Some time ago I bought my first console. A PS3, because it seemed to have the more interesting exclusives
And you can't look at the list of PS3 exclusives without mentioning the "Uncharted" series. I had only heard little details about it, but that didn't matter because from those details and the cover I already knew everything there was to know about Uncharted
I wonder if he'll ever say anything "funny"
An Indiana Jones like treasure hunting adventure....pretty much
Though apparently people didn't like Nathan Drake. Now I'm rather forgiving when it comes to game characters, I don't "hate" any unless I'm supposed to hate them and I generally feel neutral otherwise (like Jacob from ME2 or Desmond from Assassins creed)
And since gamers tend to be drama queens (c'mon admit it...at least on the internet) I figured he was just disliked for having a personality...I mean how bad can it be right?
So of course we dive into the first game (literally! hurr hurrr), where we are introduced to Nathan Drake the lovable rouge adventurer and his inevitable girlfriend Elena the intrepid reporter,
Pirates show up, gunfight and jokes ensue...you know the drill .And Sully, Drakes father figure/mentor comes flying on a plane to rescue them
And really at this point I don't know what else to say about the characters, you already know them, Drake is the wise cracking everymen adventurer main character...Sully is an older womanizing guy. Which is great...I mean being a player is something I really like in a person...it makes them likeable...it...does........really
I'm actually kind of sad I never got to shoot Sully...for real that is
Anyway long story short its drake running around the jungle killing mercenaries and maybe rescuing Elena once or twice and I'm like ok...This isn't so bad; I mean at least he talks and all that....this fun...I..I like Nathan Drake...I really do
"Strangers trying to kill me. Left my map on a burning plane. Elena's missing, most likely dead. That's great. Great start, Nate".
ahaha oh Nathan, youíre so hilarious!
No...I'm sorry, I can't do it. I was actually making a conscious effort NOT to hate this character...But I did anyway,
Part of the problem is 99% of his dialogue is sarcastic quips and jokes. Drake speaks in a somewhat smart ass "self aware" way... (his catch phrase being "oh crap!" alot of the time) ...you know that works great when you have something to balance it with , but it just gets grating when thatís all anyone seems to be saying
(and it really is all anyone seems to say...other than his name if you die alot)
OH MY GOD NNNNNAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYTEE!!!!!!!!
Aside from the humor (and oh boy is there HUMOUR!) The drama in the series mainly comes across as Nathan proclaiming "everything I touch turns to shit!" (waaahh) or Elena or someone else telling him "No! Nate!....you have to beleeeeeeeeeeeeiiive! But then maybe itís unfair to criticize the game for not having drama on par with say....Requiem for a Dream
I think the main problem with Drake is they are trying so hard to make us like him, trying so hard to give him a personality to make him a character but somehow he comes across as even more bland and uninteresting..Actually no, I take it back...he comes across as even worse, annoying
why? His dialogue? His stupid face? His hair? I don't know. The man is pure annoying distilled into one creature
Itís everything...like the developers are saying to you "see this guy? You love him don't you!..Of course you do! You love him, you think he's awesome! You want to be like him! Look at the face? How can you not love that face?"
Which makes me hate him more
What about his flaws? Well apparently he's afraid of clowns....
that's...really really not funny or original (seriously I'd be more accepting if that joke wasn't in almost every single fucking story ever...they could at least make it something unique like snakes or Porcelain). Well actually I think his chronic "hero" syndrome is seen as a flaw...
Yeah, thatís not a flaw guys, címon...give us somthing thats actually a flaw...not "being too hot headed or too heroic" or some stupid....*sigh* never mind
I still can't quite explain what is it I hate about him, and when I think about it, it really is him thatís brings down the series for me, I imagine the game if instead of drake it was any of the other characters. I realize I'd probably like the game 100% more...like playing as Elena as she goes off "intrepidly reporting" in far off countries and warzones where she has to fight off hoards of ethnic minorities...
No seriously I would play the shit out of that game
I think itís because Drake is the purest representation of "the everyman" he represents the need to have "mass appeal" by diluting anything remotely different or interesting. His jokes, whatís he says when he's in a tough spot, his fear of clowns...he's the Everyman you've seen before...and I realise I fucking hate "the everyman"
And then there's the chart, youíre probably familiar with it
It gets worse....
Because I had this dream once that they took one of my favorite videogames of all time and they-
OH GOD NOOOOO!!!!
NO NO NO NO NO NO !!!!
Alright...who is that? Thatís Cole McGrath from Infamous 2 well that "was" to be Cole McGrath from Infamous 2. See they gave him a makeover....
And the funny part is Cole is on the chart
second one up from the bottom left corner....
Thankfully they didn't do that
Here are the original and final designs
My point is apparently he that isn't "EverymanĒ enough...you have you be an "ultra" Everyman, you have to be a Nathan drake
Ok, now letís look at a promotional image for Saints row the third
Whoís that? Well I'll tell you who it isn't...its NOT Jhonny Gat (Jhonny Gat being a prominent character in the saints row series)
Now I get a feeling it may have confused some people into thinking it was...due to the hair and the glasses, being recognisable traits of Johnny Gat...but no turns out thats the "default" image for the player
Johnny is on the left there
Now aside from the heavily gel'd hair and the sun glasses....our player representative is looking rather brown haired....and white....somewhat "everyman" donít you think?
Where as in Saints row 2 our default PC was (much less prominently) displayed as a bald goateed Hispanic (I think) man, who showed up in the "loading stills"...his face wasnt even on the cover
Ok....ok, I know, its advertising, of course they are going for mass appeal, it doesnít even matter since thatís all changeable in game
Moving....what about Dante? I'm talking about the new design on the right
"WHAT?' you might say? Dante? Look at him! The new Dante looks nothing like Nathan drake!
and yes, new Dante is most definitely on the flamboyant side, but look closer...you change his cloths, and maybe give him a bit of a haircut.....and you've got yourself a skinny "Everyman"
Seriously a character like Dante being a hair cut away from Nathan Drake? I mean what is it about that hairstyle (Drakes quiff) that's so appealing to game designers!?
or what about John Tanner from Driver san fran sisco?
...ok.....ok he probably doesn't count because he existed before Uncharted or any of these games but still
Am I just grasping at straws here?......probably
but now I'm getting off topic, this is about Drake after all
even more hateable in child form
I'm not accusing Nathan drake of being behind some conspiracy to turn all videogame protagonists into Nathan Drake lookalikes...nor am I even implying he had any influence in it (though the first uncharted did come out around 2007) no, this trend of the "Everyman" existed before Nathan Drake
I guess my point is the "Everyman" in Video games has gone from a vague description to something surprisingly specific (either Nathan Drakes hairstyle or close cropped/shaved)
I don't actually hate the Uncharted series...I mean I'm not a huge fan and I was quite happy to pawn them off to the game store for some measly credit after...but I don't hate them, I get the apeal, and I like it when a game treats its charachters and story as important...plus it did make me smile as much as it made me cringe
the problem with the Uncharted series is that there really is nothing there of substance...nothing interesting new or unique...games like Assassins Creed or Deus Ex have something unique to them..Something recognizable in visual style, setting or story
Uncharted has the fact thatís itís just like an action B movie youíve seen a million times before!!
More like.....TREASURE PROTECTORS!...amiright?
And yeah, that totally works for some people...I mean Dragon Age: origins is as tolkein esq as you get and Mass effect is rather "standard" in its aproach to space operna-ness but I love them both
So being "clichť" isn't always a bad thing
That said however...in my case it doesn't work
Like the frustratingly annoying relationship between Drake and Elena...as in lets have them break up in-between games to so we can put them back together again! Doing this once in the sequel is...ok...doing it again in the third game!? No, thatís stupid
Itís like they don't really know what to do with it once they get Drake and Elena together they break them up again, to put them back together...rinse repeat. Why couldn't drake and Elena just be together while they go off adventuring? No really...would that be so bad? Itís not like they can't do their "bickering thing" why not?
Pictured: not Elena
to be fair that seems to be a problem in alot of media..not just videogames..
I will say though that there a few things I am thankful for, that they are vague enough about the whole thing (breaking up/getting together in between games) that itís not as annoying. That Elena and Chloe are actually returning characters and itís not just a revolving door of female characters for Drake to get it on with (unlike Indiana Jones) and while they are "love interests" for Drake they aren't bad characters.....Elena is more or less competent and Chloe is kind of cool aside from being morally dubious at times
she's the promiscuous one who kinda sorta hooks up with drake, whose accent dances between Australian and British and I still can't quote place it (I'm gonna say British) In uncharted 2 she spends her time switching between "sides" (I still don't know what she was doing in Uncharted 2) and not getting along with Elena
In conclusion...I guess I hate Nathan Drake because he is boring, uninteresting and obnoxious all at the same time. He is the representation of everything wrong with video game protagonists and perhaps a symptom of the "take no risks" attitude of the AAA...industry.