10 blockbusters that clearly influenced Uncharted 3

The Uncharted series prides itself on cinematic presentation and blistering, blockbuster-style action, with a mix of story and spectacle going on that’s normally reserved for the silver screen. Several directors have toyed with adapting the series to film, but whatever Hollywood may give us, the authentic Nathan Drake experience will always remain on PlayStation 3. 

Still, Hollywood’s influence is all over Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. And while the series has always been a sort of Raiders of the Lost Ark/Da Vinci Code mashup, a few more films come to mind now that we've all got our hands on the third game.

Using last month's launch trailer as a reference, we've picked apart some of Uncharted 3's most visible homages to some of the most rollicking adventure films of all time. Check out the trailer and our screen grabs below, and remember that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

1. Lawrence of Arabia

It’s been reported that Lawrence of Arabia was a chief influence on Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, and seeing these two shots back to back makes it clear. Director David Lean’s sprawling epic was a blockbuster for its time, combining hundreds of extras, on-location shooting in Moroccan deserts, and a $15 million budget, which was big, big money in 1962.

2. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Uncharted 3's launch trailer borrowed a visual from Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. After Peter Jackson’s magnum opus, nothing says epic like a ring with some mysterious writing on it. Just like Frodo, Drake’s fate is intertwined with a mysterious ring he (seemingly) inherited. He can’t seem to get rid of it either, once having left it in the tomb of its original owner, Sir Francis Drake, only to have Elena bring it right back. Like Hobbit, like treasure hunter. And like LotR's One Ring, Drake's ring plays a huge role in the series' climax.

Also, here's a shot of Drake exploring a vast underground crypt by torchlight, which brings to mind the Fellowship’s journey through Moria.

3. Inception

Between Inception and Uncharted 3, outdoor cafes are becoming the place to have an intimidating sit-down full of pensive glances and penetrating stares. While Drake’s meeting with Katherine Marlowe doesn't end quite as explosively as Cobb’s talk with Ariadne, you never know what that calculating Brit has up her sleeve. Maybe everything that came before was a dream? The sequence that precedes the chat certainly feels like one...

4. Star Wars: A New Hope

After some major midair turbulence, Drake ends up trudging through a seemingly endless desert. From high above, he’s just a lonely speck. Seem familiar? The same thing happened to those luckless droids in Star Wars, C-3PO and R2-D2. At least Drake doesn’t have to worry about sand in his rotors. Or Jawas.


  • CrazyPikachu - December 8, 2013 7:36 a.m.

    There's more that they took from The Living Daylights. What about Drake gaining a friendship with an Arab chieftain? And the part where they assault the abandoned desert town?
  • nihilism - November 6, 2011 10:50 p.m.

    It also reminded me of real life because the characters look like humans.
  • SolCross - November 6, 2011 1:51 p.m.

    A lot of this really seems like a stretch. Many of these are pretty common sequences in film/television.
  • fashioneer - November 6, 2011 7:04 a.m.

    Welcome to ==== ==
  • Godzillarex - November 6, 2011 1:38 a.m.

    Awesome article! When Drake jumps on to the plane from the jeep, it seemed just like the scene in Passenger 57 when Wesley Snipes does the same thing.
  • Godzillarex - November 6, 2011 1:41 a.m.

    And running through the flipped ship reminded me of Poseidon Adventure.
  • dispatcher_83 - November 6, 2011 6:03 a.m.

    Absolutely felt like the poseidon adventure!!!
  • EBAX1 - November 5, 2011 3:41 p.m.

    A lot of these I wouldn't call inspirations, just movies with similar scenes. I don't think its fair to call Casino Royale an inspiration when they both had one scene that was somewhat similar. Theres a lot of fight scenses in washrooms in movies
  • gilgamesh310 - November 5, 2011 2:43 p.m.

    I noticed some of these, but I think the Godzilla one is just coincidence. I believe House of the Dead 2 had a very blatant rip off of that scene at one point.
  • Wade D McGinnis - November 5, 2011 12:21 p.m.

    Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, awwwwwwwwwww.
  • NightCrawler_358 - November 5, 2011 11:05 a.m.

    Very nice, I spotted a bunch of these whilst playing the game myself. The whole idea is very indiana jone-sy, but I really thought the bathroom fight was very similar to the scene in Casino Royale too!
  • PrancingCera - November 5, 2011 3:58 a.m.

    I've noticed that with the custom hero online, if you buy the Adventurer Shirt, and the Fedora he looks remarkably like Indiana Jones.
  • Sleuth - November 4, 2011 9:22 p.m.

    Man, I like they way they are handling this series.
  • DevonOO7 - November 4, 2011 7:17 p.m.

    Awesome! The bathroom scene made me think of the Splinter Cell Conviction
  • RedHarlow - November 4, 2011 7:22 p.m.

    That's exactly what I thought.
  • eclipsed - November 4, 2011 6:51 p.m.

    Fun article and great idea.
  • DaveGoose - November 4, 2011 6:45 p.m.

    You included 2 Bond movies????? You win!
  • MyCoolWhiteLies - November 4, 2011 5:30 p.m.

    Some of these feel a bit like a stretch (maybe just the Inception one) but I feel like you guys missed an obvious one. The spiders in this game were clearly inspired by The Mummy, and it's man-eating insects. In fact, this whole series isn't that far off from The Mummy in terms of tone and subject matter.

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