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Games You Probably Like, But Shouldn’t: Uncharted

July 9, 2009

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Bruce Willis was dead at the end of Sixth Sense. I would have put a spoiler warning if the conclusion hadn’t become a pop culture reference the likes of which even The Lonely Island makes quips about. In a movie completely revolving around the dead, the ending may have come as a shock for most, but it held within the bounds of reason for that movie’s reality. That’s how M. Night mystified audiences worldwide, reasonable surprise within a set mode of reality.

What happened from there? In Signs, a movie about aliens hailed the power of God, a presence that had been non existent, if not shunned through the rest of the film. In The Village, not only were there no monsters, but a commune somehow existed in secret in America without a single fly over. M. Night strayed from the surprising, given reality and found his way into writing reality-jarring, even the false reality-jarring, endings that leave much to be desired.

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Disclaimer: SPOILERS for the Jak series, and Silent Hill 2 in this paragraph.

But wait! Brandon! What does this have to do with games that I should or shouldn’t like? Everything. Game designers have gone down the same path. Initially, they understood the same reality-bound ideas. For instance, at the end of Jak 3, even though it was hinted at, it was great to see that Jak had sent himself through time. What about Silent Hill 2? James smothered his wife and I sat there with my mouth agape. Like M. Night though, the gaming community has fallen headlong through the rabbit hole, losing our sense within dramatic endings. Final Fantasy IX had an excessively unnecessary final boss that had no impact on the plot. The well accepted inFAMOUS had a weak, even poorly personalized ending that I won’t spoil. There is one game worse than any I can imagine though; heralded as a diamond in the next generation rough, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune has a conclusion as discordant from the rest of the game as The Crystal Skull.

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Grab your whip and your brown- Wait, this isn’t Indiana Jones! This is Uncharted; though the similarities are staggering. Drake runs around hunting for treasure, shooting up bad guys, bumping into Nazis, and making sarcastic comments all while making a woman fall in love with him. Here’s the thing though; I was completely okay with it. In fact, I was enamored with the jungle treasure exploration genre, one that I thought had burnt out years ago. Aside from a few poorly designed Indiana Jones games, Pitfall was basically the culmination of such a game. Then came Uncharted.

I can happily say that I joyfully played the game with the same lens as everyone else: “This is absolutely fantastic. This doesn’t need a single thing added.” So, rather than allow me to enjoy the game to its completion, the writers of Uncharted decided we the gamers needed a twist. Why? Because apparently, there can not be any modern work of popular fiction these days that does not include some form of neo deus ex machina.

Zombie-monster-mutants, that’s how they pulled a M. Night on the gamers. They completely twisted the genre to butcher the treasure hunting action adventure much like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’s alien. I guess I should go out on a limb and say…

SPOILER ALERT

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A statue that causes a mutation in people almost instantaneously, creating Spanish zombie monsters? I mean really Naughty Dog, who shot the writers and replaced them with idiot thirteen year olds trying to think of the coolest thing they’d want to fight? Let alone the fact that there’s no possible way to mutate every strip of DNA in a human body simultaneously, but to flounder so pathetically in writing? It’s amateur. On a side note, zombies (though Nazi zombies are much better) are up there on the greatest fantasy enemies list, right next to futuristic robot ninjas; however, there is a time and place for them, most likely in a game with Dragonforce playing in the background and Jack Black being a voice actor. There is no place for these low brow ideas within a seamlessly well done genre; once again, I present the recent debauchery of Indian Jones as an excessive parallel.

Where did we go wrong? “Nothing is new since Rome.” That quote began the downfall of creativity. Thanks to it, all artists and writers have started to fight against it, hence the rise of modernism in all creative forms. Films and video games were hit with this trend the latest due to their late blooming emergence; however, now that the technology is up and running full swing, every writer and director is out to out do the other. What’s wrong with writing a treasure hunting game that stays in that genre? What about a dramatic movie that doesn’t require a surprise science fiction twist to make it interesting? A word to all creative companies out there, film, publishing, and videogames: Your audiences don’t always need a twist. Even if it’s an old story, if it’s told well enough with a new breath of life, then we’ll love it.

So, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is a game you probably like, but… Oh no! Futuristic robot ninjas! I’ll have to fight them off rather than finish my sign off… Eat lead Metallic Jackie Chan!

-Brandon

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2009 12:48 pm

    I’d like to apologize that there have been so many updates to this piece. Unfortunately, there were some typos, unlabeled spoilers, and changes made that were unbeknown to me until this morning.

    Update: Let it be known that I just got platinum on inFAMOUS. I hate blast shards and yet, I still feel tickled when the game tells me I did a good job.

  2. Masonvrocks permalink
    July 10, 2009 11:17 pm

    Thank you so very much, the exact same reason I hated this game, no matter how good the rest was. Hopefully uncharted 2 doesnt do the same thing >.>

    Not to mention you HAD to shoot them, they dodged every single melee attack.

    Sorry, still pisses me off

  3. Celes Leonhart permalink
    July 14, 2009 10:25 pm

    Hey guys, Brandon! Sorry for the belated response; busy week and all that.

    Completely knackered and I’ve got a gig to go to tomorrow, which fortunately accompanies that I don’t have much to say. Your form doesn’t wave; top-notch stuff again this week dude. I personally haven’t even got far enough in Uncharted to see the event of bugger-up fame (just sold my Playstation 3, profits), but endless people criticise the ending so I’m guessing it’s deserved. It’s strange ‘cos this is one of those games where it looks like they actually took the writer’s opinion serious; where do they come up with this junk?

    Also: “however, there is a time and place for them, most likely in a game with Dragonforce playing in the background and Jack Black being a voice actor.” Shit-hot line, haha.

    What’s next on the list to-do?

    • July 14, 2009 11:21 pm

      Celes, good to hear from you! I’m glad you’re still running the empty “liking Brandon’s articles” bandwagon, haha.

      To be honest with you, I’ve got a list of games that I’m ready to destroy for this site; however, it has seemed as if everything else has come to a crashing halt as far as posts go. For instance, I was a special guest in last week’s video blog, which hasn’t made its way onto here. Now, I’m friends with both founders of the site and under normal circumstances I would know what’s going on. The Big Man ha kind of kept me up to date on what’s happening on his end. As far as Garrett… Well, as far as I know, he may have moved to India in search of an eight armed hottie (highly unlikely seeing as he’s engaged, but the point is still made).

      Really, it comes down to this site being a team effort. Considering I have a full time job and a life to attend to while not writing this column as do the others, I don’t want there to be pressure on me to be the one to “keep the site fresh,” when I only have one column I volunteered to do to assist the site. I’d love to say I have Mass Effect, Fable II, and others in the works right now, but I’m going on hiatus to make sure the whole team is still together for this site.

      • Celes Leonhart permalink
        July 15, 2009 2:08 am

        This bandwagon’s still a-rolling, no doubt! Hah

        I was wondering what had happened over here. I’m a terrible time keeper myself, so I really don’t know how long it’s been, but it was getting to the point where even I was wondering where everybody had wandered off to, haha. Shame too, this blog was FIRING out consistent, good quality shit. I’m still here afterall. That said, real life issues always come before fame and e-glory, so I hope everything is well with the other two (and Jared too!) guys!

        Shame to hear you’re dropping off until further notice, but obviously I completely understand why. I’d try and throw some writing your way to help you guys out, but I really haven’t got a clue where to start. Haven’t got the gaming experience you guys have, or the cynical approach you can take to games so detailed (I’m easily entertained). Could always give it a bash if you guys are following through but are a writer down though! Hope you stick around generally though, otherwise I’ll be leaving comments to myself haha. In terms of your new article, I was going to comment that with my other one today, but I was being called in game and wanted to go bed soon after. (I say this as it now approaches 3:02 am; I will be snoring during Nine Inch Nail’s final tour.)

        If you’ve got msn, you should definitely throw me an add if you don’t mind. That way I can keep up with all the business with ease, especially since the forum hasn’t surfaced yet. If you’re fine with that, you’ll find me on cruber@btinternet.com. If not, I’m always about Neoseeker too!

        Hoping things pick up with you guys, it was all apparently going for the better. Hopefully that vlog sees the light of day too, haha.

  4. July 16, 2009 9:12 pm

    Good news alert!

    We’ve all had contact and we’re getting the site moving again. My posts will be on Mondays from here on in. As for MSN, I live in America; we use AIM… lulz.

  5. Champagne OLeary permalink
    August 1, 2009 9:40 pm

    Sixth Sense and inFamous aren’t relevant. They contained plot twists at the end which reversed what the viewer and the protagonist was led to believe.

    Uncharted is a game about a magical object doing magical things. There’s no twist or surprise. Did you just want a game about men shooting each other over a big lump of gold?

    Why are you talking nonsense about Indiana Jones? The original movies featured Nazis with their face being melted off by the Arc of the Covenant, Voodoo Dolls and the Holy Grail, and you’re complaining about aliens?

    You’re talking nonsense.

  6. Tommy permalink
    August 10, 2009 5:24 am

    Wow i have so many opinions about this, but my whole point was covered by champagne oleary about the whole indiana jones movies beeing about the paranormal from the get go, so if this game is a copy of the movie i’d say they were doing a good job, keeping it fresh with thai pirates (at least i think their thai, may be wrong) as supposed to german nazis in the movies.

    anyway i would love to debate with you as we seem to have alot of different opinions, and methinks it would make for great intellectual stimulation 🙂 feel free to add me on psn to tell me how wrong i am with my ffvi rant 😛 psn: Scuzzy86

  7. Trebor permalink
    August 28, 2009 10:57 pm

    “Let alone the fact that there’s no possible way to mutate every strip of DNA in a human body simultaneously.”

    This is where I stopped reading. I’m sorry if this is earth-shattering to you, but this is Naughty Dog’s game, which means it’s their universe, which means they can do whatever the heck they want. If they want to put a curse on El Dorado, then they can. If they want to make that curse turn people into monsters (zombies? Do you even know what a zombie is? I’ll give you a hint: Not those), then they can.

    Besides, do you have any idea what Naughty Dog has in store for this? Do you know if they have an ace up their sleeve? Do you know what the next Uncharted will be like? I’m gonna go out on a limb and say no.

    Complaining about things without firsthand knowledge and experience doesn’t make you a gaming activist, it makes you a whiny, self-entitled brat.

    • September 2, 2009 4:46 pm

      I believe his point was that up until this event the player was led to believe that this was more or less OUR world.

      • Trebor permalink
        September 4, 2009 12:18 am

        Well, apparently, it’s not, so….get over it.

      • September 16, 2009 3:07 pm

        its his opinion and no one is making you agree with it, so YOU get over it

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