I remember when I first got into adventure games. It was after watching Indiana Jones and The Temple Of Doom for the hundredth time, after watching Indy commit himself to a daring adventure overseas with beautiful women and nasty bad guys. It was everything a kid wanted to experience outside of a suburban or urban nightmare. Lara Croft introduced me to the adventures of the gaming world with life-threatening puzzles, mysterious historical artifacts and a narrative that entwined me. After Lara started to take a dive for the worse, I fell out of Tomb Raider and had a difficult time finding a game that matched the amount of raw adventure that Tomb Raider possessed. Years later, I have stumbled upon a game series that may forever replace Lara Croft and her jungle adventures. The Uncharted series is the perfect cocktail of adventure, humor, action, cinematic experience and daring narrative that can only be compared to the audacity of Indiana Jones.
It seems our society has recently been obsessed with zombies, vampires and inter-species dating and that’s all that gets cranked out of hollywood and the gaming world. Even worse, most of them aren’t even produced well. Our society’s obsession with zombies and vampires has forever tarnished the true lore and fascination of the zombie and the vampire, dating back to Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” and Nosferatu. We can never get those versions of the undead back, but we can move on to something society has been missing for years. With the run of supernatural disappointment in the media, we have forgotten about good ol’ fashioned adventure. Very rarely have triple A titles and major motion pictures played on a satisfying, alien mystery with colossal action and a snarky protagonist. I’m talking jungle adventures that deal with ancient artifacts and lost historical elements; trap doors and trip wires; moving walls and near-impossible puzzles to unlock clues. I yearn for more of these, and Uncharted has given me all of these elements, leaving me wanting more. There is enough of an absence of these types of movies and games in society to not yet get tired of them. I sort of fear the day they do become popular, if ever.
Uncharted stars Nathan Drake, a lone adventurist and friendly, neighborhood crook who travels with his companion, Sully, as they capture ancient artifacts to deliver to clients. Typically, they get more involved in these quests for themselves. It’s been awhile since I’ve played a game this cinematic and enthralling in terms of story. It’s almost like watching a movie, except it’s up to me to get to the next scene. You know a game’s good when you can’t stop thinking about it.
The character design is incredible, down to the words that come out of some of their mouths. One such example is in Uncharted 3, one of the guys admits he is entirely claustrophobic as they make their way through a tight alley. These little quirks add something to the character, and it’s things like that which reveal how much time was put into shaping these characters.
The action in the game is delightfully constant. With epic fight scenes to battles comparable to that of a high-end film, Uncharted never ceases to amaze with its unique variation of camera angles and beautifully-blended cut scenes.
In Uncharted, I feel like I am a part of the story. I am Nathan Drake and I am fighting for something in every game. I become entangled with the characters and it’s up to me to solve the riddles and save the world. Like any good book or movie, Uncharted makes the player become a part of the story to the point where it’s difficult to pull away. You’re almost sad it’s over when the world is saved. The next time you’re looking for a game to play, pick up Uncharted and see what you think. You won’t regret it.