If we were Naughty Dog, Nathan Drake's next adventure would be...
The Last of Us, The Last of Us, The Last of Us. Ever since Naughty Dog was revealed as the developer of the new PlayStation 3 fungus/zombie game, that's all anyone has wanted to talk about in PlayStation land. But with Naughty Dog split into two teams -- one that made Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception and one that's working on The Last of Us -- it stands to reason that Evan Wells and Amy Hennig are gathered around a conference room table debating what Drake's next adventure should be. Rather than let them come up with it themselves, IGN polled its editors for a wishlist of ideas we'd love to see in Uncharted 4.
By Walter Lopez, IGN Community Manager
The Uncharted series has always delivered amazing experiences with loads of characterization. Nathan Drake defies death time and time again on his search for long lost treasures. It's the perfect blockbuster experience you can experience in the comforts of your own home but I love to see the next installment take a more mature direction.
Drake's motivations can be selfish at times – the man is relentless in his endeavors. Such hardship has to have had weighed heavily on his comrades. Naughty Dog would be smart in showcasing a man that finds himself isolated from his support system by his own doing. I can't see Sully or Elena putting up with much more of his reckless adventures, especially if Uncharted 4 takes place years after Uncharted 3 and an offspring is in the equation. How long can the reckless man survive when he has people that need him? Uncharted 4 could serve as the next step in Drake's evolution as a character, if he is pushed to a breaking point, like none before.
By Brian Altano, Senior Features Editor
Kill everyone but Nathan Drake. Drop his lovely ladies into volcanoes and the mouths of sharks and gators. Pistol-whip him into blacked out stupidity as he watches his aging mentor Sully get pecked to pieces by radioactive drug vultures atop a crumbling abandoned monastery surrounded by miles of insurmountable tundra. Give him one bar on his battery depleted cell-phone, the barest resemblance to a blinking pulse and a text message that says "Keep moving. They're coming to kill you." Rock bottom with nothing left to fight for but his life and nowhere to go but get up or die. This is how I want Uncharted 4 to begin because being on the verge of death and eternal solitude is where Nathan Drake's character has always thrived. Oh, and throw in some treasures! He loves his treasures!
By Casey Lynch, IGN Beard in Chief
There were moments in U3 (the ship graveyard and the desert settlement immediately come to mind) where you'd suddenly become bottlenecked by an insane zerg rush of every type of enemy. Armored shotgun-wielding heavies, SWAT-shield plodders, red-dotted snipers, grenade-toting suicide grunts, ALL AT FRIGGIN' ONCE. I get it, Naughty Dog, designing action sequences grounded in deep shooting mechanics isn't your strength, but you have to figure this balancing issue out, especially considering how slow, janky and unresponsive the shooting mechanics can feel. These moments stood out in frustrating relief against the otherwise buttery-smooth gameplay.
By Meghan Sullivan, IGN Database Editor
They should have Uncharted 4 take place in China. That would be an awesome mix of modern atmosphere (say Drake running around trying to escape the Chinese authorities in Beijing/Shanghai) and ancient artifacts that Drake could look for since China has a 5000+ year-old history. You could even tie in cities in America (see this book: http://www.amazon.com/1421-Year-Chin.../dp/006054094X)
By Colin Moriarty, IGN PlayStation Editor
Now that we know that The Last of Us is coming from Naughty Dog, but that Naughty Dog has officially split into two teams, it appears that Uncharted 4 is inevitable. And frankly, I'm not entirely sure what I even want from it. As far as I can tell, Naughty Dog doesn't really need anyone's input from the community. They clearly have some pretty good ideas of their own.
But if it were up to me, I'd like to have Drake focus on something distinctly American. I once had a conversation with someone – maybe on Twitter – about an Uncharted game based around the Lost Colony of Roanoke. As a lover and student of American history, I really liked that idea, and I would love to see Naughty Dog do something with it. Because of the fact that no one really has any idea what happened there, where the colonists went, or what their fate was, perhaps something mystifying happened, something only Nathan Drake could get to the bottom of.
By Jack DeVries, IGN Features Editor
Honestly, I don't see how Nathan Drake can go have another treasure-lust adventure and still keep Elena. In fact the third game pretty much put an end to his adventuring days. So if you don't wanna do prequels, you're left with one choice: pull a Die Hard. Bad guys kidnap Elena, and Drake goes from trying to find the secrets of some dumb city, to trying to save his (maybe pregnant) wife from the clutches of evil. That or make a kart racer, because that's what Naughty Dog always does with the fourth game.
By Ryan Clements, IGN PlayStation Editor
I love Nathan Drake. But his story came to a close with Uncharted 3. Though he could feasibly enjoy more adventures in his later years, Uncharted 3 focused so intensely on his past and motivations that anything else would only set back such conclusive character development. If Uncharted continues, it should highlight the exploits of someone else. Perhaps it's time to follow a different family of explorers, which opens up the possibility for an all-new cast. I would also love to see a female protagonist in the next Uncharted, because Lara Croft deserves better competition.
By Greg Miller, IGN PlayStation Exectuive Editor
Uncharted 3 was great. So were Drake's Fortune and Among Thieves, but I'm ready to be selfish and ask for a game that revolves around me -- I want Uncharted 4 to be set in America. I know, I know; I'm the epitome an ethnocentric jerk. I enjoy Nate and Elena's globetrotting, but I'm ready to have an all-American mystery. There has to be something about the Revolutionary War that National Treasure hasn't covered. What about Amelia Earhart? D.B. Cooper? This country isn't as old as some, but there has to be a treasure in these parts that Nathan Drake could tackle. I mean, am I the only one who wonders what Drake's U.S. house looks like?!
By Nick Kolan, IGN Associate Editor
As the fourth game in the series, Uncharted 4 would have to live up to the lofty reputation set by other fourths. Die Hard 4, Indiana Jones 4, Rocky 4… What do they all have in common? Disappointment. For Uncharted 4 to be an adequate 4th, it has to be inadequate in every other way. Nathan needs to be 20 years older, out of shape, flabby and unable to perform his usual stunts without the aid of stunt ropes. He also needs a fat and/or loud sidekick to keep things light. Together they'll look for Excalibur, only to discover that it is tied to a werewolf conspiracy. At some point, something scary should happen – like maybe stone golems surround Nathan and Chet Burger (his new sidekick) – and then Nathan does something totally out of character to save the day. Maybe he drinks a witch's potion and they turn into bats and fly into a gong (or bell!) that falls on the golems.
Also the bad guy should be voiced by Christopher Walken doing an eastern-European accent and at some point he should shout "Get those Americans!" to several cronies.
It needs to cost over a hundred million dollars to produce.
By Stephen Ng, IGN FAQs Editor
Uncharted 4 should take place in space. And perhaps play exactly like Prey 2.
By Scott Lowe, IGN Tech Executive Editor
For Drake's next journey, I hope to see more Assassin's Creed and less Indiana Jones – no, I'm not talking about wrist blades and awesome capes, I'm talking about alternate history and conspiracy theories. Drake has had his fair share of exotic jungle locales and forgotten cities, now I want to see him uncovering the secrets of something like the Freemasons in Europe and the United States. Of course, this pushes the franchise away from whimsical pursuits of hidden treasures and into more serious subject matter, but it could be an interesting challenge for Naughty Dog to tackle it while keeping things fun and humorous.