Uncharted: Nathan Drake Never Takes Bullet Damage

Nathan Drake doesn't take bullet hits in the Uncharted games. He's just lucky enough to avoid them, a designer confirms...

Entire books could probably be written about the suffering of Nathan Drake. During his globe-wandering adventures in the Uncharted series, Drake has fallen from high places and landed on punishingly hard surfaces; he’s been in plane, train, and car crashes; he’s been in an incalculable number of fist-fights. All this, and we haven’t talked about all those screaming gun-battles he’s been through.

Over the course of the decade since Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was released on the PlayStation 3, Nathan’s been shot at an incalculable number of times – and yet, according to one of the developers at Naughty Dog, Drake isn’t quite the hole-riddled bullet magnet you might have thought he was. 

On Twitter, animator Jonathan Cooper provided a brief insight into what the “red UI” in the Uncharted series actually means:

“Drake doesn’t ever take bullet damage,” Cooper reveals. “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.”

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Director and Uncharted creator Amy Hennig chimed in to confirm all this:

“True!” Hennig wrote. “That was the original intention – to stay more aligned with the spirit and tone of the films we were homaging.”

Assuming you’re a skillful enough player, it’s theoretically possible to guide Drake through an entire Uncharted adventure without him taking a single bullet – they’ll all whiz past his head, like an episode of The A-Team.

Drake may suffer a lot in the Uncharted franchise, but if and when he eventually gets gunned down, that’s basically all the player’s fault. Sorry, Nathan – we’ll try harder next time, we promise.