Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Mutant Descendants in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

No one can deny the success of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.  Its large-scale levels, set mostly in ancient ruins full of hazards and treasures, feel like a throwback to the Tomb Raider games as well as the Indiana Jones movies.  And just like Lara Croft and Indy, Nathan Drake encounters some elements of the supernatural on his adventures.

Drake has no idea what he's in for.
About 80% of Uncharted consists of exploring ruins and gunning down rival treasure hunters.  For the most part, the ruined temples and other various structures look incredible, yet wildly implausible (I seriously doubt some of these giant structures could have been built without advanced technology).  Despite this, the game feels like it is grounded in the real world, and a few hours into Uncharted you'll think you've nailed what the atmosphere of the game will be like.

These illusions are shattered later on in the game, when we are introduced to mutant zombie-ish characters known as the Descendants.  It turns out that the main treasure Drake is looking for: El Dorado, a giant statue made out of gold, contains some sort of virus/curse/(insert your favorite magic voodoo here).  This curse has enough potency to rapidly turn a person into a mindless, vicious zombie.


Apparently a group of Spanish settlers who came into contact with El Dorado (and moved it to an island where the game later takes place) were all infected.  These mutants continued to breed for hundreds of years until Drake encounters them in their current horrifying forms.  While this does add some variation to the combat, I couldn't help but feel that adding zombies was out of place for this game (also, do we really need zombies in so many games?!).  To the game's credit though, there is one dark, spooky level involving the Descendants attacking Drake at different intervals, which is actually quite good.

What do you guys think? Should they have left zombies out of Uncharted, and kept it as a straight-up tomb raiding game?

2 comments:

  1. Yes. Uncharted was really fun and interesting and there were already a fair number of twists such that zombies were unnecessary. There really was no organic reason in the story to bring mutant zombies into what was an exciting and highly playable game about treasure hunting.

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    1. I agree! It's a shame they had to jump on the zombie bandwagon. As you said, the game was fun enough exploring the ruins on the main island, there was no need to dip into the supernatural!

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