Sunday, February 20, 2011

HOW THEY MADE A MOVIE-LIKE VIDEOGAME


While playing Uncharted 2 I thought a lot about how they achieved that movie-like videogame experience, and this would be the list of how I think they made it:

- Great visuals, making the game look closer to a movie.
- Lack of HUD.
- 3rd person view, thus allowing the player to see Drake as an external character instead of identifying with him.
- Frequent cutscenes with lots of dialogues.
- Old artifacts and misteries related to History, common to most blockbusters (i.e. Indiana Jones, National Treasure)
- Lots of exotic locations, much like you see in adventure movies (i.e. James Bond)
- The use of flashback (the player starts in a train wreck and the subsequent levels resume how he got there), common in movies but not in games.
- The use of sidekicks, allowing dialogue between the characters.
- Some plot twists (initial betrayal, Chloe's defection), a standard practice in movies but not that much in games.
- Blur effect applied to backgrounds, simulating an old cinema lens.

Unfortunately, in the case the game is ported into a movie (and apparently they're working on it) I don't think it would be a good one. This would be the list of things that make me think it would be a B-movie:

- All characters are stereotypes. Every single them.
- There is no inner conflict in the main character, not to mention any other.
- Characters come an go in every level without much justification, as the level design requires it.
- Flynn is a poor antagonist. He has countless chances to kill Drake and fails miserably every time.
- Not enough plot twists (it doesn't follow the 3 act's canonical structure, or twists between acts).
- In general, lack of surprises. After Chloe's second (or was it third?) defection there is nothing that makes you go 'wow!' about the story. In fact it's frequently confusing.
- Not only during gameplay but also in cutscenes, the hero sustains an appaling unrealistic amount of bullet shots without consequences.
- In the final encounter the final antagonist claims Drake and him being just the same. A line I've heard in a thousand crappy movies.
- Unrealistic reactions, like when someone is shot and instead of hurrying for help they stop and talk about how unfair life is.
- Drake's final decision about which girl he'd finally stay with is plain stupid.
- A story revolving old artifacts and misteries related to History: Another one? Oh, c'mon.

1 comment:

Truman said...

A group of students analyzed Uncharted 2's narrative and they came to very different conclussions:

http://gamecareerguide.com/features/939/game_narrative_review_uncharted_.php?page=1