Uncharted 4: A Thief's End features a renewed focus on female characters, according to director Neil Druckmann. In an interview with Glixel, he described how, in Nathan Drake's final chapter, the team at Naughty Dog actively considered adding women to the cast, occasionally meeting some resistance.
(Warning: This story contains spoilers for the ending of Uncharted 4.)
"When I'm introducing and describing a new character to our lead character concept artist, constantly she will ask, 'What if it was a girl?'" Druckmann said, when asked how his interest in the work of Feminist Frequency affected the recent PlayStation 4 game. "And I'm like, Oh, I didn't think about that. Let me think, does that affect or change anything? No? Cool, that's different. Yeah, let's do it."
One character whom Naughty Dog changed from a boy to a girl was Nate's child, who appears during the game's epilogue. The original plan was for Nate to have a son; this character instead became his daughter.
That Nate has a daughter, coupled with the introduction of Nadine Ross, one of Nate's new antagonists in Uncharted 4, led one focus tester to call it quits, Druckmann said.
"You have some sexist focus testers who were really upset by Nadine beating up Nate, and really upset at the end when it was Nate's daughter. To the point where we had to ask one guy to leave. In his core, it just affected him. He was cursing, 'Not you, too, Naughty Dog! Goddammit. I guess I'm done with Uncharted, if you guys ever make another one, with his daughter. This fucking bullshit.'"
This is despite the increased presence of Elena, one of Nate's longtime companions. Druckmann refuted claims from some critics that Elena "becomes an obstacle" to the player over the course of the story.
"My interpretation, or at least our intention, is that she's not," he said. "The only thing holding Nate back is Nate."