Imperfect Perfection: Is that neck hair on my screen?

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Why does almost every character in today's video games look like they just stepped out of Supercuts?

Space Marines with their clean-cut neck lines, their ever permanent 4 o'clock shadows. Pre-pubescent teens, burdened with Armageddon, rockin' their scene kid flips--It's just not life.

Enter Nathan Drake, he's not a space marine and he's definitely not some tight leather pants wearing, 100 zippers sparkling, whiny, emo-punk.

Touted as the "every man" it's the subtle flaws that make him stand out in the sea of the aforementioned. His awkward elegance and choreographed clumsiness emerge, creating a reality that makes the fantasy believable.

Immersion in games-- the big trend/buzz word that won't be going away anytime soon. From the epic, non-linear, sandbox titles ( Fallout3, GTA, WOW) to the simpler, yet sophisticated mind benders ( Scribblenauts, Portal)--engrossing and captivating the user on subconscious levels.

We play games so much to escape the reality that surrounds us. Sliding into roles to save a princess, fight off a zombie apocalypse, or just take the Browns to the Super Bowl. But it's rare that the less apparent complexity of a game, can lead to possibly the current pinnacle of game immersion.

With Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Naughty Dog has upped the ante in terms of immersion. The introductory/tutorial train wreck stage blurs the borders of game play and cut scene. At first glance it's hard to even know what you're looking at is actually in your direct control. (Note; I must of stared at Nathan hanging from the train for almost a minute.)

Among Thieves beautiful jungle environments, ancient ruins, snow capped mountains painted by a camera that engages both the visual and auditory senses would fail to immerse the gamer if it wasn't for the games most powerful feature, emotion.

Emotion, be it conveyed through well acted dialouge or flawless natural gestures is truly the heart of Among Thieves. Yes, from time to time, Among Thieves reminds you its a game (picking up treasure, with the look at it prompt on-screen), but the emotion pouring from its characters undoubtedly bridges the gap between game and reality. And seems to take the first true step to bridge games and movies.

Hell your girlfriend may even actually believe its one. (Note: Mine knew better, but was still inclined to watch me play through the whole adventure. I was even forbid from finishing it without her.)