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Community Game Dev Naughty Dog is the most critically acclaimed studio of all-time, dominating a decade, releasing 3 straight concensus GOTY, w/ 4 out of their last 5!

Greatness Awaits?


  • Total voters
    421
May 8, 2020
3,835
9,292
640
The time of the year has come, now that it's official, to recognize the incredible achievements of the Sony owned, Santa Monica based powerhouse that is Naughty Dog. The Last of Us: Part II is sweeping Game of the Year awards, as well as other awards, from various outlets. With another great achievement added to the list Naughty Dog has finally achieved the three-peat that eluded them with Uncharted 3. Naughty Dog has released 3 Games of the Year in succession starting with TLOU, followed by Uncharted 4 and now TLOU: Part II. This achievement is unheard off since the advent of Game Awards. To date no studio in history has been as consistent in releasing quality games and standing above all the rest while capturing the hearts of critics and gamers alike (despite the fierce competition from great studios, creative minds and franchises).

You could say their prestigious story started by creating one of the most beloved franchises for PlayStation fans and gamers around the world with Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation 1. During PS1's heyday, Crash was the premier Sony mascot. It was then a great studio, an important studio, but one among many. The meteoric rise that catapulted them beyond just being one of many to being at the top of the gaming pantheon took quite a lot more years to materialize.

To me the meteoric rise started with the well known character named Nathan Drake, the work and imagination of the incredible Amy Hennig (along with Josh Scherr and Neil Druckman). Their vision was realized in game form by a hungry group of talented developers who wanted to prove that their best days were not behind them but in front of them. While the first Uncharted (a result of laborious development work on the hard to code for PS3) was a good game; it wasn't the smash success of say preceding franchise 1st entries like Crash or Jak. This reality drove that team to excellence. The drive to succeed and the hunger to excel made Uncharted 2 not only a great sequel to a good game but a gaming masterpiece that would define not just the PlayStation platform but the gaming landscape as well. In 2009 Uncharted 2: Among Thieves became the consensus Game of the Year and swept awards. The work from this game would lay the groundwork for the type of games, direction and studio identity that came to define Naughty Dog in successive years. With Uncharted 2 Naughty Dog not only raised the bar for itself as a studio but for the industry as a whole. When it came to making blockbuster, action-packed, narrative driven, character driven video games Naughty Dog was the "it" to follow. Since then a lot of studios, as is customary in the industry, borrowed ideas from the Uncharted games to improve aspects within their games to realize their vision. This has generally resulted in improved character driven, narrative driven experiences across the board.

Uncharted 3 followed Uncharted 2 by becoming a smashing success but while great, it wasn't as unanimous in receiving praise as its predecessor. Uncharted 3 simply did not hit all the right notes in as balanced a manner as Uncharted 2 did for great number of critics and gamers. So after Uncharted 3 you could say Naughty Dog cemented itself as an elite studio in the industry (no longer just great). Like others within that elite club however; ND was somewhat unable to repeat the magic twice in a row to the same effect. That is when, from left field, in 2013, comes The Last of US. Expectations for excellence from Naughty Dog after Uncharted 2/3 were a given at the time. But no-one expected that a new IP, relatively secretive, releasing in the middle of the year, with mild marketing would suddenly once again become a generation defining game. The Last of US, the creation of Neil Druckman and Bruce Straley once again found magic. It found that perfect tone pitch to become not just Game of the Year, but as some consider it, Game of the Generation.... gaming's "Citizen's Kane" moment. Certainly, and without a doubt, a generation defining game realized in a brutal new world starring Joel and Ellie.

This incredible level of success and this magic would carry over to their last 2 main entries as well. Uncharted 4 and The Last of US: Part II becoming Games of the Year in the now concluding PS4 era. If there is something to take away from the excellent work in Uncharted 4 is how well Naughty Dog managed to give Nathan Drake a great send-off, and conclude the 4 game saga, aptly titled, a Thief's End, on their terms. TLOU: Part II would also capture the same magic despite being more controversial. Here Neil Druckman uses the game to push the narrative and story of beloved characters to places that folks may find themselves uncomfortable in experiencing or finding joy in. The game needless to say oozed in quality, and was incredibly well made, closing another chapter in the world of The Last of US.

As a fan of their games I've been part of the journey all throughout on this life spanning saga of adventures. I've been happily a part of the community of those games, playing them, enjoying them. I've lived through the hype of following news, gossip, leaks (for good or bad), through the launches etc. All I can say is that I've been a happy partner in all of it - and that I still get as anxious and excited for their games as I did in decades past. I can't wait to see what they do next and wish them all the success in the world - to the devs and creatives minds that have come and gone, to the old and the new, to the few that get no mentions except on credits to those that make the news all the time. It's a team effort over there, and it shows every single time (not just cliche). There is always a special mention tho.... To the man behind the scenes, Evan Wells. This is the guy that has managed that studio through thick and thin to success all these years as studio head. Maybe he'll release a book someday on his life's work managing Naughty Dog for so long. I'll be there to purchase it and read it. Thanks to all the Dogs. To more years of greatness.

 
Last edited:

Yselacrey00

Member
Nov 20, 2018
412
602
460
The time of the year has come, now that it's official, to recognize the incredible achievements of the PlayStation owned, Santa Monica based powerhouse that is Naughty Dog. The Last of Us: Part II is sweeping Game of the Year awards, as well as other awards, from various outlets. With another great achievement added to the list Naughty Dog has finally achieved the three-peat that eluded them with Uncharted 3. Naughty Dog has released 3 Games of the Year in succession starting with TLOU, followed by Uncharted 4 and now TLOU: Part II. This achievement is unheard off since the advent of Game Awards. To date no studio in history has been as consistent in releasing quality games and standing above all the rest while capturing the hearts of critics and gamers alike (despite the fierce competition from great studios, creative minds and franchises).

You could say their prestigious story started by creating one of the most beloved franchises for PlayStation fans and gamers around the world with Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation 1. During PS1's heyday, Crash was the premier Sony mascot. It was then a great studio, an important studio, but one among many. The meteoric rise that catapulted them beyond just being one of many to being at the top of the gaming pantheon took quite a lot more years to materialize.

To me the meteoric rise started with the well known character named Nathan Drake, the work and imagination of the incredible Amy Hennig (along with Josh Scherr and Neil Druckman). Their vision was realized in game form by a hungry group of talented developers who wanted to prove that their best days were not behind them but in front of them. While the first Uncharted (a result of laborious development work on the hard to code for PS3) was a good game; it wasn't the smash success of say preceding franchise 1st entries like Crash or Jak. This reality drove that team to excellence. The drive to succeed and the hunger to excel made Uncharted 2 not only a great sequel to a good game but a gaming masterpiece that would define not just the PlayStation platform but the gaming landscape as well. In 2009 Uncharted 2: Among Thieves became the consensus Game of the Year and swept awards. The work from this game would lay the groundwork for the type of games, direction and studio identity that came to define Naughty Dog in successive years. With Uncharted 2 Naughty Dog not only raised the bar for itself as a studio but for the industry as a whole. When it came to making blockbuster, action-packed, narrative driven, character driven video games Naughty Dog was the "it" to follow. Since then a lot of studios, as is customary in the industry, borrowed ideas from the Uncharted games to improve aspects within their games to realize their vision. This has generally resulted in improved character driven, narrative driven experiences across the board.

Uncharted 3 followed Uncharted 2 by becoming a smashing success but while great, it wasn't as unanimous in receiving praise as its predecessor. Uncharted 3 simply did not hit all the right notes in as balanced a manner as Uncharted 2 did for great number of critics and gamers. So after Uncharted 3 you could say Naughty Dog cemented itself as an elite studio in the industry (no longer just great). Like others within that elite club however they were somewhat unable to repeat the charm twice in a row to the same effect. That is when, from left field, in 2013, comes The Last of US. With Naughty Dog expectations for excellence, thanks to Uncharted 2/3 were a given at the time. But no-one expected that a new franchise, relatively secretive, releasing in the middle of the year, with mild marketing would become once again a generation defining game. The Last of US, the creation of Neil Druckman and Bruce Straley once again found magic. It found that perfect tone pitch to become not just Game of the Year, but as some consider it, Game of the Generation.... gaming's "Citizen's Kane" moment. Certainly, and without a doubt, a generation defining game realized in a brutal new world starring Joel and Ellie.

This incredible level of success and the magic would carry over to their last 2 main entries as well. Uncharted 4 and The Last of US: Part II becoming Games of the Year in the now concluding PS4 era. If there is something to take away from the excellent work in Uncharted 4 is how well Naughty Dog managed to give Nathan Drake a great send-off, and conclude the 4 game saga, aptly titled, a Thieves End, on their terms. TLOU: Part II would also capture the same magic despite being more controversial. Here Neil Druckman uses the game to push the narrative and story of beloved characters to places that folks may find themselves uncomfortable in experiencing or finding joy in. The game needless to say oozed in quality, and was incredibly well made, closing another chapter in the world of The Last of US.

As a fan of their games I've been part of the journey all throughout on this life spanning saga of adventures. I've been happily a part of the community of those games, playing them, enjoying them. I've lived through the hype of following news, gossip, leaks (for good or bad), through the launches etc. All I can say is that I've been a happy partner in all of it - and that I still get as anxious and excited for their games as I did in decades past. I can't wait to see what they do next and wish them all the success in the world - to the devs and creatives minds that have come and gone, to the old and the new, to the few that get no mentions except on credits to those that make the news all the time. It's a team effort over there, and it shows every single time (not just cliche). There is always a special mention tho.... To the man behind the scenes, Evan Wells. This is the guy that has managed that studio through thick and thin to success all these years as studio head. Maybe he'll release a book someday on his life's work managing Naughty Dog for so long. I'll be there to purchase it and read it. Thanks to all the Dogs. To more years of greatness.

Uncharted 4 GOTY? Are you high? Lmao. That game is so boring that nobody even remembers it. The only good thing that Naughty Dog has done is The last of us, nothing more.
 
Last edited:

Yselacrey00

Member
Nov 20, 2018
412
602
460
I remember literally every part of it. Easily a 10/10 game to me.
How can it be a 10/10,? It starts the same as all other boring games. With endless enemies that can't do anything to you, I don't even know why people like this type of games. What's the fun of endless killing of meaningless enemies? It gets so tiring after 2 minutes.
 
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TheMay30thMan

Member
Aug 23, 2018
558
922
440
I have never agreed with the awards that were thrown at the Uncharted games every single year they were released. If there was an Uncharted game released, it was sure to get a lot of awards. It always felt like Naughty Dog was cheating somehow. Especially with the back-to-back “Best Graphics” award the first three Uncharted games got. TLOU makes more sense, though.
 

Warnen

Can he swing from a thread? Take a look overhead / Hey, there, there goes the Spider-Man
Sep 24, 2005
4,842
3,881
1,840
42
Sea lab
Yes if they make more stuff like uncharted
 
  • Praise the Sun
Reactions: Vick

#Phonepunk#

Banned
Sep 4, 2018
18,567
36,248
885
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not of all time. a handful of games does not compare to the true legends. if they are still making classics in 2030 then we'll talk.
 

Bragr

Member
Jun 24, 2020
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390
Of all time? Its an amazing studio but nowhere near the giants like Nintendo, Blizzard and Rockstar. Its among the top studios right now for sure though, top 3.
 

Manus

Member
Jan 12, 2009
5,203
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And yet their gameplay.
that’s easily one of my best games of the generation, you dope, and i have very fond memories of it. i’ve played it three times now!

You must love walking and climbing. It's pretty much the whole game.
 
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Vick

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Apr 27, 2020
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It was my favorite studio during the 360/PS3 era, along with Rockstar.
They used to constantly blow my mind and make me feel like a kid, and i'll always be grateful for these wonderful memories. Playing the Uncharted games at release on the KRP has always been a magical experience, and even replaying them now make me realize how special those games were.

For some reason my experience has been vastly different this Gen, starting with Uncharted 4 way before i even heard the term "SJW". Something just felt off from the start.
 

carlosrox

Member
May 19, 2020
2,207
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475
UC4 is a pretty good one time experience but as a replayable game it's a fucking chore. It's kind of like an illusion that is completely ruined after the first playthrough to me.

I'm generally of the mindset that replayability in games depends on the quality of the game itself but UC4 is an example of a game where this rule is broken. It feels like the game is just sorely lacking in honest to God gameplay. It feels way too hand holdy, guided, etc. And even the combat was disappointing to me. Way too easy to cheese, kinda sloppy (I hate the aim/recoil in 4), repetitive, etc. TLOU 1 and 2 are so much better in regards to combat scenarios and replayability. UC4 is such a slog I find.

And again, I'm not even saying it was a bad game. It's still a good game. But all this GOTY talk and it was AMAAAAZING I don't understand at all. I get it for TLOU 1 and 2, but not UC4. The other Uncharted were better too I think. 4 really just gives off that vibe that there is such little player agency through the entire game. It's a big problem.

I agree with basically all the praise they get for both TLOU though. Masterpieces, both GOAT classic material.
 
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Vaelka

Member
Apr 1, 2019
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It feels weird sometimes, I've played video games for as long as I can remember probably started when I was like 4-5 or something.
But when I look at these big mainstream titles in gaming I just ZzzZZZZzzzZzz.
Not just Naughty Dog games but also games like GoW and GoT, they just feel less like games to me and more like movie-game hybrids.
But also the new Perfect Dark I just look at what I saw and I am like '' this feels soulless.. '' like they're trying too hard to be taken seriously to the point that it becomes bland.
The constant CG trailers too, CG trailers are fine but they're not '' game ''.

I just feel so detached from the games industry in a way.
It's the same with Ubisoft games for example, I dunno how people can just keep playing those games.

It's the same with haters of games like TLOU2 too or even with Cyberpunk 2077 now, a lot of people just seem to hate it for the sake of hating it ( not talking about valid issues, there are actual valid concerns like bugs etc ).
But I just have this big '' meh '' feeling in general about what the industry is.

The success of Naughty Dog and how praised they are is just the epitome of this feeling.
It's like really...
Those are the types of games I play once and then just forget about.
They're not bad, they just don't feel like games to me but as a hybrid.
Which is fine, but damn the whole AAA industry feels like it's just that now and like everything is so unbearably serious.
 

Vick

Member
Apr 27, 2020
618
1,673
435
And yet their gameplay
Have people returning to all their Multiplayer to this day. For both the original TLoU and U4 you can find a match in seconds.

You can criticize their games linear structure, but unlike Rockstar gameplay is terms of mechanics is flawless in their games and that's the case since the Crash and Jak and Daxter games.

Well, except for U3 shooting at launch.
 
Oct 30, 2011
6,034
4,181
995
They are the absolute best at their craft, but not without flaws. They need to branch out in terms of gameplay. They play it far too safe. Druckman has also taken the studio in an entirely too serious tone. He did that with UC4 and now TLOU.

I didn't even like TLOU2's narrative direction but even so it had me on the edge of my seat nearly the entire time in a way few games can do.

I kind of want the Naughty Dog back that made blockbuster action AAA with amazing set piece moments.
 
Last edited:

Collin

Banned
Jun 17, 2014
273
408
465
And yet their gameplay


You must love walking and climbing. It's pretty much the whole game.

i actually think uncharted 4s succeeds wildly because of it's variety. just think of the opening hours:

- boat chapter
- stealth chapter
- exploration chapter
- underwater chapter
- house chapter
- shooting chapter
- mansion party chapter

like its pacing and mission variety is fucking ace. and none of those mechanics feel clunky or second fiddle to shooting. I can agree the third act drags a bit but most other action games are just like:

- shooting chapter
- shooting chapter
- shooting chapter
- driving chapter
- shooting chapter
- shooting chapter

so fucking boring!!!
 
Aug 16, 2012
9,177
4,082
970
30
North West, UK.
Avid Naughty Dog realist and as someone who shits on them on the reg it's only a half truth.

Uncharted 2 & TLOU2? Absolutely. TLOU and Uncharted 4? Lol nah. Saying that though LL is better than U4.
 
May 8, 2020
3,835
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UC4 is a pretty good one time experience but as a replayable game it's a fucking chore. It's kind of like an illusion that is completely ruined after the first playthrough to me.

I'm generally of the mindset that replayability in games depends on the quality of the game itself but UC4 is an example of a game where this rule is broken. It feels like the game is just sorely lacking in honest to God gameplay. It feels way too hand holdy, guided, etc. And even the combat was disappointing to me. Way too easy to cheese, kinda sloppy (I hate the aim/recoil in 4), repetitive, etc. TLOU 1 and 2 are so much better in regards to combat scenarios and replayability. UC4 is such a slog I find.

And again, I'm not even saying it was a bad game. It's still a good game. But all this GOTY talk and it was AMAAAAZING I don't understand at all. I get it for TLOU 1 and 2, but not UC4. The other Uncharted were better too I think. 4 really just gives off that vibe that there is such little player agency through the entire game. It's a big problem.

I agree with basically all the praise they get for both TLOU though. Masterpieces, both GOAT classic material.

We all have our preferences within their subset of games. I'm a Crash guy from the earlier output.... Uncharted story guy for the more recent. With that said, as much as I enjoyed bunny hopping and carrying idols on Uncharted MP it's TLOU Factions MP that is king. TLOU story and Jak are great in their own rights... just not my favorites. But some folks prefer TLOU, and take Jak and Daxter over Crash etc...

ND and Santa-Monica are the only two studios in the whole industry that I pre-order from.

Gotta get that out of the way early for peace of mind. :messenger_winking:

Congrats to them.

I've never played any of their stories - can't see that changing anytime soon either 🤷‍♂️

Gotta bury the hatchet man... it's been 19 years. :messenger_squinting_tongue:
 
Last edited:

Vick

Member
Apr 27, 2020
618
1,673
435
It feels weird sometimes, I've played video games for as long as I can remember probably started when I was like 4-5 or something.
But when I look at these big mainstream titles in gaming I just ZzzZZZZzzzZzz.
Not just Naughty Dog games but also games like GoW and GoT, they just feel less like games to me and more like movie-game hybrids.
Yeah, that's because you should play them.. i became a spoiled mothefucker myself these days, in the sense i could never enjoy things like Ubisoft titles or the CoD games, and i despise pretty much everything in the modern videogame landscape. Exceptions are Capcom titles, maybe because i'm a massive Resident Evil fanboy, or FromSoftware. Or pretty special games, like The Witcher 3. Hell even games like Mad Max for some reason, i loved that one.

GoW, GoT, Spider-Man, Horizon, Days Gone, i've enjoyed the living shit out of those titles. You mentioned GoW, but that combat and metroidvania structure, it's a truly incredible game to the point it completely ruined Fallen Order for me since it felt like a super lite version of GoW. I can boot the endgame arena and play it for hours nonstop, that combat is like a drug. Same for GoT recently, the combat is just spot on and it's a kind of revolutionary take on the open world with the wind thing instead of minimap, i could never go back to average stuff like Assassin's Creed after playing it. Atmosphere is also off the chart in these games, and i tend to value that alot.

Even TLoUII, outside of it's narrative, i had a blast playing it. Those mechanics, that AI, the environments, it was just "wow" material for me. If you like Resident Evil games you just can't avoid being blown away by playing TLoUII.
 

ivan.k

Member
Dec 24, 2016
252
581
510
25
One thing that you can say about ND games is that it never runs bad or have so many glitches unlike a certain game that just release that end in the year 2077.
And they'll never create something as big and complex as 2077. Comparing them to CDPR is pathetic.
 
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Mar 29, 2020
678
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A studio so progressive they forced a woman out of her job.

A studio so wonderful to work for that 70% of its staff quit during development of TLOU2.

A studio co-president so mature that he makes passive aggressive tweets on Twitter that rile up the fandom against him.

Make no mistake, TLOU2 was the tipping point for ND. They are in decline and the sales of their next game will show it.

They pissed off their fans, and they will not return.