The Uncharted series has always been a firm favourite of mine, from as far back as 2007 when Drake’s Fortune burst onto the scene. I had never been a fan of third-person shoot-and-cover games, but I really liked platformers and action adventure games. So what changed my mind?
Drake’s Fortune delivered the complete package for me: amazing graphics, an atmospheric musical score, a great storyline, likeable, believable and lifelike characters that you really cared about, and at it’s heart- absolutely rock-solid gameplay.
2009 marked the year that most of the world woke up to the realisation that the Uncharted series of games was something special. Naughty Dog took everything that they’d learnt from Drake’s Fortune and made the game more action-packed and cinematic with some amazing levels and a wider range of enemy classes.
For anyone who does not yet own Uncharted 2 (I know, I find this difficult to believe), then sometime in October 2010 you can snag the Game of the Year Edition which includes a whole stack of extra content added post-release. Via NaughtyDog.com.
When I found out that one of my favourite games of all time, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, was getting a sequel I already knew it was going to be great. I mean, it had to be, right? With Naughty Dog constantly striving to push the bar ever-higher and with the PS3 as a platform, great things were going to be accomplished. The end product is a masterpiece. Every PS3 gamer should grab a copy- heck anyone who’s remotely interested in gaming should pay some serious attention. Uncharted 2 has set a new standard in video games for character interaction, visuals, and gameplay.
Some people will have you believe that Uncharted 2 is the video game of the century, but in my eyes it is simply the game of the moment. And rightly so. The original Uncharted’s perks and flaws weigh quite heavily in my opinion of its sequel, leading me to reach a different conclusion to the majority of the gaming press. The original for me, remains a classic and perhaps purer experience. In some respects it felt like next-generation gaming due to intelligent level design. Exploring the Fortress immediately springs to mind: remaining local to one area, gradually scaling different levels and reaching new areas. In contrast Uncharted 2 flits back and forth between a myriad of locations a la Indiana Jones. This is no bad thing in itself, it’s just that as in my opinion there was nothing particularly bad about the original game, it means I’ve not fallen in love with the sequel like most people have.
Ars Technica has a detailed and informative interview with Christophe Balestra, co-president of Naughty Dog about why Uncharted 2 couldn’t be made on the 360; involving the technology utilised behind the scences, but crucially Naughty Dog’s role and responsibility of being a first party developer and how their experience feeds into the wider developer community.
Naughty Dog: Uncharted 2 Teaser is Real-Time– If you read the article, it’s absolutely true. It was the same with Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune which is probably why it earned accolades of best-looking game. Seriously though, on top of everything else, the visuals in this series are something rather special to behold.
Immediately after playing Uncharted for the first time, I had always thought that Nathan Drake more or less looked like, and sounded exactly like Joe Flanigan. It looks like I’m not the only one who thinks this. Joe Flanigan is perhaps best known (in my mind anyway) for his portrayal of Lt. Colonel John Sheppard on Stargate Atlantis. I was initially going to provide side-by-side comparisons of them, but why bother? If you ‘Google’ both names, you’ll soon see the similarity. Also, if you hop on to YouTube, there might some clips of them both ‘in action’ so to speak.
Even if you’ve never played Uncharted or never watched Stargate Atlantis, then this is still relevant to you. Whilst many videogame-to-film translations haven’t gone particularly well, this one should be a fantastic film. Why? Well Uncharted happens to have a particularly strong plot with plenty of twists and turns. You could call it Tomb Raider-esque, but with way more substance. The truly crucial factor though, is that the writers don’t deviate too far from the source material. The source material is already gold.
If anyone knows what I’m on about, then please let me know what you think. I’d love to have a chat about this!
The making of Uncharted: In-depth– Absolutely fascinating read; especially to an Uncharted fanatic such as myself. Check out the video at the end, it offers a real insight into the development process. Of course, there’s more goodness like this to unlock on the game disk. Completely worth it.