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The explosive imperialism of Nathan Drake

While playing Uncharted 4, a big concern I’ve had is how the treasure hunter trope affects the places he visits. At one point in the game, Nate practically demolishes a cathedral and centuries-old architecture to get to a clue – not the full treasure, just a clue. He exits to see hundreds of locals going about their business, unaware that their local monument was just destroyed by a greedy visitor.

What does the genre say about cultural imperialism? What do we do about the first-world explorer venturing to exotic locales to plunder, leaving nothing but rubble in his wake?

  • I like this idea a lot. Another interesting aspect of these games you might want to tie in is the realization that Nathan Drake is functionally a mass-murderer. It's very strange and almost comical to see his casually mowing down endless security guards and locals with machine guns and cracking jokes all the way through with a complete disregard for human life. He never seems to deal with any of the emotional repercussions of his murders (a common occurrence in shooter games, addressed very powerfully in Spec Ops: The Line). One aspect of the Uncharted games to note is their intensely cinematic nature. They play like action movies, a genre that also largely disregards human life as well, so perhaps that is where this brazen attitude comes from. – Michael 8 years ago
  • This is so interesting. I've yet to play Uncharted 4, but when I do I'll defiantly be keeping this topic in mind. – Lexzie 8 years ago

Remastered Games and HD Collections in the Video Game Industry

The release of Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection marks yet another addition to the long line-up of video games that are undergoing the remaster/HD collection trend that started all the way back in 2009 with the God of War Collection. Since then, more developers have pushed towards remastering games from the last generation with current generation technology.

On one hand, these old games can be experienced with improved resolution and performance, and can also be played by gamers who may have missed out on them the first time. On the other hand, the frequency of these remasters have become a source of criticism, either for their lack of value compared to HD collections with only one remastered game sold at a high price, or for only offering mild upgrades that do not offer much of a benefit to those who have already played the original game.

With so many franchises getting the remaster treatment, I think it would be a good idea to detail the history of these remasters – the good and the bad – and explore what makes a good remaster.

  • Console limitations may also come into play here. I'm thinking particularly of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection for the Xbox 360. The controller lacks the pressure sensitive buttons of the Playstation 2 controller, meaning the developers had to come up with a new, clunkier way of being able to put down a weapon while aiming. – ODude 9 years ago
  • I think remasters also have a lot to do with cashing in on a franchise. Final Fantasy X/X-2 (which I love, by the way) can only be remastered so much. It has now been remastered three times, and people have been rolling their eyes. I personally don't mind remasters because they usually have some kind of bonus content (i.e. the Kingdom Hearts HD Remixes), and I also like having as many of my games as possible on the same console. But I do have to admit that the frequency of remasters can be annoying because it is an obvious cash-in, and it also means we have to wait that much longer for a new, original title. – Christina 9 years ago