“The story demanded it. Shut up. F**k you”: The Last of Us’ Neil Druckmann Made 1 Huge Mistake with Uncharted 4 Per God of War Creator David Jaffe

Jaffe and Garvin debate the pitfalls of drastically changing iconic characters.

uncharted 4, the last of us, god of war

SUMMARY

  • God of War creator David Jaffe slams The Last of Us director Neil Druckmann for retiring Nathan Drake in Uncharted 4, calling it an ego-driven mistake.
  • Jaffe argues that iconic characters like Drake and Kratos need to maintain a level of consistency to keep fans engaged, even as they evolve.
  • While praising the reinvention of Kratos in the recent God of War games, Jaffe expresses concerns about the long-term impact on the character's appeal.
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God of War creator David Jaffe has never been one to mince words, and his latest target is none other than The Last of Us director Neil Druckmann. In a recent video featuring Days Gone director John Garvin, Jaffe took aim at Druckmann’s creative choices in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, particularly the decision to have protagonist Nathan Drake retire from his adventuring lifestyle.

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Jaffe’s criticism centers around the idea that Druckmann’s ego, rather than the needs of the franchise, drove the decision to drastically change Nathan Drake’s character arc in the fourth installment of the beloved action-adventure series.

Jaffe: Druckmann and Naughty Dog “Sniffing Their Own Farts”

Should Kratos or Drake GROW as characters?!? DAYS GONE Creator and I say...NO!!!

In the video, David Jaffe doesn’t hold back when discussing Nathan Drake’s character development in Uncharted 4. When asked about the decision to have Drake retire and potentially pass the torch to his daughter Cassie, Jaffe had this to say:

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I think they are sniffing their own farts… and all these guys out there can complain about ‘DEI’ and ‘ESG’ when they should be complaining about ‘EGO.’

He went on to elaborate, specifically calling out Neil Druckmann:

…but it’s the ego. It’s Neil Druckmann going—and again, I don’t dislike Neil, I love Last of Us Part II—but on Uncharted, the idea that ‘Nope! He’s going to retire! And if there’s ever any more Uncharted games, it won’t be with him because, well, the story demands it!’ Shut up!

Jaffe’s passionate critique, complete with colorful language, essentially highlights the tension between a creator’s artistic vision and the commercial realities of sustaining a successful franchise.

He argues that Druckmann’s decision to retire Drake and potentially shift the focus to his daughter, Cassie, was misguided and driven more by ego than a genuine understanding of what makes the series appealing to fans.

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You think Sony marketing is going to be like, ‘Let’s make games with Cassie Drake and spend three….’ F**k you! F**k you! It doesn’t work that way, and he knows it!

God of War’s Kratos: Balancing Evolution and Identity

God of War: Ragnarok in-game screenshot featuring Kratos, the main protagonist of the video game.
The evolved God of War. | Image Credit: PlayStation YouTube Channel

Drawing parallels to his own experience with the God of War franchise, Jaffe acknowledged the challenges faced by Cory Barlog in reinventing Kratos for the 2018 reboot. While praising Barlog’s approach as “smart and brilliant,” he questioned the long-term viability of this new, more introspective version of the Ghost of Sparta:

I think the problem with it is that fundamentally… once you pulled that rabbit out of the hat, which was, ‘Hey, look, he’s changed…’ that works if the story’s over, but then you get to Ragnarok, and what you’re left with… is a character who’s fundamentally no longer that interesting.

Jaffe’s got a point. As much as we all loved seeing Kratos grow as a father and a person in the latest God of War games, there’s a risk of losing sight of what made him such a badass in the first place. It’s a tricky balancing actone that developers will have to keep in mind as they continue to evolve these beloved characters.

While the recent God of War titles have been critical and commercial successes, Jaffe’s concerns about the long-term impact of Kratos’ character evolution are worth considering. As the franchise moves forward, finding the right balance between growth and staying true to the character’s core will be crucial.

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So, what do you think? Did Druckmann drop the ball with Drake’s retirement in Uncharted 4? Is the new Kratos still the god-slaying powerhouse we all fell in love with? Sound off in the comments and let us know where you stand on this whole “character evolution” (controversy?) debate!

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Written by Soumyajit Mukherjee

Articles Published: 88

Soumyajit (ign: LockDown) is a die-hard PC gamer with a passion for competitive FPS games, having played Rainbow Six Siege at a competitive level in the past. For nearly two years, he has turned his love for gaming and writing into a profession, delivering the latest gaming news and guides to his readers. And when he is not writing or dominating the lobby in Call of Duty or Valorant, you can find him in theaters watching the latest comic book films or binge-watching anime and thriller flicks!