Uncharted 3 preview: Meet Katherine Marlowe

Over the course of his last two adventures, Nathan Drake has traded shots with pirates, arms dealers, thieves, mutants and Serbian mercenaries. He’s outrun tanks, blown up helicopter gunships and been caught in more impossible situations than we can bother to count. After an unveiling at last week’s Game Developers Conference, however, it looks like Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception will pit him against his most memorably badass enemy yet: Katherine Marlowe, a severe British matron with a mysterious connection to Drake’s distant past.

Coming off like a subtly vicious cross between Helen Mirren and Judi Dench, Marlowe may not have the brutal, unhinged ferocity of Uncharted 2’s warlord Zoran Lazarevic, but she nonetheless sits at the top of a shadowy conspiracy dating back to the days of Queen Elizabeth I. And aside from exuding quiet menace and sharing some history with Drake’s partner, Victor “Sully” Sullivan, she brings something potentially more interesting to the series: a return to the Sir Francis Drake plotline, which was introduced in the first Uncharted and then mostly ignored by its sequel.

The elder Drake’s ring is more than just a memento, it seems, and after Marlowe takes it from Drake – with the help of her Jason Statham-looking henchman, whose name appears to be Cutter – she’ll lead Drake and Sully on a chase around the world, eventually winding up somewhere in the Arabian  Rub’al Khali desert in a search for the lost city of Iram of the Pillars.

One of the places Drake and Sully will chase her to is a sprawling chateau – which we covered in our last preview. And after the Marlowe reveal, we were shown that same level once again, with one important difference: this time, we got to see it in 3D. And while we’re generally of the opinion that 3D gaming is an eye-straining, cash-grabbing gimmick, it’s hard to deny that Uncharted 3 looks damned impressive with 3D in full effect.

Adding in layers of depth might not bring a whole lot to a shooter, say, but in a platformer like Uncharted 3, where size and distance are more important, it could significantly alter the way players perceive and approach obstacles. In any case, the illusion was ridiculously impressive during the demo; chasms and drops gained a more tangible sense of depth, moving objects seemed weightier and large platforms stretched from the background into the foreground, looking much bigger as a result.

Above: Like this, but in 3D

When Drake swung on a half-ruined chandelier, for example, it looked more wobbly and precarious now that we could more clearly make out how far it was from the surrounding ledges (and, to a certain extent, the ground). And late in the demo, when a floor gave way and Drake briefly dangled over a sea of flames, we could see that the fire was raging a long way down, making the prospect of a drop just a little more frightening (which is to say it was frightening at all).

The gameplay looked to be fundamentally the same whether it was in 2D or 3D, but seeing everything take on a definite depth certainly enhanced the experience. if the effect is done as consistently well as it was in the demo, it stands to at least make Uncharted 3’s already impressively detailed environments seem just a little more real, and a hell of a lot more deadly. Whether or not it’ll make much of a difference when we’re actually playing remains to be seen, but with any luck we’ll get to find out very soon.

 Mar 8, 2011

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception – what we want to see
Naughty Dog's franchise is nearly perfect, but we've got a few ideas on how to make it perfect-er


Uncharted 3: Latest viewing excites, game of the year 2011?
Drake's Deception makes us wish the year away so we can finally play this beauty


The 100 most anticipated games of 2011
Clear your calendar. Prepare your wallet


GDC Sony


  • Zeb364 - March 10, 2011 9:36 a.m.

    Recently got a PS3 and both Uncharted and Uncharted 2. I loved the first one but have yet to start the second one's campaign (distracted by all the top notch new releases I played a bit of the multiplayer though). I've already pre-ordered Uncharted 3 and can't wait to play through 2's campaign.
  • ScrEAMaPiLLar - March 10, 2011 6:37 a.m.

    @cruddi the online was fun. It wasn't padding it was a welcome edition to two. You are being far too negative. Also the single player had a bunch of mods to use after you've played through the game and weapon choice out the ass. Be great full and quit being such a sour puss
  • 2cute2Bcruel - March 10, 2011 4:22 a.m.

    This is the only game whose previews I feel even vaguely compelled to read on the Internet.
  • NightCrawler_358 - March 10, 2011 12:36 a.m.

    Ugh, i'm glad to see your not just mucking around in a desert the whole game! The previews shown make me really want to know the story! This game is gonna be epic. Naughty Dog never disappoints, and thats why I own ALL of their games.
  • AngryScotsman - March 9, 2011 9:22 p.m.

    Statham? Statham! Statham Sta-Statham! JASON STATHAM!?
  • AntistasMetroid - March 9, 2011 2:13 p.m.

    Uncharted 2. Best game i played last year. Cant wait for this game to come out. Oh and JASON BLOODY STAFEM! Always love your articles Wikiparaz. Still waiting to do some Dracler Huntin' sometime...
  • grayguwapo - March 9, 2011 4:41 a.m.

    I want this now! *wish* ---and a 3D TV :)
  • lovinmyps3 - March 9, 2011 4:29 a.m.

    Interesting new character. I hope I can play this but I won't have access to a PS3 when it comes out unfortunately. :(
  • ThatGuyFromTV - March 8, 2011 11:49 p.m.

    wait, by elder drake does he mean Nathan's dad or does he mean Sir Francis Drake? again, I've never played any of the games, so I may be saying random nonsense here.
  • ThatGuyFromTV - March 8, 2011 11:45 p.m.

    I haven't played any of the uncharted games, but the thing about the dark past and the ring being a memento of Nathan's dad... could it be possible that David Russell actually knows what he's doing with the Uncharted movie? and that that something could actually do justice to the game?
  • CarloAalvarez - March 8, 2011 10:07 p.m.

    I was reading through the comments and I'm happy I'm not do only one who heard Jason Staytham, Lol i can't believe he is in the game and even though I love the series I think I would just get this game because of Jason Freaking Staytham!!
  • CoryM1134 - March 8, 2011 9:31 p.m.

    I hope they don't create an overarching story line that's Assassin's Creed style convoluted. I think the first 2 Uncharteds are fantastic because of their ability to start and finish a good story within each game. I don't want this one to end on a cliffhanger about "what it all means" or anything.
  • mastersword369 - March 8, 2011 8:31 p.m.

    Uncharted2 is on my top 3 favorite games... And I don't even have a ps3. How am I gonna play this? :((((((
  • Cat_Mundy - March 8, 2011 6:57 p.m.

    oh my god. Want! Looks like we'll be travelling to England, then! This could be behind a nightclub or something, which would explain the suits - (if it's a posh one)
  • kingsmikefan - March 8, 2011 6:54 p.m.

  • TheHowetzer - March 8, 2011 6:49 p.m.

    <-- Wants this game.
  • JohnDagger - March 8, 2011 6:46 p.m.

    Wow! Nolan North just got punched in the face by Jason Statham...and didn't die!!! He is truly a god among men now!
  • EricBratcher - March 8, 2011 6:34 p.m.

    She looks a bit like Helen Mirren to me. Great mo-cap, though. Wow. Except for that toothy moment. That looked a tiny tad unnatural.
  • NanoElite666 - March 8, 2011 6:10 p.m.

    A henchman goon named Cutter in a game by Naughty Dog eh? It's good to see that the mask-wearing goon has been able to find work since his racing days in Jak X. Well, minus the aforementioned mask. And long ears.
  • Turboash - March 8, 2011 6:06 p.m.

    Fuck this game.

Showing 1-20 of 31 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000


Connect with Facebook

Log in using Facebook to share comments, games, status update and other activity easily with your Facebook feed.