Like many of you, I am an Uncharted fan. So generally I like action-packed adventurous and mysterious games and films. This is what led me to watch the movie titled The Adventures of Tintin. Immediately after I started the movie I kept thinking back to the Uncharted series — more specifically the third in the series, Drake’s Deception. As I continued to watch the film I began to get increasingly more of an Uncharted vibe. By the end of the movie I sat in shock and amazement at the realization that Uncharted 3 and The Adventures of Tintin are very similar. This led me to embark on my own adventure and dive into research on both of the titles to get to the bottom of whether their similarities are coincidence or if one title influenced the other. Check out the whole story after the break!
The Adventures of Tintin is actually a movie based on a series of books written by Hergé. There are twenty-four Tintin books in total. The first novel is titled Tintin in the Land of the Soviets and was published in 1929. The last Tintin book written by Hergé was titled Tintin and Alph-Art however it was never finished because of Hergé’s untimely death in 1983. Tintin and the Alph- Art was published in its unfinished state after his death in 1986 by Casterman in partnership with La Fondation Hergé. The book was republished with nine additional pages in 2004. The novel series was so popular that several films, radio series, and a television series were created based off of them. The radio series was produced by BBC in 1992 through 1993. Some of the films that were created as early as 1947, and the television series aired between 1958 and 1962. There is no hiding that the Tintin series was extremely influential and popular since the first book was published in 1929.
The most recent film is titled The Adventures of Tintin, however is also known by The Secret of the Unicorn and was released in theaters on December 21, 2011 and on DVD and Blu-Ray March 13, 2012. The Adventures of Tintin begins with Tintin, a young reporter, purchases a model ship called the Unicorn at the market. Several others then try to buy the ship off of him and he refuses. Later on when his apartment is broken into and ship stolen, curious Tintin embarks on a mission to find out why the ship was so important. He is kidnapped and taken hostage on a ship by the people who stole his model ship. Tintin soon meets up with Captain Haddock who ties the whole story together. In search of clues and treasure, Tintin and Haddock steal a plane and head towards Bagghar In search of the treasure. However they manage to crash their plane in the desert. To avoid any further spoilers I will stop here.
This film was directed by Steven Spielberg and John Williams. Steven acquired the production rights to create a film based on the Tintin novel series in 1983. However production was not started until roughly 2009. After some complications and Paramount losing Universal Studios as the co-producer of the film, Sony stepped up to co-produce and co-finance The Adventures of Tintin. Since its release the movie won “Best Animated Feature Film” at the Golden Globes.
I’m sure many of you are very familiar with the Uncharted series by Naughty Dog. The first in the series, Drake’s Fortune was announced at E3 in 2006, and is estimated that work on the title began sometime in 2005. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was released at the end of 2007. Inspiration for Drake’s Fortune was said to have been taken from action and adventure films like Indiana Jones and my personal favorite, National Treasure. Drake’s Fortune won game of the year, and was one of the first titles to truly show off the power and potential of the PS3 system. This title was often compared to hollywood movies because of its stunning visuals and environments. The second title in the Uncharted series was Among Thieves which was first announced in late 2008. Uncharted: Among Thieves was released in October of 2009, and has The Adventures of Tintin and Uncharted 3: Who Inspired Who? since won several “Game Of The Year” awards. Many critics raved at how immersive it was and how it provided gamers a truly cinematic experience.
The most recent Uncharted (PS3) release, Drake’s Deception was announced on December 11, 2010 at the VGA’s. Drakes Deception has since won several awards, some of the most notable being “Best PS3 Game” and “Best Graphics” at the 2011 VGA’s. Anyone who has played this title is sure to agree that it’s a great game that tells a great story, and that the graphics are truly stunning. As for the story of Drake’s Deception, you begin the story in a pub in London and Nate is negotiating a trade for a ring. Throughout the story, Nate along with Sully, Cutter, and Chloe try to find the lost city of Ubar or “a city of pillars”. On their journey Nate and Sully get encounter several setbacks such as becoming stranded in the desert when their plane crashes.
Both of the titles Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception and The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn are action adventure based titles. Drake’s Deception however is not a movie. Tintin is a movie however their is a console game based on the movie. Being a fan of Uncharted and new fan of Tintin I was quickly able to spot the similarities in both of the titles. I did not have the opportunity to play the console version of Tintin yet so I am comparing the movie to the game Uncharted 3. If you have played at least Uncharted 3 and seen this movie you will too be shocked at how alike they seem. The plots of both titles are about different topics and mysteries and that alone just categorizes them in the same genre, along with plenty other movies and games. Now, the true similarities emerge when you begin to look at the way the movie was filmed. Bigger details such as setting and smaller details such as mo-cap and mood appear to be almost identical, especially the parts that take place in the Arabian desert.
At first thought, it could be a really big coincidence that elements in Uncharted 3, and Tintin are the same. This, however seems extremely unlikely. As I dived into even further research I was even more shocked. According to the PlayStation Magazine in UK, Uncharted 3 Lead Designer, Richard Lemarchand said “The desert is a classic setting for the adventures that inspired Uncharted. Tintin was a major inspiration – many of his stories take place in the desert”. Across the internet people have found several connections with Tintin books, and the Uncharted series. So, the Tintin series was clearly an inspiration for the Uncharted series. But, how does this explain the spot-on similarities with Uncharted 3 and The Adventures of Tintin? Internet forums tell me that this is a highly controversial topic, and through my research have not been able to find any evidence that The Adventures of Tintin took inspiration from Uncharted 3. Hopefully new information will emerge in the future, but for now it remains a mystery. G4TV has a great video showing the similarities between the two. Check out the video and let me know your thoughts and opinions below!