I've always enjoyed Naughty Dog's brand of cinematic adventure, though I wouldn't count the Uncharted series among my tippy-top favorites. They're beautiful cinematic romps, the video game equivalent of a fun adventure movie in the Indiana Jones vein. But recently, I've discovered the perfect way to play them, with Uncharted 4 and now with the new Uncharted: The Lost Legacy: with my girlfriend.
Lost Legacy is especially fun to play hot-seat—at least, that's what I've always called passing the controller, saying "here," I'll play for a bit" or "you go until the next puzzle!"— because it has the very best characters that've ever been in Uncharted. Nathan Drake is fine and all, and Sully is great! But Chloe (voiced by Claudia Black, I am a huge fan, all the way from her Farscape days) has always been my favorite character in the series by a country mile. She's a slippery, whip-smart thief who always gets the upper hand, and isn't afraid to get her own hands dirty on the job. Nadine, who is a rad, ass-kicking military lady, is the other lead here, and it is fantastic to see them bouncing off of each other and learning to work together on their wild adventure.
We've talked about it a bit on the podcast, but it is simultaneously wonderful to play a big-budget game fronted by two women of color—and a huge bummer to realize that these characters are not also portrayed by actors of color.
That the characters are so fun and interesting (and make for a perfect oil-and-water pairing with the very best banter) has made this my favorite Uncharted to play with my girlfriend. We're so invested in the relationship between these two that I've had to go back and capture some of the best lines if she happened to wander out of the room. There's one fantastic bit where both characters heartily agree that it's nice to work with another woman for a change, and Nadine shares a particularly egregious mansplaining example… and the fantastic way she dealt with it. It's wonderful.
There's something really cool about playing this game, this sort of fun, girls-only adventure, with, well, my girlfriend. We both work in a pretty male-dominated field, we both have ample experience with what Chloe and Nadine are talking about, and the game—especially in moments like this—felt wonderful and aware in a way that very few games ever do.
It's also fun because we are such different types of player. I love platforming and exploration and puzzles, and my partner abhors puzzles and does best in combat. We can switch off as needed, or as desired, and the gameplay, that classic mix of the above, is well-suited for this kind of concrete task-shifting.
The only hilarious thing is that, well, I play inverted… and she doesn't.
How about you, dear reader? What's a game—meant for single player—that you really prefer to make co-op? Let's take it to the forums!