Of all the games to come out on this generation of consoles, few have had the immediate impact that the Uncharted series has had. To be fair, the first game was somewhat meh, but it had its moments. The second game, however, managed to earn several game of the year awards, as well as taking a spot on many “best ever” lists—it was that good. So it is no exaggeration to say that many people are watching the progress of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception with keen eyes. In fact, when the third game was unveiled, it made headline news.
Last week at GDC, Sony and Naughty Dog offered a first glimpse at the upcoming title, including a look at the game’s new antagonist, and a level shown in 3D.
The villain of the game is Katherine Marlowe, a middle aged British woman with a long standing grudge against Nathan Drake and his mentor Victor Sullivan. Marlowe’s family and Drake’s were both active during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, and Marlowe contends that the ring passed down through the generations to Nathan, is rightfully hers. She also believes the ring to be the key to an ancient treasure. As head of a secret society, Marlowe is a cold and calculating villainess, who uses her personal knowledge of both Drake and Sully to fight them with a combination of physical and psychological attacks.
Once Marlow has the ring it begins a race around the globe in search of the lost city, the Iram of the Pillars, hidden somewhere in the Arabian Penninsula. Marlowe has an army of henchmen at her disposal, and while she herself probably wouldn’t fare too well in a fistfight, she seems to be one step ahead of Drake and Sully from the beginning.
The level shown was a 3D version of the section debuted on the Jimmy Fallon show back in December. The 3D looks great, but as most gamers still don’t have the 3D capability, the important thing to take away from the demo was that Naughty Dog is continuing the gameplay that made Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, such a hit.
From the start of the level, Drake and Sully are immediately up against it. Stuck in a decaying building and surrounded by enemies, a fire soon pushes the pair to keep moving through the surroundings to seek escape. As with the previous title, the level design was created to give you the illusion of a wide open area, but as you move there really is only one path, which was part of the brilliance of the previous game. The movement is fluid and orchestrated, giving you the impression that you are watching a movie that you are controlling.
As the fire spread through the house and Drake is forced to flee, floors collapse, walls fall, and flames jump up in front of you, always pushing you through an increasingly frantic path to escape. The 3D looked awesome, but even without it, the level of detail and graphical polish was second to none.
Uncharted 3 is still several months away, but already it is looking like Naughty Dog is not going to easily give up the game of the year awards. So far, it is shaping up to be an impressive year for gamers. Look for the PlayStation 3 exclusive, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, on November 1.