I should stress that that title is a little tongue in cheek. Almost. Let’s face it, Amy Hennig wanted to make Saturday morning matinee films with her Uncharted games, and she came quite close. Close enough for Youtube user morphinapg to edit the 3 games into a trilogy of films. He used gameplay only when it was needed to move the story to the next scene. If you had the Futurama boxed set of Season 4 (I believe) You’ll remember that they did a similar thing with the Futurama game on the Xbox and called it a “lost episode” of sorts. Now to watch these 3 films you’ll need a fair bit of spare time, about 8 hours, so get some tea on the brew and sit back, relax and enjoy the 3 Uncharted games without pressing a single button. Well, except for the mouse button to click play. And the button press for the link that’s after the jump…
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
Uncharted 2: Amongst Thieves.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
It’ll be interesting to sit down and watch all 3 of these eventually. If you go back a few months you’ll se that I did a “film review” of Uncharted 3 when it came out. Basically reviewed the game as if it was a film. The series has, in my opinion, the best characterisation and story telling combination in the games industry. That said it’s not what I would consider great film standard. Story telling in games still has some way to go. For example, would a film of Uncharted have started with Drake and Elena on the boat or would it have started some time earlier with Elena looking for someone to help her find Sir Francis Drake’s coffin for her show only to find Nathan Drake is the only guy she can get to help. They butt heads and generally don’t get along until they uncover the coffin at around the 25 minute mark and find they have to work together to avoid being victims of pirates. There’s plenty more moments as the games story move on that would have needed to be fleshed out to allow for more character development, too many to list here though.
One thing a game can do that a film can’t though is give you a direct link to the main character. Drake’s quips, the way he stumbles over things make him human and easy to relate to, but they way he handles a gun and does all that actiony stuff makes him the guy you want to be and the guy girls want to be with. Because you’re in control of those sequences you get a small amount of that feeling of being heroic. Something that can’t come across in a regular film experience. You’ll notice as the games moved on and Naughty Dog’s coding skills with the PS3 improved that there was more action sequences handled in gameplay. This is something that makes games as a story telling art form have a chance to move beyond film, in their own way of course. It’s what will make a story told in a game unique when compared to a similarly themed film.
I think we’re quite some way off games consistently offering better storytelling experiences than film can but it’s possible. The gap of difference in quality between the two mediums is getting smaller, although to be fair story telling in cinema has taken a bit of a nose dive in recent years too. there’s still great stuff out there, in both mediums, but the basics of story are being forgotten in a mire of lazy characterisation and too many “me too” style projects. Still, what we have with Uncharted is good and these filmic edits are pretty decent at showing just how big a difference there is between film and games and help raise the question of what way should games be moving with it’s story telling. Should they aim to be more like films or should they look for more ways to utilise the unique advantages of games to tell their own unique stories?