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Uncharted’s Nathan Drake Has a Luck Meter, Not a Health Bar

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Uncharted’s Nathan Drake Has a Luck Meter, Not a Health Bar

Suspending one’s disbelief is quite hard to do in shooting shooting games, even those that strive for realism. Aside from most titles employing a self-regenerating health bar, oftentimes enemies can pour countless bullets at the player’s body before they go down. For Uncharted’s Naughty Dog team however, they believe protagonist Nathan Drake primarily has a luck meter in-game and only takes a single bullet shot before dying, just like a regular human would.

Posting on Twitter, Naughty Dog animator Jonathan Cooper said most of the bullets Drake receives in-game are near-misses. The red visual indicators whenever Drake gets shot is simply his luck meter being reduced, only receiving a real bullet once his luck meter runs out.

“That’s a mega-swing! Sidenote I learned on joining the team: Drake doesn’t ever take bullet damage,” said Jonathan Cooper. “The red UI that shows ‘hits’ is to represent his ‘luck’ running out. Eventually enemies will get a clear shot and kill him if he takes enough near-misses.”

Creative director for the first three mainline Uncharted games, Amy Hennig, chimed in on the discussion, saying “that was the original intention” in order “to stay more aligned with the spirit and tone of the films we were homaging.”

This means either Drake is just a really lucky guy or his enemies have bad aim. Now, if only I can suspend my disbelief for slaying hundreds of enemies in each Uncharted game, especially the security guards in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

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