Uncharted is arguably the PlayStation’s most influential commodity, receiving both lucrative prosperity and vast critical acclaim, largely attributed to widely revered, highly resilient protagonist, Nathan Drake. He’s heroic, death-defying antics, possession of adept dexterity, impressive versatile ascendancy of almost any vertical surface, and the upper body strength proportionate to any inhabitant of Skull island. All of this and more besides has allowed Nate to occupy the hearts and minds of many swooning females, who begin ovulating inexplicably at the mere sight of the rugged, charismatic archaeologist, with the male contingent retaining a far more dignified respect, and yes perhaps a minor curiosity, though for me its purely a platonic admiration, honest. My man crush aside, the adrenaline fuelled narcotics afforded by its cinematic decadence, the resonating exchanges between the digitalized cast, as well as the destructive potency of Drakes retaliation to every potentially, combustible architecture are all significant positives that makes Drakes search for rare, often mythological antiquities all the more compelling. But without a convincing antagonist to parry Nates relentless witticisms and tarnish he’s miraculous defying escapades, the series would be a hollow, albeit fun distraction.
As a villain, Katherine Marlowe is more than just an effective antagonist, she’s convincing. She’s not the conventional, tangible intimidating presence, to the alternative, transparent brutish façade offered by Lazarevic in the previous outing, but more of a cognitive assailant, infiltrating and coercing Drake with the disorientation of his perceived reality. She conveys an unnerving auditory restraint of supremacy, adopting a peripheral vision of superiority like a satisfied deity surveying their creation, with an attentive disposition to her cause, stoic and meticulous in her work with unwavering aspirations to succeed at any cost. Though the ravages of time are distinguishable, betraying the predatory abomination that fester’s beneath the shallow, superficial deterioration–accentuated by Marlowe’s outwardly docile vulnerability and her uncanny resemblance to actress Helen Mirren, underneath this, is a seething manifestation of a conniving manipulator, fuelled by power, discrimination and a puppeteer of marionettes from some secret, hermetic society, willing to fulfill any ambition she desires with the simplest of gestures. It’s these, annotations and deplorable constitutions, that transform her into a far more potent adversary than previous enemies.
There’s a benevolent, eloquent air of finality to her actions, adhering to a more sophisticated means of personal torture to intimidate Drake. For instance, reiterating the tormenting revelation of his parents demise, clarifying and thus revealing a secret long-established, though concealed by Drake, and succumbing to far more brutal, emotive lacerations that supersedes any physical affliction that Nate has sustained prior. Marlowe is fiendish in the way that she can somehow advocate a balance of crassness with delicate eloquence, obscuring her deceptive masochism behind a veil of infirmity. Even the stoutest of minds would crumble under the crushing brutality of her verbal jostling, relishing in the prolonging sentiment that exacerbates Nathan’s sorrow, and further ratify the antipathy of mutual disdain between the two. Though Lazarevic mechanical petulance was complimented seamlessly, with the comedic antics from conspirator and mockery to the British intelligence–if there is such a notion?–Harry Flynn, that added necessary diversity to the interactions with Nate, but a similar, idyllic presence wasn’t never really felt with Katherine’s associate. Talbot was an all too ambiguous presence, collateral addition, starved of any discernible relevance to the escalating narrative, that you begin to interpret his inclusion with vague sophistry, verbally questioning his purpose and placement; is he a possible relation to Marlowe? Perhaps just a simple, unaffiliated impartial affiliate? Or even a sexual partner? There was never a clear, decisive reason for his association with her, other than the arbitrary physical occupancy, to engage in more dynamic altercations with Drake, ill afforded by Marlowe’s less domineering physique.
So evil, manipulative, psychopath, a privileged entrepreneur, seeking power and the extended longevity of her existence; the perfect characteristics for a devious female villainess, ironically adopted by my ex girlfriend. But I’ve veered off to another one of my tangents that bewilder rather than enlighten. Lazarevic had he’s resources and even Eddie Raja provided much comical merriment, Marlowe retains the metaphorical crown as being Drakes most fiendish adversities. Well, at least until Uncharted 4 anyway!
Which was your favourite villain? And do you prefer physical, or cognitive manipulating villains? Let me know your thoughts. Cheers.