That’s the other thing people remarked on in our review, and Uncharted struggles with this immensely. The line between having a vulnerable character coming to grips with the situation, and her taking on platoons of characters is very short. Is there a way to handle that dissonance in what almost becomes an action game?
I think it’s hard. There’s always a balancing act. I think the narrative team would have liked to see that as a slower ramp up. That time between the first kill and lots of kills, I think we would have liked to see that slower paced. But, this isn’t always about narrative.
It’s not a narrative-led game or a game play-led game. Crystal Dynamics always talks about it being a journey-led game. We found through play testing that as soon as you gave players a gun, they wanted to use it. It was very difficult to let Lara have a gun and then go for fifteen minutes without letting her use it properly.
The first hour you go without a gun, the bow is very cool, and many players just stuck to the bow and got a lot of enjoyment out of that. But going for that length of time without weapons, in the cave section there are no weapons at all, and solving puzzles, and getting to know the environment, and then you get a bow. I think that was quite impressive, we got a long way without a gun, and then you let loose with the gun. We found once the player got a gun the players wanted to use it.
I’m not going to pretend that we solved the problems. We took a few steps in the right direction. We showed what happened with the character before hand, and that’s all important to the character. She has been through a lot by the time she gets a gun, she has been through quite a few challenges against the environment and other humans. She’s building up to this kind of point anyway.
It’s so hard to do, and somewhat out of my jurisdiction to a degree. I think we’ll look at it more closely in the future. Baby steps.
It's a simple thing, but it's heartening to know that writers are cognisant of the issue and are pushing to move things forward and evolve the medium. What do you guys think? Is this a step in the right direction?