Square Enix revealed what has been one of the most surprising evolutionary steps for a gaming franchise earlier in the year with Tomb Raider. However, many quickly drew similarities between the new style and Naughty Dog’s award-winning Uncharted series, claiming some degree of replication. While that might be true, Naughty Dog doesn’t seem to mind, and feels honored to have such a high level of influence.
Uncharted Director Justin Richmond has been delighted by the fact that the series he has been working on for several years has permeated the industry and has begun to influence other developers, notably Crystal Dynamics, who are in charge of the upcoming Tomb Raider release. He stated the following during an interview:
It’s an honour, but at the end of the day I just hope that those guys make an awesome game. The reason we make these games is so that we can play them.
Arne Meyer, Community Manager at Naughty Dog, agreed with Richmond’s sentiments, and noted that developers feed off of each other to develop even greater gaming experiences. She said:
They might have learned stuff from us but I’m sure there’s stuff we’ll learn from them, too. That’s the whole point about sharing and playing other people’s games.
Both Richmond and Meyer bring up good points; if developers didn’t look to each other for inspiration, games would evolve much slower, and we’d end up with an uneven level of advancement between high-budget and low-budget releases. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves refined the realistic adventure gameplay that has slowly evolved over the course of this generation, and mixed it together with pristine story delivery. Not only did it end up with one of the highest review averages of all-time, but it has been a powerful tool for many development teams looking to identify how a game experience should be blended together to be most effective.
Our impressions of Tomb Raider during our time at E3 was very positive, and we suspect that it’ll be the huge step forward that the series has needed for quite some time. It offers plenty of qualities to differentiate itself from other games on the market, while retaining some of the qualities that we’ve come to love from the adventure genre.