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Nathan Drake

Uncharted: Golden Abyss | £19.99 | Grainger Games | Vita

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Action Games, Nathan Drake, Nolan North, PS Vita games, Sony Bend, Uncharted: Golden Abyss
This rarely dips under the £20 mark as it usually sticks around £25. You might be thinking it's a little pricey for a Vita launch title, but rest assured it's the best game on the handheld by some distance. The touch-screen controls for dusting off treasure or suring up Drake's grip on a crumbling handhold really add to the experience. Thanks to the smooth analogue controls and helpful motion tweaking, the gunfights arguably handle better than the PS3 games and there's a King's ransom of hidden treasures to find adding replayability. Sony Bend have risen to the challenge despite working under the tall shadow of Naughty Dog.

Sony Announce CrossPlay For PS All-Stars Battle Royale

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Big Daddy, E3 2012, Fighting Games, Nathan Drake, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Sony Press Conference, Trailers, Videos

Demonstrating the multiplayer carnage of Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale on the floor at their press conference last night, Sony also revealed that the game will support complete CrossPlay functionality. The demo saw PS Vita players squaring off against PS3 players, detailing the Smash Bros.-esque brawling gameplay, and littering conversation with the word "SUPER" every five seconds

Watch the full demo after the jump...

Uncharted: Golden Abyss Hands-On Preview

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Features
Tags:
Games previews, Nathan Drake, Playstation Access, Playstation Vita, PS Vita, PS Vita games, Sony Bend, Uncharted: Golden Abyss

Uncharted: Golden Abyss Hands-On Preview

Platform: PS Vita

Developers: Sony Bend

Publishers: Sony

If there’s any name in PlayStation gaming that demands attention it has to be Uncharted. The signs are pointing to a mightily positive launch title that should be on everyone’s pre-order list.

The game has been developed by Sony Bend studios rather than Naughty Dog, but that certainly hasn’t harmed the brand. The best comparison would be the amazing job Ready at Dawn did when they brought the God of War series to the PSP.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss Hands-On Preview

We’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on this handheld wonder a few times now. Germany, London and thanks to the recent PlayStation Access event, Manchester. The most recent demo showed off some platforming and gunplay, both of which feel instinctively ace. Presuming you’ve played the Uncharted games before, you’ll find the format familiar and undiluted. Gameplay staples include third-person shooting, brawling, puzzles and clambering around precarious environments.

Click here to read more...

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception Review | An Utter Treasure

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Action Games, Nathan Drake, Naughty Dog, Nolan North, Sony Computer Entertainment, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Discuss:
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception | Playstation 3

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception Review | An Utter Treasure

Platform: PS3

Developer: Naughty Dog

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

In many ways, the Uncharted series emulates the work of Dan Brown (not to mention much of Spielberg): ripping yarns that push and propel you from action sequence to puzzling conundrums, with broadly drawn characters that we can recognise and invest in, fundamentally concerned with plot and narrative, and leaving others in their respective mediums to challenge their respective audiences. I don't mean that in a bad sense, after all there's nothing wrong in any way shape of form with having a linear and scripted experience, it all depends on how strong the script is.

Thankfully, in Amy Hennig, Naughty Dog have something of a narrative goldmine. Not only did we find ourselves interested in the mythology, the intrigue and the enjoyment of trying to work out who was betraying whom at any one point in Among Thieves, but through a glorious synthesis of well written characters, astutely observed dialogue and some of the best voice acting to be found in the industry, the adventures Drake, Sully, Elena and Chloe became stories we wanted to continue. We wanted to hear more, to spend time with personalities who, as with any successful character-driven tales, have become more like friends.

I got to the end of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and found myself craving more. Nothing hugely different, just more. I'm pretty certain that I wasn't alone, either; and if that's the case, and you're looking for an Uncharted sequel that takes those characters of whom you're so fond, tosses them into a narrative crucible filled with the highest production values (Greg Edmonson's score is, once again, outstanding!)  and delivers a cinematic tribute above and beyond what has previously been on offer, you're in luck.

Click here to read more...

Nolan North: Taking Time Makes For A Better Entertainment Experience

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Nathan Drake, Naughty Dog, Nolan North, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, Voice acting

Nolan North: Taking Time Makes For A Better Entertainment Experience

Nolan North, the man behind Nathan Drake, Desmond and the 'SPAAAAAACE' module from Portal 2 has spoken out saying that it has been Naughty Dog's commitment to detail and the fact that they take their time with their products which yields a 'better quality entertainment experience'.

Click here to read more...

Uncharted 3 Hands-On Preview | Totally Ubar

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Action Games, Nathan Drake, Naughty Dog, PS3 games, Sony, Uncharted 3
Discuss:
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception | Playstation 3

Uncharted 3 Hands-On Preview | Totally Ubar

Lawrence of Arabia eat your heart out, good old Nathan is back and his latest adventure once again has him teaming up with a few familiar faces to uncover the fabled Atlantis of the Sands, or Ubar as it's alternatively known. 'Supposedly [Ubar] was lost to the desert, but it held immeasurable wealth, the rumours being that the city was destroyed by God because of its arrogance,' explains Uncharted 3's game director Justin Richmond, talking about the story behind Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. 'So Drake is very interested, obviously, by the immeasurable wealth and the archeological mystery of this place  T.E. Lawrence always said that if he ever went back to the Middle East, he'd go looking for this lost city.'

Naughty Dog have made the familial connection with Drake's famous ancestor too, though, imagining the reasons behind Sir Francis' delay in returning from the Americas, with the story suggesting that he took so long to get home because he was searching for Ubar. 'It took Sir Francis Drake six months to cross the Indian Ocean and, for a sailor of his stature, it should have taken more like thirty days,' says Richmond. 'So we said what if he actually went to the Arabian Peninsular and went looking for this place.'

Uncharted 3 Hands-On Preview | Totally Ubar

Of course, that's not the only thing that the developers have been focusing on with this one, with community strategist Arne Meyer pointing out that this third tale also focuses more heavily on the relation, or 'bromance', between Drake and Sully, his grizzled mentor. 'Sully's been a big fan favourite, so we knew we wanted to focus more on his relationship with Drake for this game,' says Meyer. 'Sully's been Drake's father figure, mentor and partner for a long time, and we took a lot of inspiration from buddy-movies for this one, to try and get the relationship or "bromance" right. Victor Sullivan's kind of been both saviour and corrupter to Drake, with the two of them operating on the fringes of legality, and in many ways he represents what Drake could become if he makes the same choices.'

Click here to read more...

PS Vita | Uncharted: Golden Abyss Preview

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
E3 2011, Games previews, Nathan Drake, Uncharted: Golden Abyss

Uncharted-Golden-Abyss1-1024x300

With Nintendo already getting something of a headstart on the next gen portable market with the 3DS, Sony need to hit the ground running with the Vita. Cue a wealth of first party, exclusive content. Jon's already spent some time with LittleBigPlanet, and we also managed to grab a sneak peek at Uncharted: Golden Abyss, being developed by Sony's go-to studio for console-to-portable transfer ports - Sony Bend.

Click here to see what Matt thought of Uncharted: Golden Abyss...

From The Playstation App To Some Warming Winter Footage - News Roundup 17th December 2010

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Games news, Indie Games, Nathan Drake, Playstation App, Resistance 3, Sony, Uncharted 3, Winter Uprising

Sony Announce Playstation Smartphone App

playstation smartphone app news banner

Sony has announced that a new smartphone app will soon allow PSN members to browse content, compare trophies and keep in touch with friends on the go. This application will be free to download for iPhone and Android devices, though it's worth noting that it won't be possible to actually play games on it.

Considering that PSP minis would be a perfect fit for most smartphones, it's possible that this functionality could be added at a later date... but I wouldn't hold your breath with the Zeus Z1 "PSPhone" rumoured for a Spring reveal. [EU Playstation Blog]

Uncharted 3 Footage & Resistance 3 Director's Cut

resistance 3 trailer news banner

We've got a couple of explosive PS3 videos to warm you up on this bitterly cold afternoon. First of all, Naughty Dog have demoed Uncharted 3 at an LA reveal event, granting us some interesting new tidbits and (more importantly) some footage that isn't accompanied by Jimmy Fallon's inane hooting.

Nathan Drake will be following in Laurence of Arabia's footsteps on the trail of a fantastical lost desert city. However, he will be opposed by a mysterious order that's led by a despicable tyrant... and will apparently have to face his worst fears in the "Atlantis of the Sands." Slick new combat combos and the series' signature cinematic set pieces will propel this one onto many gamers' most anticipated lists. [Thanks, Gamerspawn]

Not enough action for you? How about some live action then. Sony have also released a director's cut version of Resistance 3's VGA trailer that bulks out the proceedings with thirthy seconds of recorded live action footage. The PS Blog states that this footage represents events that will happen in-game... so we can expect to see a gloomy warehouse or two along with some hectic gory gunslinging.

Winter Uprising Still Going Strong

winter uprising banner

The Indie Winter Uprising is still going from strength to strength on Xbox Live. Many developers have been holding back their titles to polish them up, but suffice to say, it's been a great two weeks of gaming with more still to come! Why not check out our extended coverage? It's a little galling that a few major sites have been knocking the promotion recently- but don't believe everything you read.

However, the release of (the excellent) Radiangames Crossfire 2 has brought some potentially sad news. Veteran Indie developer Luke Schneider, a mainstay of the service, may well have to move on to greener pastures after disappointing of Fireball. We hope that Crossfire 2 sales will allow him to continue developing Xbox Live Indie titles- and I'd urge you all to try the demo at the very least. [Radiangames]

Want to win one of the Uprising's best games? Get involved with our Chu's Dynasty competition!

From GT5's Traffic Congestion To Billy Bob's Bad Films - News Roundup 25th November 2010

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Billy Bob Thornton, Game movies, Game news, Gran Turismo 5, GT5, Mark Wahlberg, Nathan Drake, PS Phone, PS3, PSP Phone, Uncharted
Discuss:
Gran Turismo 5

GT5 Crippled By "Extreme Online Traffic Congestion"

gt5 crashie

Does Gran Turismo 5 seem a little slow to you? Blame everyone else. GT5 servers are currently groaning under the weight of players attempting to access the online functionality- including both logs and online multiplayer. Bizarrely, this is causing performance drops even in singleplayer. The official Sony line indicates that, in many cases, menus are taking several minutes to navigate and the startup procedure frequently hangs or stalls. It's puzzling (and slightly disappointing) that the singleplayer is being affected by an online issue.

Sony are naturally feverishly working on a solution- and have temporarily denied access to logs and certain aspects of player profiles. They've suggested simply disconnecting from the internet for the time being... which sounds fair enough to me. [Thanks, Kotaku]

UPDATE: Yamauchi has announced that a large patch should be arriving this Saturday. [Eurogamer]

Rumour: PSP Phone Reveal Set For December 9th

ps phone

It's rumour control time again, folks. Multiple sources (including French site Nowereelse.fr and MobileCrunch claim to have been invited to the major reveal of the (not-so-secret) Playstation/PSP Phone- dated for December 9th.

According to MobileCrunch, the phone features a "mind-blowing" retina display and will be aiming for a February 2011 release.

Earlier this week, we reported that Sony Ericsson boss Bert Nordberg has been fanning the flames- stating that there "must be a fire" behind all of this smoke. We reckon these latest reports may well be on the money.

Billy Bob Thornton Blames Gamers For Bad Films...

billy bob thornton

Controversial actor (and former Mr Angelina Jolie) Billy Bob Thornton has blamed us gamers for lowering film standards. Apparently all we want to see is stuff blow up and people getting shot, which allows directors and writers to get away with much lazier scripts and storylines.

We're living in a time when we're making - in my humble opinion - the worst movies in history.

They're geared toward the videogame-playing generation. And these videogames, which I'm on my son about constantly, these games are people killing for fun, and I think traditionally in movies, there's always been some kind of lesson in the violent movies. -Thornton to The Telegraph

I'm sure that you'll be able to draw your own conclusions from this allegation. Let us know what they are!

...And Wahlberg Confirmed As Nathan Drake

wahlberg_payne2_67848_screen

Despite Nathan Fillion's recent campaign to portray Uncharted's protagonist Nathan Drake in the upcoming feature film adaptation, it seems that David O Russell has selected a game-to-film veteran. Mark Wahlberg (Boogie Nights, The Departed) is no stranger to videogame adaptations- having previously played Max Payne in the not entirely convincing remake- and has hinted that Joe Pesci and Robert DeNiro have also been contacted about starring in the movie as family members (father and uncle respectively). [MTV]

I'm still not entirely convinced that we need a movie adaptation of an existing cinematic experience; which boasts a linear narrative that required well over 8 hours to tell properly. In fact, I can't get my head around why this film could possibly be a good idea. Still, if you're looking forward to it or want to weigh in on David O Russell's choice of leading man, drop us a line in the comments!

From EA's 'Black Eye' To Fillion's Campaign - News Roundup 13th October 2010

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Duke Nukem Forever, EA, Game news, London Games Festival, Medal Of Honor, Nathan Drake, Nathan Fillion, Steam, TIGA, Uncharted
Discuss:
Duke Nukem Forever

Early MOH Review Scores A 'Black Eye' For EA Management

MOH header

Currently holding 74% and 76% Metacritic scores on PS3 and X360 respectively, it's safe to say that whilst early reviews of Medal of Honor have indicated that the game is perfectly solid, it's not quite as special as EA would have liked us to believe.

Cowen and Company analysists Doug Cruetz and Adam Noily, in a post-release report entitled 'Early Medal of Honour reviews look decidedly Tier 2', have suggested that failing to reach a score of 85-90% overall so far has been something of 'a black eye for EA management given the amount of focus and hype they have placed on the game'.

'We believe the mixed reviews could impact the title's legs as it will likely be competitively disadvantaged once Activision releases Call of Duty: Black Ops. We continue to believe MoH can achieve roughly 4MM units in first year worldwide sales but believe that the likelihood of upside to that figure is now significantly diminished.'

Speaking to LA Times, EA have been quick to shrug off the lower scores, suggesting that unlike certain direct competitors, this is a series that has lain dormant for a few years and that the company is looking at a long-term strategy

'Critics' scores are highly subjective,' it said. 'The game had the highest pre-orders in the 11-year history of the Medal of Honor franchise; this is an essentially big achievement considering Medal of Honor has been dormant for several years.

'This is the first year in rebooting the franchise. Medal of Honor is part of a larger EA strategy to take share in the shooter category. This is a marathon not a sprint -– today's Medal of Honor launch represents a step forward in that race.'

Unfortunately, the company's share price dropped by 6p overnight, although some analysts have suggested that the drop, following a six week rise, has come as a result of inflated levels of expectation: 'I think it's a situation where some of the air is being let out of the balloon following a nice run in the shares and high expectations,' said MKM's Eric Handler. [GamesIndustry.biz]

We'll have our own review for you soon, but what are your opinions on all of this? Still psyched, or going to give it a miss?

Steam Borderlands Owners Will Get DNF Early Access

dukenukem

As well as those who've purchased the Borderlands Game of the Year re-release, it seems that gamers who bought Gearbox's shooter via Steam will get codes for the Duke Nuker Forever Early Access demo according to Kotaku. The demo won't be available until next year, though, and Steve Gibson has indicated that the demo will also be made available to the rest of the public at some stage too, although there's no concrete date set for it yet.

Can't wait that long? Check out our hands-on impressions here!

Nathan Fillion Mounting A Campaign To Become Nathan Drake

NathanDrake

With the Uncharted movie reportedly back on track under writer/director David O. Russell, this news has surprised...absolutely no-one. Talking about the role, the Firefly and Castle star recently tweeted 'If ever there was a Twitter campaign, let this be it. Rise, ye Browncoats. Rise, ye Castillions. RISE!'.

Whilst some of us are still a little upset that Firefly was ever cancelled, seeing Nathan Fillion in anything would be awesome, quite frankly. But what of Nolan North himself, should the original actor be considered for the role? Who would you like to see pulling it off? Let us know down below. [1UP]

TIGA Releases Free Career Guide For Budding Students

TIGA_Logo_05_06_09

At the launch of this year's London Games Festival, UKIE Chairman Andy Payne gave a rousing speech that firmly saw UK games development as the future cornerstone of the country's entertainment industry, placing a huge emphasis on education and encouraging young people to realise that you can have a legitimate career in the industry, and have boatloads of fun while you're doing.

We already saw a large careers presence at the Eurogamer Expo earlier this year and now UK games industry trade body TIGA has released a free-to-download guide aimed at students and young people contemplating a career. The guide outlines the qualifications required, advisable course choices, potential career progression as well as which areas of the country offer the best opportunities.

'In our experience people are often unaware of the fantastic opportunities that exist in the UK games industry,' said CEO Richard Wilson. 'They also do not realize the size of the industry here in the UK. We hope this guide will offer people practical, straight-forward advice on how to secure a job in this exciting sector.'

The guide can be downloaded from TIGA's website.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Review

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Nathan Drake, Naughty Dog, Sony, Uncharted 2

Format: PS3

Developer: Naughty Dog

Publisher: Sony

Hype and video games can be a cruel mix. But it can also be wonderful when a game smashes the door down and delivers everything it promised. Any adulterous thoughts PS3 gamers may have been having concerning a fling with Gears of War will be washed away with this bona-fide PS3 exclusive classic

We start with Nathan Drake wounded and hanging over a blizzard ravaged cliff inside a train cart. As you make your way up the side of the train you can feel the epicness coming as you make a last-ditch escape. For a short while from here the game stumbles for the following chapter with a stealth level to set up the story. There's nothing really wrong with it. It’s just too early in the game, we’ve been waiting to get involved in the juicy shootouts for months, but we’ve got to sneak around first.

Soon enough you’re bounding your way through the jungles of Borneo and climbing crumbling buildings in the city of Nepal to earn the best view around as you see the whole city stretched out before you. The game makes a wonderful habit of just giving you views to die for. Naughty Dog have done an incredible job of harnessing the PS3, you have to wonder what the hell everyone else is playing at.

The cutscenes and character animations are of a different class to the competition too. The transition from cutscene to gameplay is so seamless you won’t dare put down the pad, as control is often thrust back into your hands for all the best bits, which makes a nice change from the usual cut-scene cop-outs. If you saw the E3 demo with the helicopter scene, you won’t be disappointed as you play every exhilarating second for yourself.

Uncharted 2 has the game to back up the looks too with the gunplay and platforming improved from the first game (which was no slouch). Most of the time you’ll enjoy shooting from cover, but it’s fun to occasionally run in, pop off a few shots and finish in style with a melee combo. Chapter 2 aside, stealth is optional, but very useful for thinning out enemy numbers before launching a full on assault.

The enemy design is a bit of a let-down as until the end chapters they’re all black-clad mercs. Their weapon loadout varies, but they lack the character of the pirates from the first game.

Any sense of disappointment is swept away though with a constant barrage of well-designed levels and outrageous set-pieces that always leaves you in control. Back on the Mega-Drive every decent action game worth its salt had a killer train level. Well they’re back and get ready for the best one yet. It has all the great staples like pushing enemies off, dodging barriers and a seemingly never-ending (in a good way) journey to the front.  You’ll be clambering around the side of the carriages and jumping in through windows to get the drop on gun turrets and shotgun heavies. Don’t forget to admire the view through the jungle though; you’ll miss it if you don’t flick the camera around. I’d do it early on too as the helicopter boss fight is one hell of a sprint finish.

A later level that has you leaping between trucks speeding along a snowy mountain-side is a lesson in outrageous excitement too. But you’ll need the odd breather and that’s where the puzzles come in. There’s nothing too taxing to work out, the challenge is generally how to climb up to a certain area to switch a light-reflecting mirror and the like.

Throughout the explosive gunfights and quieter moments, the cast do a supreme job of keeping you entertained. Drake is again voiced by gaming’s favourite ‘everyman’ Nolan North, whose fallible nature is so much more likable than the usual gaming grunt. Elena returns too, but she’s got a bit of competition from new girl Chloe who’s been working with Drake. The story focuses on the legend of the Cintamani Stone and the lost civilisation of Shambhala (Shangri La). It’s got mystical powers and all that and there’s a psychotic war criminal in the shape of Zoran Lazarevic. It’s a great traditional adventure full of plot twists, betrayal, laughs, stunning scenery and the ambitious level of action that Hollywood blockbusters have been missing for years.

By the time the conclusion comes round you’ll have seen the best looking levels in gaming today (especially the last location) and will in all likelihood start a new game.  However you might be tempted to check out the multiplayer too.

Nobody asked for it, but what the hell, it could be a laugh for an afternoon. Turns out we should have been looking forward to this side of the game with an obsessive six-month fever too. The platforming and cover options work as well as they do in the single player game with the especially redesigned environments from the main game making up the arenas. Sometimes online shooters with cover options tend to descend into everyone ignoring it in favour of full on assaults, but everyone seems to be enjoying playing the game as it’s supposed to be.

The usual single and team deathmatches are supported by a mode where your team is stealing a heavy gold idol, which forces the carrier to use a pistol to defend themselves. On the plus side, they can sling the idol to teammates to quicken things up.

No problems with lag and the promise of extra skins, maps and modes from Naughty Dog mean that this will probably be no flash-in-the-pan experience for the online community. Considering the awesomeness of the single-player game, this is one hell of a surprising but most-welcome addition to the series.

Pros

  • The most exciting action game on any system
  • Graphics and overall production values are constantly jaw-dropping
  • Multiplayer beats the odds and plays a cracking game

Cons

  • Stealth level early on was a bit of a false start
  • Merc enemies are a bit boring
  • All your other games are now shit

The Short Version: It’s not just the visuals, the peerless acting/script and gaming’s most likable hero that have made Uncharted 2 one of the finest adventures you’ll ever have. It’s just so goddamn exciting to play, refusing to side-line you while the cut-scenes step in and do the hard work; it’s you all the way. You’ll dread it having to end.