Ladies and gentlemen, I am very pleased to be able to announce your megaton for the day. Uncharted 3. Yeah, exactly.
We have the title, we have the setting, we have story points, we have gameplay details, we have images and we have a trailer. Want any of those? Well here we go...
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (close, but no cigar, those who suspected "World of Deceit" as the subtitle) does indeed, as many suspected, involve a lot of sand. Drake is on his way to the desert of Rub’ al Khali Desert on the Arabian Peninsular this time around, in search of a legendary lost city. A purportedly real one. This one, to be exact.
Above: Note the heavy references to Lawrence and Sully. You can bet that dagger is a major plot point too
It won't all be sand and buzzards though. Entertainment Weekly (who have been to Naughty Dog HQ to check U3 out) have already seen some of the series' trademark kinetic platforming through crumbling, shifting environments, and have reported a decidedly non-desert location. It looks then, that this will be another Uncharted 2-style globe-trotting adventure, with Drake and co. taking a winding journey to their ultimate location.
And speaking of that co., it seems that Sully will be making a big reappearance following what was largely a no-show in Uncharted 2. The story this time will deal heavily with Drake's relationship with the smooth old moustachioed cigar-chomper, as well as revelations regarding Nath's own identity (Sully is Drake's dad? Place bets now!), and plenty of deception both by and in the direction of gaming's biggest treasure-hunting man-crush target.
Above: Your new-look dusty Drake
As for the obligatory blurring of fiction and historical fact, Uncharted 3 will draw upon the experiences of T.E. 'Lawrence of Arabia' Lawrence, riffing on his early days as an archeologist. Consider him Nath's new sandy historical hero, in replacement of Sir. Francis Drake. Also, expect to be blown away by the game's look in the same way that you were when you first trudged through Uncharted 2's snow, all teary-eyed with joy at the wonder of it all. Apparently the decision to go to the desert came from Naughty Dog's masochistically self-challenging nature. Says Creative Director Ann Hennig:
“When we first came up with the idea of sand, you see everyone’s eyes light up here and go, ‘Yeah, that’s going to be really hard — let’s do it!’”
Above: Desert. It's well-sandy. We suspect this to be production art, but expect U3 to fully live up to it
We rather suspect this will be no mere slab of brown and orange polygons. If fact a showboating "Look what we can do!" sandstorm scene is almost guarranteed. Will It be as mind-blowing a technological leap from Uncharted 2 as Uncharted 2 was from Uncharted? We wouldn't bet against it.
Other details? The gameplay tweaks detailed so far include improved climbing and better combat against multiple enemies (given the joy that was Uncharted 2's ultra-fluid gun, melee and environmental system, this is bloody exciting indeed). And the release date? Late 2011. Naughty Dog won't be drawn on anything more specific than that at the moment, but this has Christmas depth-charge written all over it. Don't be surprised if we get an official date at the Spike TV Video Game Awards on Saturday, when Uncharted 3 will be more fully revealed.
Pumped? We're pumped. You pumped too? Yeah? How pumped?
Dec. 9th, 2010