Uncharted 4 a video game hit, but could be end of an era

This week, the fourth and final installment of the popular Uncharted video game series was released, and so far, the “Indiana Jones”-style adventure series is receiving great reviews.

But On The Coast pop culture columnist Kim Linekin says this moment may also mark the end of an era of games that play like movies.

“Uncharted plays like a movie. It’s a third-person adventure game, which means you control the actions of a fully realized character … [main character] Drake is praised as a charming rogue in the vein of Harrison Ford or Bruce Willis,” she told On The Coast guest host Jodie Martinson.

“There are interesting dialogue and character moments embedded in the game. So, if most games trying to be movies end up like loud, empty Michael Bay films, Uncharted is more like a Steven Spielberg movie. Funny and touching as well as action-packed.”

However, the game’s strength of “playing like a movie” is also it’s biggest weakness, Linekin says.

“What makes Uncharted so cinematic also makes it hard to want to play over and over because it’s more or less linear — the game pushes you through set plot points towards a preordained conclusion,” she said. “That makes it feel passive compared to games like Call of Duty, a first-person shooter that now lets you switch around the story sequence.”

Linekin says the global video game industry made about $74 billion last year, compared to only $38 billion for the global film industry. That means video game companies no longer look to Hollywood for validation.

Linekin says the coming trends for video games include more virtual reality, more sandbox games and more eSports-type games.

Also, millennial parents will be looking to share video games with their children, so look out for games that have cross-generational appeal — which, ironically, is the formula Pixar movies have used for their success.

With files from CBC Radio One’s On The Coast

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Uncharted 4 ends hit series of movie-like video games and possibly all movie-like video games

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