Apr 272012
Uncharted characters Nathan 'Nate' Drake and Elena Fisher
by Gene Turnbow

Uncharted characters Nathan 'Nate' Drake and Elena Fisher

Games and motion pictures have long walked similar paths. Much of the development cycle for a game and for a movie is the same. You need a story; you write a script, you have a cast of characters, a beginning, a middle and and end, just like a movie. You have to create the pieces that will appear on screen (called “assets”) and you have to rig them, paint them and animate them, and a sound track with a soaring musical score and dialog and sound effects. The only part that’s different for a game is – well, that you play it, and there can be multiple paths through the game to get to the end.

The Uncharted series of games from developer Naughty Dog in Santa Monica, California is without doubt one of the most cinematic ever done.  This fact was not lost on Sony Pictures who had been working to develop the games into theatrical motion pictures.  The last anyone heard of the project was in February of 2012, when director David O. Russell, who had backed out of the project in 2010, was replaced by Neil Burger in February of 2012, and writers Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer began working on the screenplay. The film, “Drake’s Journal”, is still technically “under development”, but a lot of projects never leave development. 

One Reddit user identifying himself only as ‘morphinapg’ decided he couldn’t wait for Sony Pictures to get off their collective backsides and did it himself, editing the cutscenes and game play of all three Uncharted games into feature films, using as little actual gameplay footage as he could get away with to stitch the scenes together.  The results are very watchable.

The experience of playing these games gives the player the sense that they are the central figure in a sweeping story line, and it’s already a remarkable experience both in terms of gaming and cinema. But if you’re more interested in the story than playing the game, you’ll enjoy watching these. Be warned – they’re full length feature films, each one of them, with the longest of them having a whopping 195 minutes running time.

(Videos after the break)

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