Nathan Drake: Hunk Of Hero VS Cunning Villain

The typical moral-based fight between good and evil is one that sneaks it’s way into most genres throughout a mass of differing medias. Usually righteousness will prevail, leaving the good guy/ girl triumphant, with their foot on the defeated villain, fist held high and proud. Now, with this stereotypical timeline of events that is used quite commonly, you’d consider it easy to predict a story line in most circumstances and find it much easier to identify good and bad characters, right? Wrong. In Naughty Dog’s widely acclaimed action-adventure series Uncharted, it has become apparent that the ability to distinguish between good and evil isn’t always as easy as it seems and we have Uncharted’s protagonist, Nathan Drake to thank for this.

The Makings Of A Bad Guy 

Although Nate partakes in a great deal of saving and other heroics throughout the Uncharted series, he is actually a renowned thief that snatches up historic artifacts and treasures using his seemingly bottomless knowledge of the past. In most cases, the purpose of stealing such objects are for the means of pride or to sell on for money, usually to pay of his companion, Victor Sullivan’s debts. However, it is apparent that right from the start, Nathan had the typical beginning and makings of a bad guy.

Nathan Drake was deprived of his parents from a young age. After his mother committed suicide, his father turned young Nate into an orphanage where he was raised there for a while. Nate eventually ran away from the orphanage and made his way to Columbia where at the age of 14, he managed to acquire Sir Francis Drake’s ring from which point, the story of Uncharted, meeting Sully and all his thieving antics transpires.

Nathan Drake undertook an awful lot of stress during his upbringing; quite rightfully to be fair to the guy and in doing so, had what we can nowadays consider the makings of a villain,  hellbent on getting his own back on the world. However, is he truly a fully-fledged villain?

 

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Naughty Dog’s Naughty Boy

It is evident that throughout the proceedings of the three, soon to be four part video game series of Uncharted, our dear Nathan Drake has stacked up a credible list of bad deeds to have him placed quite firmly on Santa’s Naughty List. During the series we see him break into several museums and then proceed to steal numerous historic artifacts from them, steal various vehicles, break into historic sites, steal historic documents, cause unimaginable amounts of damage, not to mention the countless henchmen and mindless mad-men he murders. Fact is, Nathan Drake has done his fair share…well, quite a few people’s fair share of bad things that could easily have him considered a villain. So why given this, is it still relatively difficult to class him solely as a villain within the Uncharted series? Does Nate’s good deeds really outweigh and rectify the many terrible ones he has committed throughout the series?

 

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You’ll Get No Sympathy From Me…Oh Wait. 

Granted, Nathan Drake has committed many dark deeds throughout the duration of his adventures however it is difficult to pin him as a distinct villain purely because among all his dark doings, his adventures have entailed a fair share of heroics on his part. He’s saved the damsel in distress on numerous occasions, whether it be Elena Fisher suffering a bullet wound or Chloe Frazer needing an unnecessary rescue from a madman (both having important roles in the series). Regardless of circumstance, the fact remains that nowadays doing such a thing is considered something a good guy would do as opposed to cunning villain. He has overcome his own greed and pride for the better of mankind and in all respect the people he has killed, have been at least somewhat more villainous than him. So is it at all possible to suggest that perhaps Nathan Drake is a hero after all? Furthermore, there is the matter of villains usually being disliked whereas Drake, you can’t help but love. This love for him is unquestionably enhanced during the third installment to the series, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception in which we experience a small snippet of Drake’s unruly childhood. Although his childhood may have been the beginning of his stealing and wrong doings, it is also what makes him so lovable through means of sympathy. On a final note, as we learn throughout the events of the Uncharted Series, a lot of the time Nate is purely after his own heritage. Yes, he doesn’t go about getting it the right way but regardless, it is his to take surely?

 

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The Better Of Two Evils

So, seeing as Nathan Drake is hard to distinguish as either a hero or a villain maybe it’d be best to consider him as the better of two evils? I mean yeah, he steals, lies and cheats all for his own greed but at least all he is looking for is riches and pride whereas, the more easily identifiable baddies throughout the Uncharted series are after something more sinister and truly evil, world domination. Furthermore, Nathan proceeds to take down these power-hungry lunatics. So yeah, he may be a bit of a bad guy, but he isn’t really the baddest-bad guy or a real villain if you think about it.

 

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We Love You Nate

Good or bad, fans have taken to Nathan Drake over the years, a fact very evident in the sales of the Uncharted series. In the upcoming finale to the series Uncharted: A Thief’s End, i’m sure Naughty Dog will throw in plenty of new red herrings to prevent us fans from distinguishing Nate as either a hero or a villain but regardless, the millions of fans of this series we’ll be eager to have him back, as a hero or a as villain.

What “Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection” needs to improve upon

It seems that I am the only person on the planet who doesn’t quite like “Uncharted” gameplay and for single very specific reason – the shooting. Because when you get down to it, it’s one of the four pillars of overall experience of these games: the climbing (which is smooth and responsive), the characters (which are likeable and well-written), the puzzles (which are challenging enough and provide the necessary respite from the rest of the activities) and finally the combat, the shooting part of which I don’t find very satisfying.

And it is surprising considering that in “The Last of Us” firing from the gun and hitting someone was ridiculously great. And I know that the story of Joel and Ellie came out two years after “Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception”. I am just amazed that amidst all the praise and criticism aimed at “Uncharted 3” Naughty Dog got at the time, not one reviewer noticed such glaring issue, but still two years later they released a game in which firing a gun at your enemies sounds and feels absolutely awesome. And by the looks of it, the same can be said about “A thief’s End”.

Enemies in the third installment of the “Uncharted” barely bleed or exhibit any physical responses when you fill them up with lead. They absorb the bullets rather than actually get hit by them. And the guns themselves just don’t sound impactful or heavy enough to constitute as a viable threat.

And I’m writing this article not to troll the fans of the series or to annoy people who are right now considering buying the “Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection”(such as myself), but because we have an actual opportunity on our hands to have a complete video game saga, all within one console generation! And I want this to become reality. This is literally my only concern at this point regarding the “Drake Collection”, because the developers already know about the visual aspect of the re-release, but because no one mentioned the actual shooting part of the gameplay (which at this point can still be improved) will be left untouched.

If you completely disagree with me and refuse to look at things from my perspective than take this article for the ignorant mumbling that you think it is. But, if there is even the slightest possibility that you might concur with something that I’ve said, than let your voice be heard when the demo for “Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection” will be released. Because I think we all would love to have a whole series of great story-driven experiences with an excellent shooting gameplay. To have one of few HD-remasters, that actually justifies their price and existence.

6 Things I Don’t Want to See at E3 2015

E3 2015

This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo is only a week away and there is plenty of excitement surrounding what new games and hardware we might see unveiled.  I won’t deny that I have my own share of excitement for the festivities, but a part of me can’t help but feel cynical at this time of year. As such, let’s go over some of the possibilities that I’m most dreading for this year’s E3.

6. Another Assassin’s Creed Game

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“Oh, you mean you don’t want Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate to be at E3?”  No, that’s obviously going to be there and it certainly has every right to be.  What I don’t want is for Ubisoft to announce another new Assassin’s Creed game this soon after the announcement of Syndicate.  Before you call that absurd, I’d just like to mention that two Assassin’s Creed games have already been released between the launch of Assassin’s Creed: Unity and now.  Assassin’s Creed: Rouge launched on consoles right alongside Unity and Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China released in late April.  Also, this is probably a wasted wish as the already announced Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India will probably be showing up anyway and may even bring Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia along with it just to spite me.

Now, the number of releases on its own wouldn’t be that big of a deal.  If I was that bothered by oversaturation, I wouldn’t be a Mario fan.  The problem is that the Assassin’s Creed games have been pretty spotty recently and many have been turned off from the series as a result.  I do think that there is still time to turn the series around, but the worst thing that Ubisoft can do right now is machine-gun titles back-to-back to further exhaust their consumers.  If they just focus on making Syndicate into something great, it may be enough to turn the reputation of the series around.  Right now, the failures will speak louder than the successes and the best way to avoid that is to stop churning out buggy, unfinished products and consolidate the series.

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5. More DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight

How sad is it that I’m already tired of a game that hasn’t released yet, I have every reason to be excited for, and have actively been avoiding media coverage of to prevent spoilers?  Warner Bros. Interactive is one of the most frustrating companies in the current industry.  With excellent studios like Netherrealm, Monolith, and Rocksteady working for them, Warner Bros. could easily be on par with the biggest companies in the industry today.  They could stand to hold their own personal E3 conference with all of the prestigious developers they have at their side.  T

he only thing holding Warner Bros. back right now is, well, Warner Bros.  They have been pulling all manner of shady practices recently and they’ve been continuously getting worse with every title.  They nearly sabotaged the release of Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor by placing an unnecessary review embargo on it, which is publicly seen as a game being overhyped trash ever since Aliens: Colonial Marines, despite Shadow of Mordor actually being a landmark title that earned universal praise.  It was actually up to reviewers to save the title from its own publishers, and I’m not sure how you can even reach that level of incompetence on purpose.  Mortal Kombat X has taken some black marks against it for a rocky launch and greedy practices like microtransactions for easy fatalities.  I know Netherrealm is better than this, as displayed with their continued dedication to include a free costume to all customers with every DLC patch, but they’re stuck working for the kind of people that would dodge gold for pennies.

Batman: Arkham Knight is the latest example of Warner Bros. testing the limits of their customers.  Right in the game’s reveal trailer, they announce that a playable Harley Quinn is restricted to preorders.  Later, they announce that you better preorder through Gamestop specifically because that’s the only way you’ll get to play as Red Hood.  I generally don’t preorder games and no amount of incentives is going to sway me on that.  There’s no telling when a promising title is going to fall flat as companies are becoming harder to trust.  I still have faith that Arkham Knight will be fantastic given Rocksteady’s history, but I’m still going to wait to pick it up simply as a matter of wise spending.  Sell us on the actual game itself before trying to push even more it onto us.

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4. More “HD” Remakes of Games that Are Only a Few Years Old

With any new console, quality releases are always going to take some time to build up.  Still, the amount of reliance that has been placed on rereleasing games that the Playstation 4 and Xbox One could already play if they had just made their systems backwards compatible is getting out of hand.  I can understand rereleasing the Halo series as it dates back to the original Xbox and it could use a fresh take, and the Grim Fandango remake was direly needed because the game was impossible to legally get otherwise.  Rereleasing God of War III for the Playstation 4 with no real selling point outside of “It’s on the Playstation 4” is not even worth acknowledging.  Words can scarcely convey just how depressed and enraged I was when one of the most applauded announcements at Sony’s conference last year was that your $400 purchase now made you eligible to buy Grand Theft Auto V a second time.  The game’s most worth remaking are the ones that have either lost some of their luster with age or have become hard to find.  If a remake for Deus Ex, Mother 3, or Battletoads was revealed, it would certainly be cause for celebration.  What we don’t need are remakes of Gears of War, Super Mario Galaxy, or Unchar…  Wait, what’s that?  Uncharted: The Nathan Drake  Collection was just announced?  And it won’t even included any of the multiplayer features from the original games?

$#&*%#@*-$!* WITH A &$#Ω€`#>(%^_¡@`!&@?; AND RUE THE DAY YOU %$#)∑<&*ñ##¶@>Ω<+ THE SIZE OF A GIRAFFE’S [email protected]&^Ü¢?Ø#*%€Ñ<)_¶™$#!+=ü(:¡\Θ^} AND HAVE YOURSELF A NICE DAY!

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3. Limited Edition Amiibos

While I like the concept of amiibo, the amount of hurdles that people have to go through over them is quickly burning me out on them.  These figures have quickly devolved from cool collectibles with the bonus of interacting with video games into DLC with arbitrary scarcity.  Hopefully, things will even out once Nintendo increases the supply and the scalpers move on to reselling Lego Dimensions figures (you know it’s going to happen), but the last thing I want to hear about right now is limited edition amiibo specifically designed to be rare.  The gold and silver versions of Mario were infuriating enough to see and I don’t want to see the same treatment given to any other figures.  The quantity of normal amiibo is bad enough that it’s impossible to even tell the difference between the standard and special editions of them.

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2. Konami C-Games

I’ve made it abundantly clear that I don’t have much confidence for Konami after Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain releases.  I fully expect them to start exploiting all of their franchises for cash-grabs in the mobile and gambling markets, but I don’t want them to prove me right and especially not this quickly.  The state of Nevada recently passed a bill for that made Konami ecstatic to hear it.  It’s only a matter of time before Konami starts to go for a gamble – literally – but making it at E3 is going to cost them whatever remains of their dignity in the gaming industry.  I can’t think of anything that could be announced at E3 this year more heartbreaking than to learn that Silent Hills was cancelled in favor of a survival-horror slot machine.

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1. Trailers that Say Nothing About the Actual Game

I know I’m really asking for the moon with this one, but I would really love it if every new game announced at E3 this year included an actual explanation of what the game is.  The only thing that I hate to see at E3 more than completely unnecessary musical acts meant to fill time (a trend that, thankfully, seems to have died) is reveal trailers that just play a short CGI cinematic with little to no inclination on how the games they’re trying to depict are actually played.  Sequels and spiritual successors have some lenience with this as we have previous games to draw answers from, but this is the worst way to push an entirely new IP.  Last year had plenty of examples of this like Scalebound and Mad Max just showing brief trailers that couldn’t even depict just the general genres that those games would fall under.  The only reason I know that Phantom Dust involves deck-building elements is because I looked up the original myself after seeing the horrendously vague reveal of the Xbox One reboot.  Quantum Break was a personal thorn in my side for two years straight with nothing but wild guesses as to what it even was.  Fortunately, they finally revealed some actual gameplay at Gamescom late last year, so they can’t pull that stunt a third time.  Still, there is bound to be some new title revealed, and we’ll all be stuck waiting another year or two before being given the slightest reason to care about it.

So, that’s my personal rundown of the worst case scenario for E3 2015.  What are your most dreaded possibilities at this year’s showcase?  How much do I need to shut up for not mindlessly obeying the hype machine and being concerned over what might go wrong?  Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.