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Feature: The Secrets Behind The Combat Design Of Uncharted 2

Naughty Dog senior designer Benson Russell outlines the studio's combat design for critically-acclaimed Uncharted 2, and how carefully-plotted decisions he
In Gamasutra's latest feature, A Deeper Look Into The Combat Design Of Uncharted 2, Naughty Dog senior designer Benson Russell outlines the process the studio went through in designing the combat for the award-winning multimillion selling PS3 exclusive. The article is broken down into many tenets of the design of the game -- and one of those is how the game's combat works towards the "active cinematic experience" that the entire team pursued in the creation of Uncharted 2, and for which it has been lauded. Writes Russell, "Creating the "Active Cinematic Experience" was a central goal in the development of Uncharted 2: put simply, we wanted to tell as much of our story as possible in-game rather than resorting to cinematics. To facilitate this, the tone and mood of the combat had to strongly support where the player is in the story arc. "Creating a mood and feeling through our encounters and our environment was a key point we wanted to drive home," he writes. "Using lighting, time of day, color palette, weather effects, tight vs. open space, and ambient sound in conjunction with the style of a combat encounter helped to strengthen the emotional attachment of the player to the characters and what they were going through" In the feature, Russell highlights many examples, but here's just one: "Once Drake and Chloe get to the map room in the temple, they have to fight their way out as Lazarevic's men have entered the scene," he writes. "What's happened to Jeff and Elena is unknown as the soldiers would have had to make their way past Jeff and Elena at the temple entrance. Deep underground, the only way out is through the incoming soldiers, giving the sense of being overrun and oppressed." "The combat is designed to feel like having to dig your way out of the temple as the soldiers take up strong positions in your path. We use this to build on the tension that Drake really wants to get back to Jeff and Elena." You can read the rest, and much more about the game's combat design, in Gamasutra's latest feature, A Deeper Look Into The Combat Design Of Uncharted 2", which is live now.

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