7 years flew by for the Playstation fan without realising it, 8 years passed by for the XBox 360 pros. And with this E3, we are ready to part ways with two of our most beloved consoles. Emotionally struck and halfway optimist about what the Nex Gen has to offer, at iLLGaming we thought of coming up with a string of weekly posts that celebrates some of the most wonderful games to have braced the two consoles. The grandest moments, the little joys in each, and more importantly how the title gave a K/O to the titles of the rival console. Hop on, we are taking you in a journey to Uncharted fun with the first title in Killer Games On PS3:
Before I begin, I have to say, to be honest I wasn’t a born Uncharted fan, I didn’t like the over the top action in the first place. But friends can be so persistent, they make you sit down and guide you through their gameplay. One such friend gave me the real taste of the game of this era. Here’s dedicating to him and hoping for his speedy recovery.
My first thoughts after getting my PS3 was – oh man, now I can’t wait to unpack and get my hands on God of War III. These were the initial days when I was lured into choosing my console purely based on one game title – God of War. Hundreds hacked and sliced, millions of blood rivulets sprinkled with joy and there came that famous time in any gamer’s life – sameness. This is the part where I declare my love not for Santa Monica, but the under dogs of today’s gaming era – Naughty Dog. As soon as I played through 3-4 initial chapters of Uncharted 1: Drake’s Fortune, I knew that I was on the right track for choosing PS3 over an Xbox 360. Although it is too early in the article, yet I’d like to put forward this way, Uncharted is the reason why you should get a PS3.
That brilliantly catchy menu track was the first big impression that I got about Uncharted in general. A robust, loud music, denoting the George Lucas-Steven Spielberg epicness (Composed by Greg Odmondsun) which has a lot of ethical musical instruments added to it, to make it sound adventurous to the core. Uncharted opens with one of the most random opening scenes I’ve seen in video games. The story has the capacity and the audacity to shift from past to present and then somewhere in the subconscious. Elena and Nate (Nathan Drake) fight off some pirates out of nowhere and you get your first blood about in the series.
Uncharted is about everything that you desire to achieve in life, with of course the bloodline of a killer ancestor. Nathan Drake is one of Sir Francis Drake’s alleged descendants, and in the series he explores the world, unearthing mysteries from his forefather’s times and of course recovering lost items and awaking sleeping myths. Lately, it was revealed on social platforms how Naughty Dog approached Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (The creators of the film ‘This is The End’) on numerous occasions to direct an Uncharted film. And how every time the creators discarded the idea because they felt that Nathan Drake cannot give more than what Indiana Jones has given to the world in the same genre already. I don’t blame them actually, when one really plays Uncharted he gets to see the humane part of the story besides the game that it is. Only when you play it like twice or thrice, you will see why Uncharted deserves a bear hug from all of us. Uncharted is unlike Indiana Jones in many ways, majorly because Uncharted has more character depths, inter relationships and even more fantastic story build ups than Indiana Jones. I love playing at least three games a day, but with Uncharted, I was committedly hooked to it till the end.
Nathan Drake is not your day to day hero, he is a man who carries his ancestor’s legendary blood, but he too is a mortal, and sometimes fails to separate a good man from a bad. He carries a small notebook and by my standards, he has one of the worst handwritings in the world. Nathan Drake is sharp, but it is you and your acrobatics that make Drake either a king or a pauper. I’ve met people who gave up the game mid-way for the same reasons. For some reason, I find Nathan Drake quite an underrated charmer. Had this boy the glory of his ancestor’s wealth, he would have been twice the Bruce Wayne that we know when he’s with women. His relationship with his godfather Sully is perhaps the best father-son pair I’ve seen in video games, and I do not count Sims 3 in that criteria.
The driving force in every Uncharted title is it’s thoughtful concept, it is not just another video game ready to make some good amount of money. Naughty Dog gives the gamers worth more than what you can expect with every Uncharted story. And that, in my opinion, is why Naughty Dog will be the most perfect game developer company to me. For Drake’s Fortune the fulcrum was the lost city of El Dorado, for Among Thieves it was the Cintamani stone and for Drake’s Deception it was Francis Drake’s lost expedition. All these motives have a giant ride till the end, and there is no reason why Drake shouldn’t leap to the fourth.
Speaking of journeys, one can never forget the epic plane crash in Uncharted 1: Drake’s Fortune, as Nate fights off a bunch of goons, swinging from fort to fort and uncovering one of the biggest surprises in one of the grandest ways ever.
Similarly, in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, the scenery of the war ridden Nepali town, its Hindi signboards, and the typical Nepali houses, while Nate is jumping from post to house, shooting down gunmen, is a rare work of art.
In Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, the chapter where Nate, Sully, Cutter and Chloe raid a Syrian fort in the midst of a full moon night is something that I would remember over and over again.
In the gaming mob, I would often come across people who would discount Nathan Drake as a male Lara Croft, with probably better body movements. My utmost respect goes out to the ones who created Tomb Raider, but Drake is more than just a Tomb Raider. His existence within the gaming family is best the way it is, exclusive. This title is not a fierce, ambitious project but is aimed to thrill gamers at large. Be it in its hardcore narrative story, stunning movie-like action sequences or unimaginable twists in the tale, Uncharted is a minimalistic rollercoaster. Tomb Raider was more about the protagonist, this one, call it the natural tendency of Naughty Dog, has a deeper character summary, down to the last anti-hero. It justifies every single character’s last moves.
Uncharted has deep connection with the real life, the real faces of people as well as the forgotten myths of the world. Set in the modern times, Nate Drake does what it takes to unravel one of the greatest mysteries of all time. In his encounters, he faces Yetis, undead legions of the Cintamani stone, and the demonic manifestations of a Middle Eastern lost city. Expect the unexpected in Uncharted, I think that’s one of the biggest reasons why this title will be ever-epic to me.
On paper, it looks easy to pin point a few mythological creatures and a few lost cities, but to execute them with cutting edge graphics, is something that can make one sweat for days. Uncharted can safely deduce itself as one of the most beautiful games to cast yourself in. The dramatics of the story truly receives all the detailed beauty from the level designs to the ancient surroundings. You will find a lost tomb all in the middle of a jungle, surrounded by tropical birds and insects. You will visualize a mirage like you are really wandering in the deserts for days. You will visualize an ice tower with weak pedestals like it is in the folklores.
If you thought that I was going homo about Nate Drake, then let me introduce you to two of the hottest women from video games, also love interests of Nate Drake. While Chloe is my pick, for being a dark haired proper British girl, with a no-mercy attitude and a husky voice, Elena deserves the same round of applause for being the woman that Nate always deserved. Reserved, yet childlike and challenging, Elena was always Sully’s favourite to go with Nate. And why won’t that be, for he was crushing big big time on Chloe. Chloe was my type, no girly outbreaks from her at all, always at the heart of action and having a whole lot of anti-hero asset to her role in the series. Well, you got to play this to unravel that bit for yourself.
Doctor Victor Sullivan, or Sully, deserves a paragraph to his name for being the best ever supporting character in a video game. His role in Nate’s expeditions is almost indispensible, and is one of the few people who won’t turn their backs on Nate. They both met ages ago when Nate tried to steal one of his ancestor’s items from a Colombian museum. Nate actually tried stealing Sully’s wallet. The duo went from animosity to friendship to raiding tombs and saving each other’s butts from bad guys. Sully, in time became like a father to Nate. Naughty Dog has replicated the same instance this year too, by introducing two brand new strangers to each other, Joel and Ellie, in The Last Of Us.
The gameplay is pretty simple, the puzzle breaking isn’t. For most of the times, you will be shooting through walls, pillars and caves. You can choose to go all attack or stay low and snap the necks of patrolling guards with maximum stealth. Uncharted allows you to play and dictate the game the way you want to. Of course, the joy is in stealth. However there is way too much fun when you are exploding gas cylinders or clicking on a grenade and leaving it inside the enemy’s pockets. And just when you clear your way through to the secret door, get set to scratch your brain, because it’s puzzle time. The puzzles in Uncharted have easy routes to solve, but you will still feel the pressure of it. And in the end when you get the joke, you will have the biggest FFFFFFFUUUUU expression ever. That’s how Uncharted trolls you and in the end loves you back.
Personally, I would love to play Uncharted games as long as I live. Because the only excuse that we gamers like to give to our friends in reality is that we are better off in our imaginative world. And nothing is more imaginative and expressive as Uncharted. I have loved all the Uncharted games and have given them a tenner wherever I could, and to me, both Uncharted and The Last Of Us should continue. The teams at Naughty Dog for the two games are completely different with different creative heads, so yes they should continue. Overall, they should blend Uncharted with the next gen online/offline mode to allow you to see who else is raiding the same tomb. It’ll be epic as usual. But for the time being, I might be plain sad, not a single news about the next Uncharted surfaced at the E3, and I know Playstation isn’t a Playstation unless for Nate Drake’s heroics. This is the game that at least changed the way I game. Kudos to the first big reason to still go out and grab a PS3.