5. Casino Royale
Ouch. Did you see that tile crumble when Drake hit the bathroom wall? Either that thug’s not pulling any punches, or there’s some sub-par craftsmanship in this gentleman’s facility. Whichever it is, it’s never very dignified getting your ass kicked next to the urinal, no matter how fancy the commode is (and make no mistake, these commodes are not fancy). James Bond wouldn’t know much about that; he was on the administering end of the bathroom beat-down in Casino Royale. Hopefully things don’t end as badly for Drake as they did for his target.
6. Hellboy II: The Golden Army
It may come as a surprise, but Nathan Drake and Hellboy actually have more than just this ominous subterranean shot in common. Both characters have their roots in vintage adventure fiction, which blended swashbuckling with ancient myth and mysticism. Drake is a daring explorer with an intellectual side, Hellboy is a paranormal investigator with a soft spot for kids, cats and candy, and both can shoot as fast as they talk. Hellboy is a demon summoned by Nazis to jump-start the apocalypse, and Drake is, by all accounts, a normal human man. Hey, the similarities had to end somewhere.
7. Godzilla (1998)
Note to Godzilla director Roland Emmerich: if a character runs down a pier to escape a tidal wave, it’s a lot more fun if he’s an able-bodied scamp like Drake. Not some poor, defenseless old fisherman whose fear you sadistically highlight. You jerk.
8. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
It’s long been obvious that Indiana Jones and his exploits are one of the main inspirations for Drake and his adventures. There’s even a Japanese Uncharted 3 commercial where Harrison Ford plays the game.
Uncharted 3's horseback convoy chase brings to mind a similar sequence in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. If there are two things Nathan Drake has learned from the original swashbuckling archaeologist, it’s how to hold on for dear life, and the importance of follow-through on a right hook. Remember, you’re not trying to punch the bad guy’s face, you’re trying to punch THROUGH the bad guy’s face.
9. National Treasure
With excellent motion-capture and voice acting, Nathan Drake is one of the most believable digital creations ever produced. Playing Uncharted, you’ll find yourself holding your breath, believing for a moment that the adventurer and his peril are real. The same cannot be said for Jon Voight and Nicolas Cage’s hairpieces in National Treasure.
Remember, Uncharted isn’t just imitating these films, it’s drawing from them, and letting the player experience it (as Nathan Drake, no less). Naughty Dog has proven it has the technical chops to imitate high-budget filmmaking, and craft a character worth caring about, which is something Hollywood’s been struggling with lately.
10. The Living Daylights
Finally, there's the now-iconic fight that spills out the back of a cargo plane in flight over the interminably vast Rub'al Khali Desert. As GR contributor Tom Goulter pointed out in September, it's eerily similar to the climax of the 1987 James Bond film The Living Daylights.
Above: Nathan Drake's version of midair combat
Obviously, Uncharted 3's cinematic influences run deeper than what we've covered here. Which movies do Drake's games make you think of? Let us know in the comments below.
The games of November 2011
What a ridiculous, ridiculous month for videogames