The Uncharted series made the jump to PC earlier this month with Naughty Dog’s Legacy of Thieves collection. And, where there are PC games, modders are never far behind, ready to put their skills into action.
One such modder is Raq (whose name you may recognise from our Tomb Raider Anniversary piece). They have created the Elena mod for Legacy of Thieves which, as I am sure you have guessed already, puts Elena into the spotlight by reskinning series hero Nathan Drake as his wife.
I am a big fan of the Uncharted series as a whole, and of Elena Fisher especially (you may be able to spot a poster of her on my wall during Newscasts). With this mod being a particularly notable one for me, I contacted Raq to find out more about why they siezed the chance to bring Elena to the fore.
“I think Elena is a very important character in the franchise,” Raq told me. “She likes adventuring just as much as Nathan does, but she knows her limits and we can say she prevented Nate from getting killed many times.”
On the direction Elena’s character took in Uncharted 4, Raq said: “I think [the writing for A Thief’s End] shows that she really wanted to try living a normal life, but at the end [Nate and Elena] both just acknowledged that it wasn’t their lifestyle. I’m not entirely sure we won’t get to see them anymore. They are iconic characters in the Naughty Dog world, so we’ll probably see them again in one of their games, if not a game about them anymore then a cameo, or something.”
I agree that Elena is an important character, not just for the Uncharted series, but for video games as a whole. If I am honest, I was always a bit disappointed to see her character later in the series becoming more of a support role to Drake’s. I know many out there who believe Uncharted 4 was the highlight of the series, but as much as I do still love the game, for me it will always be one of my least favourite entries because of this.
Seeing Elena at the front and centre thanks to this mod, while of course not the same as giving her her own game, is, to put it simply, pretty great. I had always hoped for a bit more from Elena’s character following her progressive debut in Drake’s Fortune – I just remember how amazing it was at that time to see a female character in a game given as much a chance to shine as the male lead, but not in an overly sexual way.
But contrarily (and I am sure controversially) I felt her character in A Thief’s End ended up being used too much as a crux for Nate’s overall character development in a game where, if we are being honest, he is not the greatest of guys.
This overall sentiment is something that Elena’s actress, Emily Rose, also seems to feel. In a recent episode of Couch Soup, Rose admitted she found it “weird” that The Lost Legacy, the “girl Uncharted”, did not feature Elena at all.
This is not to say that Naughty Dog without Amy Hennig (who created the Uncharted series, but left the studio during 4’s development) cannot write strong female leads. Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross in Lost Legacy are testament to that. The writing and character development here is brilliant, and I found myself more and more drawn to this twosome as a new franchise pairing as I played on – an impressive achievement considering how abhorrent I found Nadine Ross for much of 4. I would happily see more games in the future with these two taking the lead.
Even so, I am still hopeful we may see more from Elena in the future. I appreciate her story was tied up nicely with Drake’s at A Thief’s End’s conclusion, but Sony has called the Uncharted prequel film the start of a new franchise. So, perhaps there will be the chance for some retrospective character developement there…