Monday, 21 May 2012

The Nathan Drake Look-Alike Competition!

Last week I wrote a review of LightBox Interactive's Starhawk, which I really wanted to like, but didn't. There were lots of reasons I didn't, and one aspect of its design which made all its shortcomings that much more apparent. See if you can guess what it is...

Where have I seen that scarf before?

Now, Uncharted 3 and Starhawk aren't really trying to do the same thing, but they both feature dudes out in the desert trying to shoot down waves of enemies. And solid shooting sequences are just one aspect of Uncharted 3 that made it so awesome, the others being spectacular platforming, an almost incomparably good script and the thrilling story. So really, given that shooting is not Starhawk's forte, it's pretty unfortunate that Emmett is wearing Nathan's scarf.

It's like the way Lady Gaga accentuates the things she is least good at by making sure she's always doing them at a time when she's dressed exactly like Madonna.

I have now compared Nathan Drake to both Tori Amos and Madonna. And now I'm going to compare him to someone else! Here's a picture of him in Uncharted 2:

Hey, nice jacket Nate. Where did you get it? You didn't have it when you arrived in Tibet, so you must have got it somewhere. It's almost like someone left it in Tibet ten years ago, and you thought you'd make off with it. But who could have done that?


I replayed Tomb Raider II recently (something I will of course be documenting in due course), and was struck by how much the Barkhang Monastery level resembled the Nepali mountain village and monastery sequences in Uncharted 2.

Now, I know they were both based on real-life places, and that both look remarkably similar to those places, which is impressive for a game as old as Tomb Raider, but the similarities in the architecture are more striking because of the similarities in the platforming. When Nathan balances on precarious ledges and leaps to a moutain covered in flags, it's hard not to imagine Lara doing the same thing. And they both spend a lot of time faffing about with prayer wheels.

Still, the comparison doesn't really hurt either game, since platforming's about all they have in common. And if the similarity is intentional, I would imagine Nathan's paying homage to Lara, rather than just ripping her off.

I guess the moral of the story is, if you're going to imitate someone, at least make sure you look as good as them in a flight jacket. Or something.