Todays Stories

Naughty Dog is right on going from The Last of Us and Anonymous

In a busy several days of mixed messages, Naughty Dog CEO Neil Druckmann told us that Naughty Dog is “moving on” from the Last of Us and Uncharted series. But wait, What is it? An ad on PS5 teasing a girl who’s clearly doing some grave-raiding the way old Nathan Drake used to in Uncharted? Of course, this could be an unrelated game, or it could be an Uncharted spin-off that goes by a different name, As suggested by some fansDrake’s daughter. Or – weirdest of all – could it be that Sony has designated a different studio to continue working on Uncharted while Naughty Dog is off to do something new?


Whatever the case, I sincerely hope Druckmann’s statement doesn’t come with some kind of mutant, like continuing Uncharted under a different name with a different character, or flopping The Last of Us into a game set 100 years ago called The Last of Us. First us, or something silly like that. No, The Last of Us and especially Uncharted have served their time – they’ve even overstayed their welcome – and Naughty Dog is right to move on and channel their magic into something new (you know, like them used in the old days).

As Patrick Morris astutely pointed out in his feature announcing Insomniac as Sony’s premiere new studio, Naughty Dog’s output since releasing The Last of Us in 2013 hasn’t been entirely prolific, defined by more remakes and remakes than of all. – New releases. For that matter, it’s been 10 years since they created a new IP, which is disappointing from a studio that was known as The Forgotten Generation. On PS1 there was Crash Bandicoot, on PS2 there was the Jak & Daxter trilogy, on PS3 there was the Uncharted and The Last of Us trilogy, while on PS4 and (so far) PS5 there are only remakes, remasters and sequels from the IPs that we’ve known since the days of the PS3.

Related: The mares in The Last of Us appear much more dangerous

Make no mistake. Uncharted and The Last of Us are classic series, but both feel like they could be at a crossroads as one sees them cruise off safely into the sunset, while the other takes them to a standstill. To really extend this crossroads analogy, it would be more appropriate to say that really, there is no crossroads, since both games have already reached their destination. Their respective stories come to satisfying (if somewhat divisive) conclusions, but after that one, both series feel in their own way like they’ve reached the natural end of their cycles.

With ongoing TV, The Last of Us has basically done what no game has done before, making the transition from a hit game to a prestige TV show while using (yet) the same core game idea. With this level of casting and production value, and on HBO, This is unheard of before. The show feels like a “passing of the torch” for The Last of Us, and it’s at this point that it’s got its time in the TV spotlight, as it seemed on the right track to pay homage to the game’s iconic story.

Druckmann himself said, “We don’t have any plans to tell any stories other than adapting the games. We’re not going to have the same problem as Game of Thrones because the sequel doesn’t end on suspense.” With the show’s second season confirmed, another single-player Last of Us game for the foreseeable future will insert itself deeper into an unfolding story; It would be annoying, and, as Druckmann has already emphasized, totally unnecessary. Of course, with all those remakes and remakes in recent years, Naughty Dog has proven itself to be nothing more than draining its IPs, but at this point a new Last of Us game could undermine the show’s great momentum.

Jak and Daxter:
Naughty Dog used to be all about new IPs showcasing the power of their console.

Yes, there’s The Last of Us multiplayer in the works, but it’s actually a perfect fit for the current context – a game that keeps people in this universe in sync with the show, while doing nothing to tinker with its narrative or continuity.

As for Uncharted? Well, this might be a bit of an odd opinion, but aren’t Drake’s best days behind him now? Doesn’t his cute brand of goofy grave-breaking and perpetually hanging the rim with fingertips feel a little “2010” now? Uncharted 4 felt decisive, Lost Legacy felt skinny, and the recently released double bundle of those games on PC shows that the iconic series just doesn’t quite have the impact it used to. Just let the weary old tomb raider retire in peace.

Yes, it would be nice to see Naughty Dog return to flashier, lighter The Last of Us material, but personally I’m glad to see them do so by looking forward to (probably) all-new projects rather than turning back to Drake. Since Crash Bandicoot, Naughty Dog’s record of creating new IPs and series has been impeccable, but after such a long break, do they still have that magical touch? I don’t know, but I’m more intrigued to find out about this than I am about the prospect of another Uncharted or Last of Us game.

Next: Why gaming on PC demands better hardware than console

Back to top button