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Uncharted 4’s Scrapped Gameplay Features Revealed

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The Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End’s that hit retail is very different from the original vision when Amy Hennig was attached to the project, which would have brought several new gameplay features to the series.

Kotaku journalist Jason Schrier’s book titled Blood, Sweat and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made (via Reddit) has revealed some features of Uncharted 4 that were cut. In the original version, the first half of the game would have had protagonist Nathan Drake fight with only his fists to remove the much-discussed dissonance between Uncharted’s storytelling and gameplay. Since the series’s inception, some have criticized Uncharted‘s portrayal of Drake as a “fun-loving hero” in story sequences but a mass murderer during gameplay.

Another scrapped feature include shooting cliff walls to create bullet holes; instead, the retail version had a piton for climbing on walls without ledges. Hennig’s team also prototyped ideas for character switching in a scene where Drake and company would steal an artefact “without drawing suspicion from the crowd.” Drake and Elena would also have to dance towards the artifact, prompting a rhythm-based-like mini-game where players would have to press buttons “along with the beat of the music.”

Aside from gameplay elements, the story was different, with Drake’s brother Sam being the main antagonist. Millions of dollars for developing the original version were wasted after the creative heads behind The Last of Us, Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley, took over the project with full creative control in mind and made it into the product that released last year. More details on Uncharted 4 and other games that experienced a turbulent development can be found in Schrier’s book.

Despite the radical changes, Uncharted 4 released to critical success, garnering an overall rating of 93 across 113 critic reviews on Metacritic. OnlySP’s Nick Calandra also awarded the title a 9.5 out of 10, saying the game sent the Uncharted series “on its highest note.”

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Ubisoft Discusses How Uplay Plus Will Improve Communication With Players

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Ubisoft Uplay+

Ubisoft believes that its new subscription service Uplay Plus will help the publisher improve communication with players.

Alain Corre, the executive director of EMEA at Ubisoft, spoke to GamesIndustry.biz where he outlined the vision and strategy for the company’s new subscription service. He explained that Uplay Plus will help boost communication with players, and the feedback it receives will help improve Ubisoft’s games.

“The reason behind our subscription service… it gives more possibilities for our fans to play our games and we can talk to them. We can keep them in our worlds, we can discuss with them and—thanks to what they say and the way they behave—we can feed that back into our games development. When we are in control of that within our ecosystem, we feel it’s beneficial for our fans. That’s ultimately what we want to do; we want to have more contact with them, more interaction, listening more to what they want and improve based on what they say.”

Corre highlighted that Ubisoft will not solely focus its efforts on Uplay Plus; players will still be able to pick up any of the publishers games either physically or as digital downloads. He explained that the company’s strategy moving into a subscription service is to adapt with modern consumer tends of gamers.

“We are still keeping the traditional model whether they buy our games in a store or download them. It’s really a case of offering the possibilities. Consumers are evolving really fast, and we want to adapt to what they want and propose new things to them, as well as keep the other means of distribution.”

Furthermore Ubisoft revealed that Uplay Plus and all past and future games will be available on the Google Stadia. Ubisoft was an early vocal supporter of Google’s new console, especially as the upcoming console focuses solely on streaming games.

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