Why We're Worried About Uncharted 4

Anticipation is building to a fever pitch for the upcoming release of Naughty Dog's Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. So why do we feel icy fingers of fear gripping our heart? Here are a few reasons you may want to hold off on that pre-order...

Uncharted 3 Was Only Awesome

Ask anyone who played Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception and they'll tell you it was awesome. But here's a funny thing: They'll probably also tell you that it was still kind of a disappointment anyway. Why? Because Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was a groundbreaking, era-defining masterpiece. And as good as Uncharted 3 was, it was basically just more of the same. Expectations for Uncharted 4 are sky high thanks to the potential of current-gen consoles, but we can't shake the feeling that the franchise peaked in 2009—and good just isn't good enough anymore.

Everyone Quit!

If there's been one constant throughout the storied history of the Uncharted franchise, it has been lead writer and creative director Amy Hening, who oversaw each of the first three games. She and Justin Richmond, who directed Uncharted 3, were also responsible for developing Uncharted 4... right up until they both quit last year. The Last of Us writer/director Neil Druckmann stepped in to fill the gap, but that required scrapping everything and starting over from scratch. Can Uncharted thrive without Hening's vision? We're not so sure.

The Last Of Us Hangover

Speaking of The Last of Us, it's kind of fitting that Druckmann took over the franchise, because The Last of Us has superseded Uncharted as Naughty Dog's flagship franchise. As one of the most acclaimed games of all time, The Last of Us has dominated conversation in recent years, relegating Uncharted to an afterthought—and making Uncharted 4 seem less like a labor of love and more like an obligation. Will Uncharted 4 be more than just a way for Naughty Dog to keep product on the shelves until The Last of Us 2 is ready? Here's hoping.

Production Delays

Nothing raises more red flags than a game being delayed. And that's just what has happened to Uncharted 4, which was originally scheduled to hit stores in 2015. Being pushed back to 2016 doesn't necessarily mean the game is in trouble, but it's hardly encouraging, especially since this is the first Uncharted game being developed for the current generation of consoles.

Next-Gen Technical Problems

Just how well Naughty Dog is adapting to the challenges of developing Uncharted 4 for the new generation of consoles is a bit of a question given that they have admitted to already having technical difficulties. Naughty Dog originally announced that Uncharted 4 would run at 60 frames per second, but they had to put a damper on fan expectations after being forced to scale back to 30 fps due to engine trouble. Given the technical demands of current-gen consoles, that's not a very auspicious sign.