Uncharted 4 Actors Had Their Facial Expressions Recorded; Environments Have 100s of Destructible Objects


Uncharted 4: A Thief's End recently reached the GOLD status, ending any debate on further delays from the current and final May 10 release date.

Naughty Dog's first PlayStation 4 game (unless you count The Last of Us Remastered, of course) is certainly late to the party, launching about two years and half after the launch of Sony's latest console. However, because of this the anticipation is perhaps even bigger and Sony is fostering it with a series of Making Of videos, among many other things.

Today's episode lets us take a look at how Naughty Dog pushed technical boundaries with Uncharted 4. The eight minutes long footage is well worth a look, but we've highlighted two particularly interesting details.

The first one is that, for the first time in the series, the actors didn't just provide motion capture with their body movements but they also got their facial expressions recorded. According to Nolan North, who plays Nathan Drake as usual, this will be quite the big change.

The biggest change we've had in Uncharted 4 would be the use of the head cameras and the facial markings for animations. For the first three games, this has always been hand animated.

Lead Cinematic Animator Eric Baldwin added:

Now we're in a unique situation in that we're now capturing those actors' faces, and we're getting all the great detail that that brings in and then we inject the look and feel that we've come to expect from the characters that we know.

The PlayStation 4 will also allow environments to be much more interactive than in past Uncharted games. Lead Programmer Christian Gyrling said:

Just the quantity of interactive things in the environment. I mean, we really want our jungles and our environments to feel alive, and being able to have hundreds upon hundreds of objects that can be destroyed and moved around...

Lead Programmer Sandeep Shekar finished the thought:

...it impacts gameplay in that, you know, your cover can be destroyed and you have to move around more. But even outside of that, just seeing all the stuff happening, the screen is so much more alive, the world is so much more alive.

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End will probably be the most technically advanced game on PlayStation 4 upon release. Let's hope it also proves to be one of the best.