Nolan North on Uncharted 3, Uncharted NGP, and the Uncharted movie
With Uncharted 3 officially revealed and dated, a lot of hype is bulding up for the game's upcoming November release. Of course, along with the hype comes high expectations, especially since the first two games did so well both critically and financially. For Nolan North, who voices Nathan Drake in all of the Uncharted games, it just comes with the territory.
"That pressure is always there," the actor told The Gaming Liberty in a recent interview. "I think it’s easy to live up to the expectations of everyone if you try to surpass your own expectations. We’re just going to go do what we did with the last one. The story in Uncharted 3 is strong. Amy (Hennig, Uncharted 3's creative director) has written another strong story. She’s put some great characters in it. The animators and the programmers have some cool new things for the player to do."
A strong story and these "cool new things" are what North believes will propel Uncharted 3 into the top of the charts again. One drawback he sees though is that Uncharted 3's PS3 exclusivity would affect sales, which he thinks can easily reach 20 million units if the series were multiplatform. But without the exclusivity, there'd be no Uncharted as accoridng to him, the PS3's the only console that can handle the magic that Naughty Dog is weaving.
"In terms of numbers, then yes, of course [PS3 exclusivity is a drawback]," he said. "I think Uncharted would sell as many copies as Call of Duty. I think they’d go 20 million copies or more. But it’s not multiplatform because it can’t be. We can’t deliver the product that we deliver on another machine. While they’re all amazing machines, they’re just limited with the capacity and speed that the PS3 can deliver."
North also took some time to talk about the upcoming Uncharted game for Sony's new Next Generation Portable. As he sees it, putting Uncharted on the NGP is a no-brainer, seeing as how it has become one of Sony's flagship franchises. "We’ve been doing the motion capture for a lot of it, for cinematics and gameplay," he said. "It’s been announced for the next handheld and why not? Uncharted has becoming something of a flagship for Sony and with any new hardware you want to have the top title there."
North also shed some light on the mo-cap process for Uncharted NGP, which he says is much more aggressive compared to the PS3 games: "It’s a much more aggressive shooting schedule because there’s certain type elements they have to do. Seeing as it’s not on the PS3, it’s slightly different. We’ll do a full day instead of a half day and then we’ll do motion capture on back to back days and capture a ton of material. They can’t borrow anything from the PS3, the data is different."
And then there's the movie. By now pretty much any Uncharted fan knows that David O. Russell is making a movie based on the franchise that's kinda like the Sopranos, only with a treasure hunting family (which North finds "awkward since Nathan's an orphan") that "metes out justice in the world of art and antiquities". That doesn't sound anywhere near what the whole franchise is all about, but North is fine with it. In fact, if the movie goes a totally different direction it could end up being a good thing.
"If Mark Wahlberg does the movie, I hope it’s a big enough departure from what we’re doing," he said. "I don’t know what the plot is, but if it’s a big enough departure from what we’ve done in the game then it may stand alone as its own thing and it won’t affect what we do."
"Part of me is like, if you make the movie, just make it different enough from what we do so that people don’t get turned off," he continued. "I think the gamers will rally around us. It could be a great movie but as long as people keep saying keep making the games, that’s what we want first and foremost. This movie is a touchy subject with a lot of us because you’re like 'if you’re going to do it different, do it well. Don’t screw up the good thing we’ve created.' It’s our baby. It’s touchy."
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception touches down on PS3 on November 1 in North America and November 4 in Europe. Uncharted NGP has been confirmed as a launch title for the NGP, although Sony has yet to officially announce exactly when the new handheld will be released.
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