Uncharted has grown from it’s somewhat humble beginnings all the way back in 2007, nearly 10 years ago, into a real juggernaut of a franchise. With 5 well-received entries, a sixth – Uncharted: The Lost Legacy – on the way, and even a movie in the works, Uncharted probably isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
So what’s next for the franchise? Well, for obvious reasons the answer to that question remains… uncharted. Buy hey, to apologize for that, I’ve concocted a helpful list of 5 more ideas that Naughty Dog could draw from for their next entry.
Let’s just be clear up front that this has nothing to do with Grey Worm and his unfortunate friends from HBO’s Game of Thrones. Sorry George R.R. Martin fans, but there is no room in the Uncharted universe for genital mutilation sub-plots.
In any case, since we’re not telling any more Drake stories, why not go to the next best thing with a fond return from everyone’s favorite cigar-smoking sexagenarian (that’s a person between 60-69, you perverts). Sully has always been a fan favorite, and as a foil to Nathan Drake he has always felt right at home in this series. Sully is a warm father figure, a cocksure rogue, and, as mentioned above, a bit older than the rest of the cast of series regulars.
So what would a Sully game look like? Well, he’d have to move a bit slower than his younger counterparts, so don’t expect to see Sully climbing sheer cliffs, or swinging down a clock tower on a flaming rope. Fortunately, this might actually be a good thing, as a change of pace might be just what the Uncharted series needs after all this time, and a game following Sully could provide just that. Imagine something along the lines of a more stripped down Metal Gear Solid 4, and hey, speaking of Metal Gear Solid…
Uncharted: The Twin Drakes
Okay, okay, so Nathan and Sam aren’t twins but just bear with me on the title as it’s a reference to a really off-putting remake of Metal Gear Solid. Actually, on second thought, don’t bear with me on the title at all.
Let’s focus on the concept though. If it’s more of what you love you’re looking for, then this is the game for you. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End already demonstrated that Sam is up to the task of jumping, climbing, shooting and exploring just as well as Nate. Where he lacks a bit is in the canny intuition it takes to solve the always prevalent puzzles, however that won’t necessarily hinder him.
Why? Well, because he might just have Sully with him for support. Hell, he could even have his brother on speed dial if things get real tough. Where this would also change things would be in the tone department. While Sam isn’t some brutal mass-murderer (or is he? I mean Nate has a body count that creeps up to 1000 by now…) he certainly lacks Nate’s merciful disposition when it comes to the prospect of cracking a few eggs for a short cut. This could lead to some morally gray plot lines that you might not otherwise get the chance to explore in an Uncharted title.
Uncharted: New Horizons
When I think about the Uncharted spin-off that excites me the most, it’s definitely this one. Though this could easily fall down the garbage-town, rabbit hole of really bad ideas like Young Indiana Jones and Young Sherlock Holmes (or, All-Father Odin help this terrible fucking world, Young Sheldon), I think the wise minds at Naughty Dog are far too sharp to fall into a pandering trap like that.
In some ways, I see this game playing out like a treasure-hunting version of Veronica Mars. The game would pick up when Cassie Drake is a bit older, for obvious logistical reasons, and focus on her chasing the mantle of her father. Older versions of Elena and Nate would also feature in cameo roles, maybe even sporting a bit of gray hair. Silver fox Drake would be an extra treat!
The idea of seeing a teenage, or early 20s, female taking over the series seems to offer a ton of possibilities for both design and story inspirations. Imagine, for example, Cassie learning to scale a cliff for the first time, in a tense opening sequence where she falls to her death… only to reveal that there’s a safety line, right before she hits the ground. Old Man Drake emerges from behind a nearby outcropping of rock and says: “You’ve got a lot to learn kid.”
This is just the intro as I picture it, but the game could be filled with stuff like this. I’d also love to see Cassie falling in love for the first time as part of the adventure, but told from the female perspective. Having Cassie rushing in to save her love interest during the finale would also be a nice switch-up on the old gender coin as well. Hell, have Cassie fall for a woman, even. The possibilities are truly endless with this prospective bit of Uncharted, and that’s part of what I love about it.
Unsullied: The College Years
News has recently come out that the Uncharted film adaptation will be focusing on a much younger Nathan Drake, as he first finds himself pulled into the adventuring game. Could another spin-off focus on a younger version of Sully?
Hear me out! Imagine a period piece Uncharted game set during the cold war. Sully sets out to find some long lost bit of treasure, only to find himself ensnared between the Americans and the Russians, both of whom are seeking it. He might be forced to ally with, or lie to, one side or the other, here and there, to get ahead or escape a situation.
Uncharted is well known for using true pieces of history to tell a fictional tale, and this would provide an excellent opportunity for just that. Of course, Naughty Dog wouldn’t deep dive on this kind of thing, just use it for storytelling devices, and man, that could be a lot of fun.
This is just one idea, really, there’s a ton of different ways a game like this could go, which is part of why the notion of it is so enticing.
Uncharted: The Cutter Chronicles
Cutter got a bit short-shrift in Uncharted 3: Among Thieves, but it wasn’t by design. Unfortunately, actor Graham McTavish, who portrayed Cutter, was enlisted for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and couldn’t give up the assignment. Sadly, because of this scheduling conflict, Cutter is only in the first half of Uncharted 3.
What better way to give Cutter his due then to give him his own game, as a spin-off. Cutter is a big-time fan favorite, even with his small amount of screen time, but what would a Charlie Cutter game look like? Well, there’d have to be some sort of treasure at the heart of it, but I see a Cutter game as more of a criminal underground type experience. Maybe this kind of game would have L.A. Noire style dialogue trees and face-reading dynamics. Maybe it would be a bit more heavy on the fire-fight/shoot-out sections of Uncharted, or maybe it would tell a treasure hunting story, but from Cutter’s supporting side, as the man doing the dirty work.
Whichever way Naughty Dog chose to approach a story like this, it would almost certainly be nothing like what the series has seen up until this point, which is why it tickles my fancies all the more.
So, these are some of our ideas, but what do you think? If you have ideas for an Uncharted spin-off of your own, we’d love to hear them!
Mike Worby is a human who spends way too much of his free time playing, writing and podcasting about pop culture. Through some miracle he’s still able to function in society as if he were a regular person, and if there’s hope for him, there’s hope for everyone. He’s the managing Games editor for Goomba Stomp, and the host of the Fire Keepers podcast.
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