*AhhGuhhrarr!* I was almost ready to drop a completely different article tonight. It was set, constructed, vaguely legible account and then this sexy beast comes rasping at my door, begging me to acknowledge it’s beautifully rendered vista’s, broad verdant pastures replete with hidden dangers and Drake’s vascular physique and grizzled features again confusing my stringent heterosexual orientations! But damn it if you aren’t one handsome devil Nate! I don’t care how long it takes, how much time off my newly acquired parental duties I’ll require to play this. I don’t even care if consent for the hours I’ll inevitably dedicate to Uncharted 4 is forthcoming from my disgruntled partner; I’m playing, exploring and generally “charting” my way to completion! Nothing is going to stop me. Unless, oh god! Unless NaughtyDog delay it again?!
Stop teasing me NaughtyDog and just hook it to my veins!!!!
Having thoroughly exhausted the Nathan Drake Collection, earning 3 platinum trophies in the process (that’s not sad. It’s not. No you shut up!) I do what I always do once a void like this has generated such a chasm in my nocturnal proclivities: conduct a protracted article concerning various fleets of conjectural pandering and motivate some articulate relevance from fictitious events so absurd that it may as well be written in Klingon! But rather than discuss the events perpetrated in a series most are already well versed in, I thought I’d concentrate my convoluted abstractions on the considerably tumultuous union of Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher. Amongst all the theorised mythology and jutted architectures that no normal human being is dexterous in strength to ascend, belies two characters united by severely compromising conditions. Now let’s first establish that their relationship isn’t one of banal convention, but one based of intense emotional circumstances. Your more likely to see these two exchanging gunfire in some desecrated city than chocolates or flowers. They epitomise the contrasting similarities of traditional character relations, stymied in this instance by their respective desires. They really are the Ross and Rachel of gaming, emphasising the conflicting parabolic depiction of yin and yang, just a little less platonic. Their together, their not together; honestly the perennially shifting attempts at marital reconciliation is a little jarring, especially considering there’s little to no context that explains their subsequent division throughout the series. Their relationship is potentially volatile, exacerbated by the continual abstinence from each other, but the facile levity these two exchange in dialogue is seldom obstructed, even by the increasingly precarious circumstances they endure.
It’s a relationship that from the casual observer has been intermittent at best, structured around combustible circumstances and a rather dangerous liaison of two clashing enigmatic individual’s. You first encounter these two on a ship excavating a submerged crypt, with Elena documenting the empty burial casket from the Panamanian brine-waters they aren’t permitted to be in. You soon discover just what exhilarating affiliation these two have with each other. Everything they do is wielded with such intuition that’s it’s difficult to tell whether their actions are impulsive or suicidal! Which is only further complicated by the discordant correlation between them. Both are seemingly apprehensive of the other, yet they soon coordinate a naturally complicit alliance that punctually develops into something more substantial. The bond of their companionship has never been clarified beyond the suggested alienation between games, interrupted smooches, affectionate glances and tender gestures but that’s all the clarification you need really. The acrimonious departure that transpired in the interim and the emblematic band of a wedding ring entangling Elena’s finger are suggestive of something significant occurring between them, particularly considering the strangely absent jewellery on Drakes respective finger. The specific particulars of their confusing relationship is often dismissed as developments we are already aware of, despite its purported absence. Your continually apprised of their separation through expository dialogue but only witness the stunted attempts at marital reconciliation. Despite our adherence that we know these two, the surreptitious contraction ascribed to their congressional union remains a succinct mystery, with thinly veiled distinctions that adorn the tumultuous problems they face. But considering the multiple questionable motivation’s of Drake its small wonder that a woman of such reputed decisiveness is still attempting to distance herself from Drakes increasingly destructive personality. His multiple altercations with pugnacious minorities in some far-flung pocket of the world is nothing in comparison to his dereliction of matrimonial decency and nothing more exacting than his curious incredulity deserves. The dangerous sabbatical’s that invariably lead to such liaisons merely compounds the scrutiny, especially as he seems to attract hostility like Katie Hopkins on a trip to, well, anywhere!
Drake relishes plundering some palatial fortification, prioritising the accumulation of some gilded statue, studded in runes and ancient biblical curses rather than bracing his own marriage. His incorrigible adventurous nature is fun for us, but is interjected with a melancholic irreverence as if blindly ignoring the issue. Because of his wilful abandonment of his betrothed obligations, his immobilized empathy reflects a man stunted by emotional trauma to almost narcissistic levels. Drakes sociopathic tendencies seem rooted in his morose childhood. During one of the more poised moments in Uncharted 3, Katherine Marlow, the cantankerous antagonistic grants confidential insight into Drakes mysterious past. Absent, presumed dead parents, an assumed name are likely triggers, with absolutely no mention of a brother listed in Marlow’s resume of Drakes existence, making this reclusive sibling a baffling precursor to very interesting explanation in “A Thief’s End” (well hopefully). Considering his very Dickensian upbringing it’s no wonder that he has developed an associative disorder and lack of empathy, instead generating keen industry when dealing with assailants, such as discharging witty, often crass one liners after plunging a guy to his grizzly demise. So deftly does he supply inventive vocal humour that you could understand why he treats marriage with such elusive conviction. Yet his seemingly improvised provocations belies a man studiously loyal to his friends and dedicated to his historical causes. They say inactivity breeds complacency, well I guess the opposite applies to Drake. Yet Elena is probably the most important steward of Drakes humanity, exemplifying his own nuptial resistance with a more grounded perspective. Elena is endowed with all the nuanced knowledge that Drake simply doesn’t possess, reading situations with attuned nutrition and acting accordingly. She is also tough and assured when engaged, even surviving the adjunctive explosion of a grenade! In many respects she posses many of Drakes beneficial characteristics without many of his impetuous flaunts and obsessive predilections. She isn’t merely a complicit foil to Drakes reckless endeavours, but someone who can determine the outcomes with explicit provision, with a tenacious pragmatism that is both cogent and practical to almost every variable. With a sophistry that promotes tolerant representation of femininity without the expressed necessity to show off some cleavage or apply make-up, not only is Elena the perfect love interest, but probably the most fair representation of an independent woman, without having to literate it.
There’s an organic legitimacy to their fluctuating propinquity, punctuated by the maturity of Elena who seeks refuge from Drakes destructiveness. Of course their on off relationship provided ample fodder to exchange humorous observations of each others lives, but this is merely the conduit expounded by two individual’s that care very much for each other, even if it isn’t expressed with succinct sensitivity. Whenever the subject of their split is broached in conversation however it’s quickly lanced by Drakes defensive neurosis, further highlighting his permissive attitude towards relationships. It’s evident from his basic lack of empathy that their relationship will continue to deteriorate further, listlessly dwindling into inert spousal abuse. How they sustain any kind of relationship under such frenetic circumstances is beyond me, yet somehow this erratic instability, coiled and stoic as it is almost symbolic of the monogamous ambiguity their lives project. Whether the intended severance of normality is congenial to the combustible rigidity of their dubious companionship, or alternatively curtailed by the uniquely farcical circumstances they sustain, Drake and Elena will endure. If not, there is always the wizened intervention of Victor Sullivan. I can almost hear him, the surrogate paternal tutor attempting to amend Drakes marital complacency, bristling with stout ruminations in the shadows and bleating “kid, just remarry the damn broad will ya?!”
Who is your favourite gaming couple? Let me know in the comments. Cheers.
Well that certainly escalated quickly, which can only be good for us! Today Naughty Dog streamed the extended version of their E3 demo for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End on their Twitch channel exclusively (as far as I’m concerned) for me. Having endured the barren PS4 exclusivity its reassuring that Nate “the one man militia” Drake is certainly back in combustible form. His excessive predilections for municipal destruction, the sweeping environmental ambiance as he strides out of a dilapidated tomb of sorts and reckless endangerment of his welfare are in salubrious consignment. There was also confirmation during the following Q&A session that Uncharted has been variably optimised for the PS4 with the frame-rate locked at 30fps *sigh*. Ah well, who cares really? This is the trailer I’ve been waiting for. No promotional CGI draped in the false depiction of the games quality, but a fully rendered level that revels in the frenetic solemnity of the Uncharted franchise and now the ability to diverge from the the perceived limitations introduced in the driving section, because (Oh crap!) it isn’t scripted! (Just hope I can navigate my way through as many short cuts). March can not come soon enough. Check out the extended game footage below and let me know your thoughts. Cheers.
The Last Of Us depicts a faux, prospective reality. Humanity is threatened by viral extinction, with vegetative infection that is transmitted by virally admitted spores that mutates organic life into carnivorous vegetation with anatomically verdant appearance. Remaining survivors congregate in protected military quarantines, reluctant to escape the tyrannous grasp of a self-imposed militia for fear of the degenerative mutations that prowl the wastes of a once thriving community. Humanities enveloping desperation and preservation is represented by a child, seemingly immune to the cancerous effects of the infection, and irritable Joel is the man tasked with sustaining her existence across the desolate continent of North America, to extract the advantageous properties that grants her preserved immunity from the contamination, and in the process inducting a monogamous bond that gradually forms between these two motivated transients in one of the most emotive, dynamic narratives conceived to gaming. This premise and its exulted implementation has resulted in lucrative fiscal attainment, broad critical appraisals and the possible vacuous emancipated future of the Uncharted series.
Uncharted is one of the finest, most cinematic creations committed to PlayStation, and the optimum reason for the PS3’s ownership. With sporadic, thematic interludes consisting of Drakes jovial pleasantries and self-deprecating observations, Elena’s pertinent evaluations coupled with her astute journalistic tenacity and Sully’s matured philosophising. But why waste additional conceptions on already established narratives with no tangible application for the sake of exploitation, to a series that’s already reached a natural and contented culmination? You get the impression that any further elongation to Nates singularly eccentric trips would be banal and intrusive, with convoluted progressions and disjointed resonance. We’ve traversed various exotic locations, survived every vehicular transportation incident short of space exploration (and the last thing the series requires is Drake defying gravity), do we really require permanent residence on the next-gen for the sake of consistency, underlying solvency and continuity?
Games like Resident Evil haven’t benefited from numerical continuity with concussive endurance mediocrity and displaced intensity. There’s an obvious propensity to extend his adventures for prosperous entitlement, and Sony would certainly appreciate the marketable gesture to increase revenue with the propulsion of an already established series, but a fourth would be a negligent proposal, negating an existing premise for remiss elongation. Naughty Dogs intimate temperament for progressive innovation has seen them construct fresh, promiscuous titles and concluding them before they become maligned by derivative prolongation. Both Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter were trilogies, with Uncharted 3’s symbolic ending implying a natural end to the series. The Last Of Us has refined the municipal narrative of gaming, with an adage to sophisticated calligraphy that resonates with such inverse poignancy that you reflect back on it with retrospective paucity for its aggressive, yet delicate content. With the largely superfluous references to Uncharted 4’s existence or even proposed allusion of Drake’s countenance, where does this leave the Uncharted series?
Of course if it is announced, completely disregard the anecdotal sentiments. Yes I’m a bigoted, Uncharted whore.
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.
Listen, before I begin I feel inclined, no obligated to apologise for my exceedingly obsessive Uncharted inclinations of late. Yes I realise that I gloat about Uncharted’s perfected pursuit to ensnare my affections, as I continually boast of its credentials like some irritating parent listing their childs mildly interesting achievements, and I will undoubtedly be the first individual to receive a restraining order from a purely fictitious character, for my continual accumulation of all related paraphernalia associated with Nate; from clothing, music, novels and even a sackboy key ring appropriately attired in the guise of the prosperous hero Drake. I’m seriously worried that I’ll begin seeing images in inanimate objects, like those interesting fellows who claim to of seen some religious visage on some plywood. I may even see Drakes chiseled facade on pieces of toast, with his arm comfortingly draped around the shoulders of Jesus and the virgin Mary, (though it suddenly occurs to me how much Drake may enjoy how his expeditions could be purely funded by my own charitable contributions?). Hysterical, rather disturbing appreciations aside, its been over a year since Drakes Deception was released, and despite the game still captivating my attention after 12 months, I do find myself musing over what the future holds, with co-op being the obvious direction.
Co-op is often disregarded as something of a renounced integration, with games such as Resident Evil and even Dead Space adapting these features, which have subsequently ruined them in the eyes of their adoring, almost malcontent followers of its craft (despite nay sayers suggesting Dead Spaces demise, though the game is yet to be released?). Both these titles are part of a very distinct genre, and will assuredly alter their characteristics from a game as action orientated as Uncharted, but the same consequences could be applied with the installment of co-operative play. The unpredictability of human incompetence, caustic views of your ability as your continually taunted by online gamers, as well as apprehensive players that could be forced to engage in abrasive conflicts that they would ordinarily avoid by sneaking, are all potentially problematic scenarios that could create more problems and hastening the already pliable discrimination online. Such a dramatic shift in technical alterations to gameplay could potentially disrupt the distinct and flowing narratives that are such unique aspects to the series. Of course there is a simple effective remedy for this particular ailment, to simply play alone.
But sharing the same anxieties with other people seeking to achieve similar goals, can surely only heighten your integrated sensations, with the increasingly dire simulated events transpiring. There could be a more pronounced sense of individuality, because your assistance is imperative to the success of escaping a dilapidated châteaux, or precariously tilted cruise liner. Other participants to your exploits could be incentives to continue, if protection is instigated to aid you in recovering from ruthless attacks. That one gesture of unsolicited aid reverts the inevitable craving to retort with anger to your abusers, but rather instills a sense of regret and needful retribution to vilify your preservation to your contemporary’s. Co-operative play offers so much scope and manoeuverability for the story to progress and potentially alter. Actions, reactions or character selection to certain stimuli, could have differing repercussions on the way the story unfolds.
Retrieving objects of historical, religious significance or excavating temples encrusted with polished sapphires, whatever engrossing story is concocted by NaughtyDog is certainly going to be more innovative than anything my mind can conjure, and the graphics will undoubtedly reflect the forward thinking nature of the company, but whether or not they utilise co-op is probably of little interest, because it will still be beyond my feeble imaginings. And I can’t wait.
Do you think Uncharted will work as a Co-operative story? Or should it stick to what it does best? Let me know what you think.