Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection Details and Release Revealed

Launching on January 28, this is actually a couple months sooner than I expected. Now Sony has big titles for the first three months of 2022 with UnchartedHorizon: Forbidden West, and Gran Turismo 7. This comes out right before the Uncharted movie, which I knew would be their goal. I just figured that they would have given us that date sooner if that was the case. I am very happy to see it so soon.

The real treat is the visual modes offered:

Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection – Details on the remastered bundle by Annabelle Hua for the PlayStation Blog

Fidelity Mode – For those of you who have a 4K display and want super sharp resolution above all else to enjoy the stunning environments and details the Uncharted series is known for, select Fidelity Mode and play in native 4K resolution with a 30fps target framerate.

Performance Mode – We carried over the high framerate PS4 patch with Performance Mode, which targets a 60fps frame rate.

Performance+ Mode – If you’re all about the smoothest gameplay possible and don’t mind a resolution drop, try out our first ever Performance+ Mode which targets 120fps* at a 1080p resolution.

Native 4K will look sweet, but the “target” framerate of 30fps raises a flag. I would think it  could be a locked, stable 30. We’ll have to wait for release to see if it even dips: I could be speculating about nothing. The real surprise is 120fps support at 1080p. I can just imagine swinging on the rope and leaping into a Superman punch at 120. Gimme.

Part IV: Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Welcome to Part IV of Chasing the Stick: The History of Naughty Dog during the PS4 Era.

I decided to break-up the six parts of my history into individual episodes as well, for more choice for you, the listener. This episode dives into the rapid, slammed development of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. From pre-production to release in just 15 months, The Lost Legacy is a marvel to explore. I hope you enjoy.

Continue reading “Part IV: Uncharted: The Lost Legacy”

Part III: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Welcome to Part III of Chasing the Stick: The History of Naughty Dog during the PS4 Era.

I decided to break-up the six parts of my history into individual episodes as well, for more choice for you, the listener. This episode is all about the non-stop development of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. I also dig into how the team designed Nathan Drake’s final game. I hope you enjoy.

Continue reading “Part III: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End”

Part II: The Last of Us

Welcome to Part II of Chasing the Stick: The History of Naughty Dog during the PS4 Era.

I decided to break-up the six parts of my history into individual episodes as I decided to break-up the six parts of my history into individual episodes as well, for more choice for you, the listener. This episode discusses how Naughty Dog managed developing for two console generations, as well as how much of an impact The Last of Us had for the studio. I hope you enjoy.

Continue reading “Part II: The Last of Us”

How Chasing the Stick was Made

This project expanded so fast that I think it never would have seen the light of day if I had planned out all this scope from the get go. What started out as an idea to just chronicle the history of one game turned into the history of four. I wish I had kept track of the time I spent on Chasing the Stick. I replayed Uncharted 2 through The Lost Legacy. I earned the platinum trophy in both The Lost Legacy and The Last of Us. All of the gameplay alone has to be around 100 hours. If playing games doesn’t really count in your book, then I know I spent months waking up early to work on the story before having to go to work. Researching articles, listening to interviews, watching documentaries, writing, rewriting, reading drafts out loud, editing, creating assets. I have easily spent hundreds of hours making this project come to life. I don’t say all this to brag: I think it is just super rad.

I wanted to share a behind-the-scenes post about the making of Chasing the Stick. I share all the apps I used, the locations I worked in, the tools I used, and creative decisions I made to make it a reality. Hopefully it answers any questions you may have.

Continue reading “How Chasing the Stick was Made”

Chasing the Stick: The History of Naughty Dog during the PS4 Era

I’ve always had an inclination toward Naughty Dog and their games. I first saw the Crash Bandicoot games around 2001-02 as a first or second grader at a neighbor’s house. I was a Nintendo kid growing up, but I liked going over to their house just to play Crash. I thought Crash was cool. Around that same time, the Jak and Daxter games were also being released. I mooched a PS2  off a different neighbor to play bits and pieces of that series. I’d also be introduced to other PlayStation classics like Sly Cooper and Kingdom Hearts. It was my early indoctrination into the PlayStation Nation. I’d finally get my own PS2 second-hand around 2007. The first games I bought were from those three series.

The next Naughty Dog game I’d catch a glimpse of would alter my attention toward the studio from a passerby to an active seeker. Probably around 2009, I saw a demo kiosk for a PS3 and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves inside a Target. I remember the demo vividly: It was the first section when you arrive in Nepal. A massive armored truck chases you down an alley while you run and shoot at its grill and engine. At the end of the alley, when I felt like I was running low on ammo, the truck burst into flames and I escaped. But I didn’t really do those things, the character (who I didn’t know at the time), Nathan Drake, did them: I just controlled it. I think a connection was made then and there. Instead of using a cutscene, Naughty Dog games let me control the action and the story unlike anything I had experienced before.

From then on I was trying to get my hands on a PS3 and was acutely aware of Naughty Dog’s next game. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception was incoming and I could not wait. The reveal demo of the burning Chateau blew my mind. I wouldn’t get my own PS3 until Christmas 2011, bundled with Uncharted 3. I played the first few opening chapters before putting the game down, determined to play the series in order. I borrowed Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune from a neighbor on Christmas Day. I played the entire game in one sitting the next day with my PS3 hooked up to my CRT television: I wasn’t even playing in HD! I’d then go out and buy Uncharted 2 and then finally play Uncharted 3.

A few weeks prior to that Christmas, on December 10, 2011, the Spike Video Game Awards revealed Naughty Dog’s next gameThe Last of Us. Leading into the awards, other teasers were dropped like breadcrumbs. I remember watching the cordyceps fungus video and seeing the cracked newspaper casing. I was hooked from the get-go, before Naughty Dog was even attached to the game. Finally having my own PS3 just a couple weeks later, I was eagerly anticipating The Last of Us. I went on a total media blackout for it, even hiding my eyes and plugging my ears during the trailer at movie theaters.

Naughty Dog was my reason to own a PS3. I remember reviews for The Last of Us dropped on my birthday in 2013. Reading Colin Moriarty’s 10/10 review on IGN was like unwrapping a birthday present. The game launched just over a week later on June 14, 2013. It is a time I will never forget.

I think the powerful allure of Naughty Dog games comes down to their uncanny ability to intertwine gameplay and storytelling. A saying that I’ve probably heard before, but it never clicked until writing this story, is “telling it on the stick.” Simply put, it is a design decision to tell as much of the story via gameplay as possible. Using the joysticks before text boxes or cutscenes to tell the narrative. This actively puts the player in the shoes of the character, creating a unique, empathetic bond. It clicks with players on an emotional level. It certainly has with me.

As The Last of Us Part II nears its release on June 19, 2020, I had an idea to write a history/editorial on the game. I had done so for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate; this seemed like a logical next history piece for me. I love looking back, gathering context, and analyzing how a game came to be. I find it educational and helpful to provide that information all in one place. My eagerness and drive quickly got the better of me.

What started out as an idea to explore the history of The Last of Us Part II has (in a Naughty Dog-like fashion) turned into something more ambitious than I anticipated. I want to take a look at Naughty Dog’s PS4 legacy; analyze their game design, explore their developmental history, and compile it all in one place. The Last of Us Part II didn’t just happen out of thin air. It is a sum of years of hard work, lessons learned, and the tireless pursuit of perfectionism.

Continue reading “Chasing the Stick: The History of Naughty Dog during the PS4 Era”

The History of Naughty Dog during the PS4 Era

Welcome to the audiobook version of Chasing the Stick: The History of Naughty Dog during the PS4 Era.

What started out as an idea to explore the history of The Last of Us Part II has (in a Naughty Dog-like fashion) turned into something more ambitious than I anticipated. I want to take a look at Naughty Dog’s PS4 legacy; analyze their game design, explore their developmental history, and compile it all in one place. The Last of Us Part II didn’t just happen out of thin air. It is a sum of years of hard work, lessons learned, and the tireless pursuit of perfectionism.

How did Naughty Dog actually pull it off though? What lessons did they learn, implement, and explore on the PS4? What did it cost their team, both personally and professionally? How has their PS4 catalog defined the studio in a way no previous generation has?

Chasing the Stick is also available online at MaxFrequency.net and as an e-book. Check out the links below to download your preferred format for free.

Website

Chasing the Stick: The History of Naughty Dog during the PS4 Era

E-Book

ePub
Mobi
PDF

Charts

Sony First Party Releases
Sony First Party Metacritic Scores
Sony First Party Metacritic Averages
Sony First Party Metacritic Averages with Three or More Releases

Sources

Raindrop.io Bookmark Folder with all cited sources

You may reach out to me on Twitter @MaxRoberts143 or via e-mail at max@maxfrequency(dot)net

Uncharted 4 is the Best Game I’ve Ever Watched – Girlfriend Reviews

Uncharted 4 is the Best Game I’ve Ever Watched by Girlfriend Reviews

The link above kicks off near the end of the video because I just cracked up at the ending. Spot on reference.

After watching the State of Play last week and finalizing Chasing the Stick, it dawned on me that I’ll actually get to play The Last of Us Part II in just a couple weeks. All my focus has been channeled toward writing the history that I mostly forgot about actually playing the game. Now this funny Girlfriend Review is adding onto that realization and excitement.

I sure do write a lot about Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End in Chasing the Stick. Make sure to come back on June 5 to read or listen to the definitive history of Naughty Dog during the PS4 era.

The Sound of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – SoundWorks Collection

SoundWorks Collection: The Sound of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End on Vimeo

“What we did was a combination of a bunch of quads, but moving throughout the environment and then positional quads, but also moving quads in that when you move your head the quads are positional, but also ones that are going with you and then ones that you go through and that are collapsing and that combinition is so much more intricate than games that are out right now, mostly because they don’t have enough CPU to be able to do that. They don’t have enough sound bank memory to be able to have all that stuff.” – Jeremy Rogers

Allow me to introduce you to the PS5’s dedicated 3D sound engine Tempest with “performance and bandwidth comparable to eight PS4 CPU cores combined.”

The PS5 is going to make games sound insane!

I wish I didn’t discover this video so late into the creation of Chasing the Stick

Chasing the Stick Announcement Trailer

Update (06/05/2020): It is live.

Chasing the Stick is the story of video game developer Naughty Dog. It tells how they make their games with the unified goal of telling the story on the joystick. From The Last of Us to the PS5, Chasing the Stick tells the story of one of the video game industry’s most renowned and prolific developers.

Direct Download – Apple Podcasts – Google Podcasts – SpotifyOvercastCastroPocket Casts – RSS Feed

A couple of months ago at the end of March 2020, I announced this new project called Chasing the Stick. It would be the definitive history of Naughty Dog and their time working on the PlayStation 4. Covering the years 2013-2020, I have researched, analyzed, and critiqued the catalog that Naughty Dog has developed within one console generation. My transcription skills have gotten pretty good, if I do say so myself.

The end of the project is in sight. I plan to click the publish button on June 5, 2020. I chose that date for two reasons: It happens to be two weeks before the release of The Last of Us Part II and it also happens to be my birthday.

Chasing the Stick has turned into more than a lengthy editorial for my website. I have also turned it into an e-book and audiobook. It has been completely self-produced and published.

It will also be entirely free.

You will be able to download the e-book as a .epub or .mobi file. These can be added to your phone or Kindle reader quite easily. The audiobook will be available as a podcast through major podcast providers and as a direct download. I narrated the entire audiobook. It is the same experience no matter where you read (or listen) to Chasing the Stick. Everything will be available on MaxFrequency.net.

Chasing the Stick is part essay, part research, part history, part editorial, and part critical analysis. It is a celebration of my favorite video game developer. I’ve channeled all my excitement and energy for The Last of Us Part II into this story over the past four months. I cannot wait to share this all with you.

Taking a Trip Down Memory Lane with Millennial Gaming Speak’s Uncharted 4 Review/Spoilercast

Millennial Gaming Speak Uncharted 4 Review/Spoilercast – YouTube

I’ve gotten so deep into researching my history of Naughty Dog during the PS4 era that I decided to go back to 2016 and see what I thought of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End hot off of beating it. I also was curious how my friend and co-host felt.

Shocker, I loved it.

Even more of a shocker, Logan liked it more than Bloodborne.

It was a fun trip down memory lane. Logan and I said wild stuff. If you want to time travel back to May 2016, this is a pretty funny way to do it.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Review

Heads up: I wrote this review from my perspective as an Uncharted fan. There was more to The Lost Legacy that I wanted to discuss than how it plays or looks. Due to this desire to dig deeper, this review contains spoilers for The Lost Legacy. Please read this after beating the game. It’ll take you six to eight hours. Not long at all.

The legacy of the Uncharted franchise is anything but lost. The strength and allure of Nathan Drake’s adventures grips their audience from beginning to end. Uncharted is essential to not only the PlayStation brand, but the video game industry at large as the developer, Naughty Dog, has proven to push the medium forward.

When Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End launched last year, Naughty Dog was adamant about it being Nathan Drake’s last adventure. Sticking to their guns, A Thief’s End wrapped up Nate’s story perfectly. I was so enamored with A Thief’s End after my journey that it cemented itself as my favorite game to date (and it still is).

As Naughty Dog began to approach the promised single player DLC, the studio asked itself one question—”Could we make an Uncharted without Nathan Drake?” Thus, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy was born. It is an interesting question to ask about a beloved series, especially from a studio as prolific and talented as Naughty Dog.

Continue reading “Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Review”