Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: November 2nd, 2011
On the 28th of September, five weeks before the release date of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Naughty Dog lead designer Richard Lemarchand flew into Dublin to meet with Bone-idle and talk us through what Uncharted 3 has in store for gamers this November. The evening involved a presentation of Uncharted 3 in which he explained some of the newer features of the game, the opportunity to play some of the game’s Multiplayer, which you can read here and an up-close and personal interview with the man himself.
Opening with the trailer released at E3, of which most should be familiar with at this stage, it was easy to get the adrenaline pumping over the release of Uncharted 3. We see Drake being apprehended by the female antagonist of the game, a kind of dark Helen Mirren character. Once again, we see the montage of locations on offer, and we see THAT incredible airplane gameplay footage. Oh go on, watch it again, you know you want to.
Richard then talks us through some central aspects of the game, how capturing the feel of an all out action adventure is so important and how the character animations have been improved upon from the previous game.
The central narrative of the game Richard explains as with previous iterations, Uncharted 3 is based on an unsolved historical mystery. He tells us how it follows the trail of T.E. Lawrence (AKA Lawrence of Arabia) through the Rub’ al-Khali Desert, and how he came across a certain city of immeasurable wealth. Ubar, Wabar, Iram of the Pillars, it goes by many names, but is labelled the Atlantis of the Sands in the trailer.
So far so good, a lot of series have a tendency to get darker as they go along, and Uncharted 3 seems to be taking the same route. Luckily, however, the developers are clearly aware that one of the reasons the Uncharted games are so popular is for their sense of fun and colour. This remains very much intact within the game, as we see when Richard Lemarchand shows us some pre-recorded gameplay footage that was shown at Gamescom showing Drake and Elena trying to sneak into an airport in order to board an enormous airplane. Drake sways Elena into letting him go it alone, yet no sooner has he finished speaking when the plane begins to move. What follows is a frantic chase in order to catch up with it, aided by Elena in a jeep, and Drake eventually boards, with great cinematic style.
We then see Drake get into a bit of a scuffle with a particularly brutish henchman in the cargo hold (later described by Mr. Lemarchand as a ‘brute’). This shows off some of the newly tweaked fighting mechanics and finishes with the scene from the trailer, with Drake falling from the back of the plane.
Cinematic is the key word in this paragraph, because despite the fact we are watching gameplay, it never feels in any way dull. It is hard to believe that the game can take a different path to the one shown on screen, yet the co-lead developer assures us that it can, with different routes and methods of playing through the game being openly available. Like Uncharted 2, this sequel seems unwilling to give the players much time to rest, which is no bad thing.
We are then treated to some real time gameplay as Richard Lemarchand plays through a section of the game (Note Chapter 19: The Settlement) for us to see. One thing that can be confirmed here and now is that the graphics, as well as the physics, for the game are astonishing. As Drake walks through the sand he leaves footprints in his wake. We see the abandoned town in the distance, wavering in the heat. Once in the town it the little details that really sell it, such as the way in which Drake touches the walls and door frames around him as he walks past them, it all looks very refined.
As the chapter progesses, Drake is attacked and we see some of his melee attacks. Some of these are particularly impressive and stylish. A personal favourite, which Mr. Lemarchand pulls off admirably despite his humility, is a move in which Drake runs at an enemy and throws his gun at them. When they let their guard down to catch it, he knocks them out with a strong right hook. There are many hand to hand moves such as these on display throughout both gameplay sessions and they look like a lot of fun to experiment with.
Uncharted 3 launches here at the beginning of November exclusively on PS3, check back tomorrow for our one to one interview with Richard Lemarchand Lead designer for Naughty Dog on Uncharted 3.
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