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...
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.'
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...
This was familiar turf for players of the recent multiplayer beta, with some local matches over a LAN connection bringing Manchester PlayStation Access attendees together before encouraging them to pull each other off ledges.
Uncharted 2 surprised everyone by making a fine first effort with the multiplayer and U3 looks set to surpass it easily with its dosage of cinematic sequences and power plays where a team is given a temporary stat boost. Today we played around on a few maps new maps with team deathmatches being the game of choice. One map was set in a desert village, similar to that seen in the recent single-player footage. There were lots of close alleys with corners and walls to hide behind, making for a fast-paced match where itchy trigger fingers and sharp melee skills proved most lethal. The climbing was brilliant here too as it can be used to perform grab kills to pull opponents over a ledge. It’s uber-slick and will probably cost us many lives in the pursuit of enjoyment over a decent kill/death ratio, as it does leave you vulnerable to being swatting off the wall in a hail of gunfire.Click here to read more...