Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, noted for its immersive, cinematic approach to game play, is also notable in that its two leading women, are portrayed in a generally positive way. In this post, I’ll briefly discuss what I think the developers at Naughty Dog did right by these two kick-ass women.
There are some mild spoilers in this post.
Interesting, Believable, Three-Dimensonal Personalities
Elena Fisher and Chloe Frazier come across as real human beings. They have distinct personalities, and are driven by different motivations. The developers treated the characters with respect and with what feels like a high regard for their own individual motivations and personality. Elena is driven by a strong sense of justice. She’s tough and smart and funny. Chloe has a strong sense of self-preservation. She is also tough, extremely clever, and quick-thinking. Elena is more of an idealist, whereas Chloe would probably call herself a realist. The game doesn’t give you their backstories, but there’s enough there that gives players the feeling that Naughty Dog have really fleshed them out. There is a lot of priceless dialogue between Chloe and Elena towards the end of the game, where they crack jokes at Nate’s expense, which I absolutely loved to bits. I think it’s really awesome that both women are incredibly witty and funny throughout the game, and that it’s not the hero who gets all the best and most memorable lines. And another big reason for why they feel like real people is due to great acting.
They can take care of themselves. Although Nathan Drake mentions that these women are skilled and capable, we also see it in action. Throughout the course of the game, both women act as computer-controlled allies, who are right in the thick of things, shooting their way through tides of enemies. They don’t get in your way, and you’re always glad they have your back.
No Women in Refrigerators
The forutunes of Chloe Frazier and Elena Fisher do not exist to solely serve the personal development of Nathan Drake. They’re well-rounded characters rather than plot devices. This point is related to the first one. Both characters are pursuing their own interests, and these interests at times conflict with what Drake wants to do. And sometimes it forces Drake to look at himself, his motivations, and what’s important to him. But his personal growth doesn’t take place at the expense of Elena or Chloe. Neither Elena nor Chloe are women in refrigerators.
Elena is Not a “Bond Girl”
After the events of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, a lot of people expected Elena Fisher to be tossed aside. Elena kicked serious ass in the first game, and Naughty Dog decided to bring her back. This was met with a lot of support from fans who came to love Elena as a clever, witty, and great character in the first game.
When you have two women in a videogame, each of which are or were involved with the main character, one almost automatically expects the developers to do a horribly cliched thing: have two women fight over a man. This didn’t happen in Uncharted 2, and the game’s plot and characters were much stronger for it. Chloe and Elena actually seemed to take a liking to each other. They interacted with each other with a sense of humour and cameraderie that comes with shared experiences—being stuck in serious, life-threatening situations with Nathan Drake. Each woman has some of the best and choices lines in the game, and they play off of each other so well. It wouldn’t have been either woman’s personality to fight each other over Drake because they’re both independent, practical, strong women. It’s refreshing to see the developers not take the easy way out.
Has anyone else played Uncharted 2? What did you think about Chloe and Elena, and were there any other positive aspects about the portrayal of Elena and Chloe you could think of?