Usually when playing a video game, it's hard to really care about the characters. I don't even remember when I really felt anything toward a character's death, or a male and female protagonists love for each other. It wasn't until I played Uncharted 2 that I realized I wanted the characters to do something that wasn't go and shoot people.
In Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, we are immediately introduced to Elena, a TV news reporter with her own show. At first, I'm thinking she's going to be the annoying news reporter that no one will care about, but the main character (Drake) will for some reason, and at one point have to save her for doing something stupid. I was completely wrong in my assumption.
The characters of Drake and Elena actually helped each other throughout the story. You never had to protect Elena, she would be fighting with her gun and actually kill some people for you; she could handle herself. You are the one that gets captured first, and it's Elena that breaks you out because she is smart enough to know how to save you, and she actually serves a purpose in the plot at various points. Eventually she does get captured, but that's more for the story to get you alone and by yourself. Plus the way she talked and acted made you actually care about her character (at one point I thought she might betray Drake for some reason when she wanted to say behind and 'film' while people were hunting for them, but this was necessary for another plot point for her to find.).
I recently played through Uncharted a 2nd time awhile back, and found myself enjoying the characters more this time around, and Elena more than I thought. After beating the game on Hard, I wanted to try out Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
You immediately start out with 2 new characters helping you, and a new love interest (Chloe). "Wait," I thought, "was Elena gone forever? Was she just a Bond woman with only one appearance." After I played through the game a bit, it dawned on me that this was the case, and I was actually pissed that they had created this cool character and then taken them away (but it helped that Chloe was played by Claudia Black). I realized a video game hadn't actually made me angry that way in...well, forever. I guess I wanted a continuing storyline and for the characters to end up happily ever after.
Eventually, you run into Elena in the middle of the war zone. Who cared that it was complete coincidence, she was back and introduced a fun dynamic to the game the way she interacted with Drake and his new love interest. You could tell the characters acted differently toward each other from this point on, and Drake slightly changed since meeting her this game (he stands up for her to his current girl, indicating he might still have feelings for her). Their interactions are also pretty amusing. Also, Uncharted 2 seemed to have 3 times as much interactions between the characters while you played the game because they were always following you around saying something their characters would normally say to make you feel as if you were traveling with 3 dimensional characters.
So, I'm going to play Uncharted 2, figure out how to harness the power of the sun to awaken some giant status thing, but in the back of my mind I'll be hoping Drake leaves Chloe and gets back with Elena.