Ever wonder how an average man of Nathan Drake’s proportions could absorb so much damage over the course of the Uncharted series? Well, developer Naughty Dog actually has an answer that isn’t the normal “video game logic” cop-out.
In a Twitter response to a GIF of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Naughty Dog animator Jonathan Cooper offered an explanation—rather spontaneously—of why Nathan Drake can seemingly eat bullets. As Cooper discovered upon joining the team, the red overlay that appears on-screen when Drake seems to be getting hit isn’t actually his health depleting, but is instead his “luck running out.” As enemies continue to fire at Drake, his luck of dodging shots increasingly drops, until an enemy finally lines one up and busts a cap in his ass.
That’s a mega-swing! Sidenote I learned on joining the team: Drake doesn’t ever take bullet damage. The red UI that shows ‘hits’ is to represent his ‘luck’ running out. Eventually enemies will get a clear shot and kill him if he takes enough near-misses. https://t.co/byzVKYXVe7
— Jonathan Cooper (@GameAnim) July 8, 2018
Ex-Uncharted creative director Amy Hennig corroborated Cooper’s explanation, adding that the purpose of the concept was to better align the games with the “spirit and tone of the films we were homaging.” This is in reference to films like the Indiana Jones franchise, where the light-hearted, adventurous nature would be undermined somewhat by any of the millions of bullets fired at Indy blowing a hole in him halfway through a film.
True! That was the original intention (to stay more aligned with the spirit and tone of the films we were homaging).
— Amy Hennig (@amy_hennig) July 8, 2018
The gripe that bullet-sponging is ‘unrealistic’ is a common one for video games, but it has been particularly pronounced in the Uncharted series. In games about getting invested in personal narratives, Drake’s apparent ability to tank bullets without any armor or superpowers could be seen as slightly immersion-breaking, and the luck factor arguably serves as a satisfactory explanation. Granted, there is nothing inherently more realistic about luck (like, why would enemies never once line up a single opening shot?), but for the sake of keeping video games fun and skillful, this is the best we can ask for.
The characters in Naughty Dog’s next game, The Last of Us Part II, don’t seem to have the same luck. As fans can clearly see in the sequel’s recent gameplay reveal, protagonist Ellie takes some serious—and unmistakable—damage.
Source: VG 24/7