When you talk about Playstation, many game series come to mind. God of War. Gran Turismo. Tekken. Metal Gear Solid. But when you look at the PS3 in particular, one series tends to stand out: Uncharted. Its trilogy introduced us to Nathan Drake, a young explorer/treasure seeker/Indiana Jones-esque anti-hero. In his world-trekking exploits, he often uncovers conspiracies and treasures centuries in the making…and manages to get himself into trouble with everyone else looking for wealth and power. The games usually involve climbing around ancient ruins and cities, solving puzzles, and having shoot-outs with various ne’er-do-wells.
Yeah, it’s so Indiana Jones, Sony actually got Indiana Jones to play the game!
What makes the Uncharted games different from other platfomers and shooters is its emphasis on storytelling and cinematography. Nathan doesn’t just climb an old brick wall; he strains, grunts, and starts to slip after a while. The second game starts with him trapped in a train hanging over a snowy cliff! Unlike other stoic action heroes, he knows he should be scared when outgunned. Sunken ships, dank catacombs, burning mansions, collapsing buildings, occupied cities, crashing planes, Borneo, Nepal, Colombia, the Arabian desert, the Himalayas…each game tries to outdo its predecessor, and almost always succeeds. It’s not always about the spectacle, though; it’s also a character study. What becomes of a man who spends his life looking for treasure? Why is he looking? What does he believe in? And what has he lost? Such moments are often overshadowed by the action, but people definitely noticed; Uncharted has won countless awards and become a gaming mainstay. The games’ soundtracks are just as epic as their gameplay. Nate’s Theme is just one of many, many awesome examples.
Good gaming, good music.