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The Amy Hennig Interview: On What Changed With Uncharted 4, Leaving EA, and What's Next

"At DICE Summit 2019, we catch up with one of the industry's most beloved writers and directors."

Hardiman1973d ago

Love Amy and look forward to what she does next. EA truly deprived us of something awesome!

Jin_Sakai1973d ago (Edited 1973d ago )

Amy Hennig on Frostbite challenges in Visceral's Star Wars production.

“It was missing a lot of tools, a lot of stuff that was in Uncharted 1 ... It was going to be a year, or a year and a half’s work just to get the engine to do things that are assumed and taken for granted."

Nitrowolf21973d ago

The engine is a clear mistake and ea should have never made it a standard. Dice created it and couldn't even get it running right themselves

VenomUK1973d ago (Edited 1973d ago )

Amy came up with the idea for Nathan Drake and Uncharted so it's sad she wasn't able to complete her version of the story. She says there would have been more layers to Nathan's relationship with his brother, that it was troubled and that they would have reconciled/This is the mark of a great writer, not making someone default bad or good. I would have loved Amy's version. I enjoyed U4 and the opening scene and the conclusion. I don't care about the politics but creatively Naughty Dog should have let the creator of Uncharted conclude the story - I would have love to played that.

SuperSonic911973d ago

So there you go.
In other words: trouble

moomoo3191972d ago

@VenomUK

She also wanted you to not shoot a gun the whole first half of the game which i dont think i wouldve enjoyed very much lol. U4 was already a bit of a slow burn

1972d ago
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sinspirit1972d ago

I think she should take over The Order franchise. She knows how to make cinematic masterpieces and has several ideas that weren't used for Uncharted that can be applied. The Order would be a great fit imo. So much potential to it. I can only dream

Hardiman1972d ago

Absolutely that would be a perfect fit! A series teeming with possibilities and Amy's talent, I think would equal success. I so want this to happen now lol!

-Foxtrot1973d ago

"So, it’s a little bit different than him showing up and you know, “Hey bro, I got a problem.” Then, of course there was an antagonistic element to Sam in the final version of U4, but it wasn’t right there from the outset. So we kind of, in my story, it was a little bit more of the journey from this ghost from Drake’s past being an antagonist to sort of reconciliation and reunification"

Her original idea with Sam as a villain would have done 3 things in my opinion.

1) Given Nate an emotional connection to the villain where we actually care about him, his motives and not just being the "big bad". Seeing Nate being powerless against him since he wouldn't to be able to hurt his own flesh and blood making Sam more dangerous since he would be able to get away with more things. Rafe just felt bland in some areas and was basically a spoilt kid.

2) Allowed Sully and Elena to be more involved with the story and given all three of them one last hurrah instead of brushing them to smaller roles. For the last Uncharted game why would we want a game just mostly focusing on Sam, a brand new character who's just been suddenly introduced.

3) Would have made more sense as a character since having Sam stuck in that hell hole for all those years while his little brother, as he would think, "forgot" about him only to hear about all the adventures he never got to go on or experience. That would have twisted Sam's mind over so many years and if he saw his brother settling down, married to a beautiful girl it might have pushed him over the edge. Basically sums up what we heard of Sam in the first teaser video

https://www.youtube.com/wat...

"with the exception of we didn’t have the flashbacks to his childhood and then we didn’t have the Nadine character"

So no slow paced flashback chapters, something many weren't a huge fan of in Uncharted 3 and also Nadine, one of the most dullest and badly written characters in Uncharted 4 didn't even exist.

I wish I could go to a parallel world and play this

SCW19821973d ago

Pretty damn hot take @Foxtrot

DaDrunkenJester1973d ago

I honestly hated the forced in brother angle and especially that it was portrayed in a flashback.

-Foxtrot1973d ago

It wasn't that I hated it I just don't think a franchise coming to an end and flashing the game around as the LAST EVER Uncharted with Nathan Drake should have brought in a long lost brother who Nate has NEVER mentioned before.

Even in Uncharted 3 when Marlowe sits down with him as she reads documents from his childhood did she mention a brother, I mean that would have been in there and considering the organization had powerful connections they would have saw Sam was still alive, Rafe managed to find out. Not to mention considering they were all about fear and mind games she would have used his name at least to get inside his head.

I know I know Uncharted 4 wasn't written yet at this point but that's my issue...with that sort of plot point in Uncharted 3 and with how far we were into Nathan Drakes story they shouldn't have made him a biological brother, but more like a person a young Nathan clinged to when he was at the Orphanage

It's a forced in story and you should NEVER do something like that in the last ever game. Can you imagine if Harry Potter got 7 films in and went "Oh it's me Harry, your long lost brother that also survived...Garry". The game should have been focused on the main 3 characters and the DLC should have focused on Chloe and Charlie Cutter. Nadines army in Uncharted 4 should have been a private mercenary group lead by Rika Raja who amassed it after her new wealth selling the Eye of Indra. Everything would come full circle.

DaDrunkenJester1973d ago

@fox

I fully agree. Also using the flashback to introduce a new mechanic seemed weird. They could have easily omitted that and just introduced it during the prison part for the first time since he HAD to use it to get where he was going... They didn't need to make it some super long flashback to introduce that.

-Foxtrot1973d ago (Edited 1973d ago )

Funny you should mention the rope mechanic

That should have never been tied to his childhood because it then brings up why he NEVER used it during Drakes Fortune, Among Thieves or even Drakes Deception, hell even Golden Abyss. During Uncharted 2 when Tenzin uses rope in the Ice Caves he never even makes a remark about it.

It's like showing a young Drake using the rope then suddenly for the first time ever he's using it in Uncharted 4...wouldn't that have came in useful during the other adventures? Even the young Nate flashbacks in Uncharted 3, when he's a little older from the flashbacks during Uncharted 4 and meets Sully for the first time, does he have a rope.

When Sam returned he should have introduced his rope skills to Nate and give him his own, Sam would then make a joke being surprised Nathan has never used one during his own adventures and even criticizing how easier things would have been. If Sam was the villain then Nathan could have seen Sam use one only for him to drop it with Nate picking it up.

rainslacker1972d ago

I think you're over analyzing the rope mechanic. If it matters that much, just say he never brought a rope with him in the earlier games.

Pozzle1972d ago (Edited 1972d ago )

The only flashback I didn't like was Sam's jail escape with Alcazar...that we later found out never even happened and Sam made the whole thing up. It sort of ruins that part of the game upon re-plays because you're spending time watching something that you now realize never even happened.

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DaDrunkenJester1973d ago

@foxtrot

Yup, fully agree again haha I thought the entire flashback sequence was a mess and not needed.

Knushwood Butt1972d ago

Sure the Uncharted 4 story may have had issues, nut let's not forget that Uncharted 3 wasn't exactly perfection. Marlow was too dumb to ever be menacing as a villain, and then there's the Sully kidnap story padding.

-Foxtrot1972d ago

I agree but despite these issues, ones that I know exist and know only are there because Sony wanted another Uncharted right after striking gold with Among Thieves then only having Amy Hennig behind it director wise since Bruce/Neil left that team for the Last of Us, even having a smaller time frame...BUT despite this it still felt Uncharted like compared to Uncharted 4 which despite being a decent game just feels off at times, the charm is sometimes missing from big things to even the little nitpicks such as the composter changing (no Nates Theme 4.0) or the new look to UI/Title Menu. Look at the difference for example, not a major issue, God no but still

https://www.youtube.com/wat...

Knushwood Butt1970d ago (Edited 1970d ago )

I have to admit that 4 is the only one in the series that I've only played through once. Part of the reason for that is that I have spent hundreds of hours on the multiplayer.

VenomUK1972d ago

@Foxtrot. Yes, Nadine was ridiculously dull! She serves no real plot point, this highlights how she was created inorganically by Neil Druckman to have a character for the DLC to reinvent Chloe’s story.

Also, the brother being revealed in the 4th game was jarring and bad storytelling. Your idea that he should have been a mentor from the orphanage is a good one as Sam would have fulfilled the same role and not cheated gamers by retconning the story.

I enjoyed U4 but some of it felt not quite right. Elena should have been in it more and the pacing was uneven and the tone was different. Even ejecting the original AMAZING theme for a downbeat version to underline the different tone. But it did have that great scene with Drake and Elena on the sofa and the epilogue.

-Foxtrot1972d ago

" this highlights how she was created inorganically by Neil Druckman to have a character for the DLC to reinvent Chloe’s story "

It's sad because Chloe should have been with Charlie or even Sully, but they just had to have it so Chloe out of ALL the characters in the Uncharted Universe we know decided to have them find each other, a character no one hardly liked from the 4th game. I mean what are the chances of that happening? Then you have the Sam reveal at the end setting up future games with Chloe, Nadine and Sam...why would we want that when you still can use Sully and you can still use Charlie.

" is a good one as Sam would have fulfilled the same role and not cheated gamers by retconning the story."

Exactly what I was thinking with it and I thought with ND being good story tellers they'd have done it at the end as a twist, they didn't and it seemed Neil/Bruce totally forgot about the other games. If this was the second game then fair enough but not the 4th and last game.

"Elena should have been in it more"

She was hardly in Uncharted 3 and I thought they'd have one last hurrah for them both, she's been dragged into the adventure again during Uncharted 2 and 3 so to see them have another argument again then being drawn back into it like we've seen before was disappointing. I wanted to see husband and wife sticking together and doing the adventure together. What if Sam was a real villain and was bitter towards Nates normal life so he stole whatever Nate had to help him on his quest and burnt down their home, ruining what they built up...then Nate and Elena would BOTH have something to go for, not just revenge but a treasure they'd need to secure another home life.

FalconofLucis981972d ago (Edited 1972d ago )

Rafe was awesome. Best Uncharted villain imo. Also, I loved the flashback sequences to the boarding school, gave his character more depth. Speak for yourself.

porkChop1972d ago

They are speaking for themselves, they voiced their own opinion. Nowhere did they state they were speaking for everyone.

spicelicka1972d ago (Edited 1972d ago )

I had a hard time taking any of the Uncharted stories seriously. IMO it was restricted and dulled like a PG-13 movie to appeal to a mainstream audience. You can't show much violence, you can't really kill off characters to create drama, you're always going to have scenes where the main characters are in serious trouble but always escape last second, you're going to have villains who talk a lot but can't really do anything drastic, etc. etc., which means the story is always predictable and repetitive. It's tough to have a deep caring discussion about such stories.

That being said, what's brilliant about it is the incredible voice acting, sense of adventure, and the banter. The banter and character interaction really hold everything together and help deliver an awesome entertaining experience.

Compare that to the Last of Us and the lack of restrictions allows such a deeper and more emotional story that you actually care about.

Germaximus1972d ago

Agree with a lot of stuff said here of course.

But then you get a bit nitpicky about the rope thing. It's really not that big a deal. It's a new game with a new mechanic. They could have just left that part of the story out but not only was it a fun introduction to the mechanic, but it was also used as a way to see Nate and his brother together.

Uncharted 4 is certainly not perfect but it's pretty damn close aside from pacing issues.

-Foxtrot1972d ago

It's not that it's a new mechanic

It's because ND are story tellers and they introduced it in a really poor way...sure it's a nit pick but for being about story they shouldn't have contradicted themselves when it was so bloody easy to introduce it in another way which would not have required any effort, like I said a throw away line in the present day, something that would be over in 10 seconds.

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EDKICK1973d ago

Seems like a lot of issues in EA games lately stem from the fact that EA is forcing all their teams to use Frostbite for games the engine isn't designed to make...
Between interviews and behind the scenes info we know Dragon Age Inquisition and Mass Effect Andromeda had serious issues and time spent getting the engine to do what they needed from it. And now again here with Hennig's Star Wars game.