Naughty Dog Says Train Level Almost Broke Uncharted 2

Calling fully-movable and transformable set pieces like Uncharted 2's train and hotel levels the "holy grail" of action games, Naughty Dog's Co-Lead Designer says that the team's decision to incorporate such elements into Uncharted 2 was both the reason for the game's phenomenal success and the straw that almost broke the game's - and the company's - back.

"We really wanted to create ... a fully-playable version of a big summer blockbuster action/adventure movie which kept the player in moment-to-moment control ... as drama exploded around them," says Lemarchand.

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The Great Melon3079d ago (Edited 3079d ago )

Although the level sounded like it took a lot time and effort, all that work was not wasted. I definitely was amazed by the sheer scale and the ever changing scenery. I just stood there in the game for five minutes just watching everything rush by. Kudos Naughty Dog.

WildArmed3079d ago

The only thing i hated about the campaign was that I had to climb the trian twice ;)
ch 1 and ch 12 (i think?)

Otherwise, one of the best single player experiences i've had.

-Alpha3079d ago

Definitely a great game, but I hated the stealth missions most. Once I figured out how stupid the AI was in that section the atmosphere of the stealth missions died. I would be fully visible in someone's field of view only to have the guard go "huh? Whose there?" and slowly make his way towards me while I rolled out of the way in plain view -_-

That and the boss fights where disappointing, but UC2 is the only SP game I played twice through and I never ever do that.

aaron58293079d ago

However, i dont get why people hated the stealth level.. i personally loved that one...

Maybe i love stealth action games...

every single level, i used stealth approach if i had the choice.

Redempteur3079d ago

if you could take more than one path and experiment in LV 2 i'm pretty sure we would have loved than level ..otherwise yeh it's linear

ico923079d ago

the train level is probaly the most impressive action set peice since MGS3 when snake and eva have to escape from the shagohod,

kneon3079d ago


I think the train level had no choice but to be very linear, it's a train :) But for other levels I completely agree. For UC3 I would like to see multiple paths to get to your objective. You can have the easy path for the normal difficulty and then hard to navigate/find paths for hard and crushing modes. It would also be great if the puzzles changed with each difficulty. Crushing mode is supposed to be really hard, but as far as puzzles go it's really easy since you've already done them at least once before. Not that the puzzles where ever hard the first time through.

Still I love the train level, I often go back and play it on crushing difficulty, it just never get's boring.

Redempteur3079d ago (Edited 3079d ago )

learn to read i'm talking about LV2 , and by that i mean chapter 2

chapter 2 is linear as hell , and this sneaking part would have been better if we could have more choice on how to take on the ennemies

ps: i love the train scene too

BlackCountryBob3079d ago


A nice idea but if I am interpreting you correctly, you are asking for different level design for each difficulty. Seems a bit drastic IMO, a lot of extra work on something less than 10% of players will see.

To me, Uncharted is linear because it suits the style of the game, a cinematic style set piece oriented game cannot equally be open world in any meaningful way; those two styles are utter opposites.

That said, the train level was great, the moving environment is so hard to get right in games which makes this and some of the set pieces in God of War 3 sound so impressive. I love train levels, I remember how great I thought the train in Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow was at the time. The on in Quantum of Solace was pants though, really poor.

badz1493079d ago

yeah, you got to climb the train twice but the 2nd 1 is not as complicated as the 1st and with all the swearing Drake is doing while climbing, it feels some what different psychologically as you are playing the game! I mean, 1st time around, it's for tutorial and you just wanna get up there but clueless about why he's there in the 1st place! 2nd time around, when you got the grip of what's going on, the feeling is just not the same! - at least for me!

rockleex3079d ago

More boss battles!!!

Btw, I think Uncharted 3 will be slightly more open. Kind of like how Jak and Daxter became an open world by the 3rd game.

3079d ago
kneon3079d ago (Edited 3079d ago )


I know what level you were referring to, what I was trying to say is that some levels, especially the train, just have to be linear.


I'm not asking for completely different levels, but different paths through the same level. For example in Heart of ice, Drake takes the left path and Tenzin goes right. Wouldn't it have been great if on hard and crushing Drake went right and the level was more difficult via that path? Yes this requires making the levels bigger and you could argue it's a different level but it doesn't always have to be that way. This example is a really big level so it's the worst case scenario.

On smaller levels it could be much easier. For example in Urban Warfare you could try to follow the same path as before only to find you can't because somewhere along the way you jump onto something that falls apart. You then need to find a new path. It wouldn't require any new buildings, though possibly a new room or two. They just need to add a few more climbable spots to the level. And it doesn't need to be a different path for the entire level, just a few sections of more challenging climbing.

mal_tez923078d ago

But Uncharted 2 was great in both departments.

I liked the first Uncharted more though. Stronger guns, bullets that move at bullet speed, less guns and ammo scattered evrywhere and having Drake in the centre of the screen rather than the bottom left corner made the gunfights a lot more fun.

I did like the stealth gameplay in Uncharted 2 though.

Sm0k3y_Bac0n3078d ago (Edited 3078d ago )

The level was good the first time I played it, but when i played it through again on Harf it was just tedious.

Anyone else notice some sounds out of sync with Drake's actions?

Very good game and I enjoyed the story and the MP. Even so I can't say it blew me away like other people are saying it did to them.

3078d ago
Inside_out3078d ago

Background looks great, nice lighting with the shadows, naughty dogs best work no doubt...BUT... Gears of war 1 has no equal for it's masterpiece...The train level in gears the best this gen...uc2 and KZ2 tried to copy it but need to put in some more work on their game engines...check out the detail in the Berserker ..INCREDIBLE...the reavers flying along side the train with 2 locust on their backs firing at you, the dark tunnel section with the wretches, incredible sound and weapons and of course boss Raam. Gears2 even better..UC2 almost broke the PS3...yeah right...Unreal engine for both consoles...everything in gears looks so organic, life like, get shot, blood drips down the screen, chainsaw or grenade an enemy and they come apart in gushing bloody pieces.Play on hard difficulty and watch the locust rush your comparison...Gears the best looking game this gen...I like UC2, but the difference is pretty obvious.. Have to see what KZ3 brings to the table

Ravage273078d ago (Edited 3078d ago )

You obviously have never played UC2 and KZ2. Either that or you are completely out of your mind.

The background and level of detail in UC2 and the lighting in KZ2 are way more advanced than whatever Epic done in gears. Did the train level in gears have moving carriages that affected gameplay? And then there's the simplistic particle effect and 2D explosions they use in gears, and let's not mention the horrible character models.

You might have enjoyed gears but please refrain from joking about stuff like "Gears the best looking game this gen". It might not be an ugly game, but times have changed and it's no longer something you can call a graphical showcase

edit* after reading your past comments, i realised you are one of those delusional 360 fanboys, oh well....carry on.

Inside_out3078d ago

I'm sorry, did you SAY simplistic???...Well, there you have it...You never played Gears, maybe never even SEEN it on a big screen in front of you with a decent sound system. The characters in gears, good and bad, are the most detailed this gen...Nothing out there comes close, okay, RE5 is really good but I'll ignore those
Reavers, that look AMAZING, never land in Gears1...BUT... actually land and chase you in Gears2 and you actually ride them...LMAFO...

That video you posted by the 14 yr old trying to compare hand picked scenes....LOL...Gears manhandles KZ2... Have you seen how advanced the Grenade throwing mechanic is in Gears...Throw a grenade on an enemy and watch him come to pieces and splatter brain matter all over your screen...What happens in KZ???, there helmets fall Gears is organic, life like...Should we talk about KZ's bad controls made worse by the worst controller in gaming, weird loading, silly boss battles and lazy level design, won't mention the cover system, that would be mean...LOL...Whats that kid talking about...Like I said, Your walking BLIND watching vids like that and never playing the game...Gears has COMPLETELY outclassed all PS3 titles this gen...

Believe it or not, I like my PS3...BUT...Sony needs to pick things up... I want to play the game not watch it. 1080p, blu-ray and the games are still short with a million cut scenes, open a door cut-scene,climb a ladder, yep, cut-scene. For the record, I like those games just not as much as Gears.. IMO..I followed all the devs including Sony's exclusives...Ignoring third party developers only hurting Sony...Microsoft did that last gen and look where that got them...UC3 and KZ3 will be day one buys for will Gears3 and Gears IS the game to beat. The developers know that...If you can't see that..well..Your not LOOKING....cheers...

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swiftshot933079d ago

Not trying to downplay Naughty Dog's achievement, but this makes Santa Monica's soft body collision technology even more impressive.

RememberThe3573079d ago

But there's also going to be an other game from Naughty Dog and that's probably going to be more impressive than GoW3. Plus, there's GG's game and whatever Sony Bend is doing, and Insomniac said that they're lowering their games frame rates to 30fps to get better visuals. There is just so much going on at Sony it's really hard to keep track.

Blaster_Master3079d ago

Sure both Resistance games weren't that pretty, but Crack in Time was gorgeous. Sure not realistic, but the game was more polished then 99% of the games ever created this gen. GTFO of here with that better graphics. What are they planning on making Ratchet look like a human? No thanx. Give me more out of this world games Insomniac and sony. I love your direction of vision. I cannot wait to play Ratchet with the new motion controls, I will cry tears of joy. I wish they still had the Spyro IP. I would die.

alphakennybody3079d ago (Edited 3079d ago )

they've set the bar now SSM raised it to even a higher level! what's next? I can't wait for e3!

electricshadow3079d ago

That was an AMAZING level. I loved it. Uncharted 1 and 2 will be two PS3 games I will never sell. One of my favourite games of all time.

Perjoss3079d ago

The funny thing is people talk about the train and hotel levels like they are the only good levels in the game, personally i was blown away by pretty much every level, there was always something in there to make you say wow. U2 is one of those game that while you're playing it you think to yourself "how are they ever gonna better this".

PirateThom3079d ago

My favourite level, as an example, is the shoot out in the Tibetan village, love that whole segment.

redsquad3079d ago

Everything in the Tibetan village up to and including the "Cat and Mouse" with the tank was very cinematic and VERY exhilerating. You think you're safe, then *boom* the damn thing comes through a wall!
That and the subsequent truck chase offered 'james bond' levels of action that's going to take some beating in a game, in my view.

DaTruth3079d ago

I was blown away by everything, but the truck chase had to be the best thing I have ever seen in gaming! Highly scripted, but awesome none the less!

It's a crime that Demon's Souls took me away from this game so much!

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kingboy3079d ago

Killzone 2 also has one awesome train level which blew me away

kneon3079d ago (Edited 3079d ago )

I love Killzone 2, I was just playing it again last night trying to finally complete it on elite. But the train level is much simpler than the one in uncharted 2. In killzone it's more like the train is stationary and the rest of the world is wooshing by. You don't get the same sense of movement that you do in uncharted with the train going around curves, and the rocking and swaying of the train throwing off your aim makes shooting that much harder to do.

Kleptic3079d ago

yeah the killzone 2 train level is completely different tech wise...its just a repeating background; the train isn't actually moving anywhere...the impressive stuff is simply the way the procedural wind affects everything...from bullet casings and sparks, to volumetric explosions and particle other games have touched that yet...makes you really feel like you are on a rushing train...

Uncharted 2 though had it where the train was actually traveling through an entire goes past lakes and mountains, through small towns, etc...and never repeats...thats what is so crazy about start out in a thick jungle area, and have no idea its going to break out into some of the most amazing visuals ever rendered...easily the most impressive part of the game imo...

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