The internet is a source of limitless amazement, as evidenced in this new trailer for Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta, an Arabic developed knock-off of the Uncharted series, which has surfaced on Steam Greenlight. If you think the game’s treasure-hunting protagonist Faris Jawad looks familiar, you’re right. He’s a dead ringer for Nathan Drake! The trailer opens in what seems to be Casablanca, a ruddy Moroccan city that juxtaposes modern high-rises with prayer towers and olive markets. You see Jawad walk through a bazaar, converse with an imam, and fishtail a red sedan into a concrete road barrier. Maybe it’s the ex-pat in me, but something about racing through an open-world Arabic metropolis while mijwizs wail strikes me as inthralling.
– – –
The plot seems to centralize around some dusty McGuffin of an ancient tome, which leads you to riches, international intrigue, and plenty of instances for Jawad to chokehold some nasty looking militant thugs. Looking at the Steam Greenlight page, the game is quite ambitious. The setting stretches across the Arabic world, from the Atlas mountains in Northern Africa to Damascus to Alexandria and Dubai.
According to the developer’s synopsis, the plot begins “when fortune hunter Faris Jawad and his sister Dania receive a call to visit Morocco. They embark on an exotic adventure throughout the Middle East on the trail of the famous Muslim explorer Ibn Battuta.” As for how it plays… Yeah, it’s pretty much Uncharted.
Not much is known about Uncha…, ahem, Unearthed’s developer Semaphore’s Workshop, but according to their Twitter account, which recently became active, they hail from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Pretty much the extent of the conversation on Twitter has been them defending the game from people accusing them of ripping off Uncharted. We understand the complaints, but a fun, functional game that captures Middle Eastern culture from the perspective of actual Middle Eastern people, as opposed to, say, Canadians, sounds great.
Hey, we’d all rip off Uncharted if we could.