his focus testers who strongly opposed the presense of Nadine in the game.
You have some sexist focus testers who were really upset by Nadine beating up Nate, and really upset at the end when it was Nate’s daughter,” he added. To the point where we had to ask one guy to leave. In his core, it just affected him. He was cursing, ‘Not you, too, Naughty Dog! Goddammit. I guess I’m done with Uncharted, if you guys ever make another one, with his daughter. This fucking bullshit.’ And I was like, Wow, why does that matter?”
Druckmann went on to defend the game from accusations that Nate’s cut-screen character and narrative path are at odds with the fact that he is in fact a mass murderer, slaughtering thousands throughout the campaign. This disconnect between story and action in games is called ‘Ludonarrative Dissonance’ – which is also the name given to the in-game achievement unlocked by killing 1,000 people.
I told all the people on the team, ‘This is my proudest moment, the fact that I came up with this trophy on this project,’” he enthused. Why is it that Uncharted triggers this argument, when Indiana Jones doesn’t? Is it the number? It can’t be just the number, because Indiana Jones kills more people than a normal person does. A normal person kills zero people. And Indiana Jones kills a dozen, at least, over the course of several movies.
What about Star Wars? Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, are they some sort of serial killers? They laugh off having killed some Stormtroopers. And in The Force Awakens, we see that a Stormtrooper can actually repent for the person he is and come around, and there are actually real people under those helmets.
It’s a stylized reality where the conflicts are lighter, where death doesn’t have the same weight. We’re not trying to make a statement about Third World mercenaries, or the toll of having killed hundreds of people in your life.”