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While I enjoy Drake's adventures I do feel a great loss at the untold story of his relationships. Uncharted 3 cements these frustrations and provides a rollicking adventure that's as shallow as it is gorgeous.
It is a comfort to know you are good. Uncharted 3 promised to uncover some of Drake's dark past, but having played through his most recent adventure the depth of his soul is not as tarnished as I imagined.
Uncharted 3 continues the Saturday matinee feel of previous games. Drake jumps from horse to horse like The Lone Ranger and sneaks onto a cargo plane like The Man from U.N.C.L.E, but the lack of depth that characterises these shows is beginning to take its toll on our charming lead.
His human relationships are merely sniffed at and not given the screen time they deserve and his adventures feel like chapters in a book that does not have an end. The overarching story is always in the background, pumping away and playing second fiddle to the shooting.
Is this what it means to be the hero? Drake's strife and marital woes are never shown but ever present. This is not a viable way to exist and I almost resent games like Uncharted 3 for presenting life like this.
Naughty Dog have stuck with what they do best and ended up with one of the best looking and highly polished games on the PS3. The duck and cover gun mechanic, however, is starting to feel a little sedate having been implemented in almost all third person games since Gears of War.
The narrative in Uncharted 3 is certainly not bad and the cut sequences are superbly crafted. However the series has little to say other than what is explicitly in-front of the camera. A sub-plot is loosely tied around Drake's ambition endangering the lives of those around him (an extremely interesting idea), but is never given the time to be fully explored.
His human relationships are merely sniffed at and not given the screen time they deserve.
It's the escapism of Uncharted that jars with me. In his quest for high thievery Drake he murders a small army of people. Is this really just harmless fantasy violence -- who is going to break the news to their wives and kids (ed: no-one remembers a henchmen's family, sigh).
Games, like cinema, were a great escape for the drudgery of childhood. Watching people lead interesting lives has long been a hobby of mine. But while I've never fully grown out of escapism I have become more focussed on the task in hand and I face my problems head on as opposed to squirreling away in my bedroom pretending I'm Han Solo.
This means that when I play Uncharted 3 much of the fantasy is lost on me and instead of indulging in the richness of its creation I am desperately trying to relate Drakes actions to my own which, of course, is impossible.
Similarly my taste in music has changed over the past two years. Whereas I used to focus on groups and bands, now I prefer solo artists and singer song-writers .
This auterism appeals to me greatly because I can relate to what an individual is telling me. I want to understand how people feel because that level human expression is both rare and appealing. Perhaps in learning about what makes others sad or angry I can better explain what makes me sad or angry. It's a level of personal learning that can only be accomplished if the message is shared person to person.
It's a level of personal learning that can only be accomplished if the message is shared person to person.
Humanity's ability to share our feelings, hopes, fears and conflicts is our most important feature. Understanding what it means to share a story is the best way of doing that and it is in this crucial fact of life that Uncharted 3 misses.
Auterism and videogames will never be accomplished with games like Uncharted 3 due to the huge budget and risk that goes along with them. What frustrates me is that there is a strong beating heart of emotion and conflict sat just behind the surface and, due to the constraints of the medium, it will not be allowed out. What we're left with is a slightly mindless throw away adventure, when a fly on the wall bio-pic of Drake's real life would be much more exciting.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: