Naughty Dog took to a Twitch livestream Wednesday to talk Uncharted 4 and its multiplayer. The developers revealed some pertinent details about the status of splitscreen play and the PlayStation 4 exclusive’s framerate situation along the way.
Splitscreen has been a hot topic this console generation as fewer and fewer games have made use of it. Even old standby franchises that have made use of it in the past have skipped the feature, such as Halo 5. With Uncharted 4 adding co-op play later this year, surely it will have splitscreen play, right? Well, not really.
Lead Game Designer Robert Cogburn said, “Splitscreen is a very technically challenging thing for us to do right now. The process of creating it, there are a number of hurdles and obstacles that need to be handled while you’re putting splitscreen together, particularly on the scripting side of things. In an effort to ensure that we hit our deadlines, of which we’ve pushed multiple times, we had to sort of shelve splitscreen for a while.
“The reason we didn’t put it on the multiplayer roadmap is because we are not 100 percent confident we’re going to be able to pull it off. It’s definitely something we want to do. We are looking at it right now. The reason we didn’t mention it is because we didn’t want to make any promised we couldn’t keep. Understand that it is something we are actively pursuing right now.”
The Naughty Dog developers also confirmed the Uncharted 4 single-player campaign will run at 1080 and 30 fps while the multiplayer will hit 60 fps at only 900p. The decision to go with the lower framerate in campaign was to ensure the PlayStation 4 exclusive could hit maximum graphical fidelity while maintaining a steady framerate. “To me, a locked 30fps is way better than a variable 60fps,” co-lead designer Kurt Margenau explained in a livestream from 2015 (via GameSpot).
This was another decision affected by development time and trying to get the game released without any further detailed.
“If we wanted to hit a locked 60fps, there’s a lot of optimizations in the environments that would have to happen,” fellow co-lead designer Anthony Newman added. “This would make each level take longer to make. The same amount of geometry would take longer to make because it would have to be so heavily optimized. And so that could end up having story repercussions. ‘We want to have this scene, but we don’t have the time to make the environment.’ It’s a feature, like any other, and you have to consider it against everything else.”
Uncharted 4 is set to launch Tuesday, May 10 for the PS4. It is going the free DLC route for multiplayer with optional microtransactions.
[Edit: Corrected typo on multiplayer resolution. Added clarification on origin of framerate statement.]