Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception GDC 2011 Preview -- Villain, 3D RevealedBy Jake Gaskill - Posted Mar 08, 2011
What We Already Know: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Naughty Dog’s hugely anticipated follow up to one of this generation’s most acclaimed titles Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, finds series star Nathan Drake, and his old pal Sully, on the hunt for a lost city located somewhere in the Arabian desert.
What We’re Seeing Now:
For GDC 2011, Naughty Dog revealed two new elements of Uncharted 3: the main villain and 3D functionality.
This time around, instead of some facing off against some brawny, brutish nemesis, Drake will be matching wits with one Katherine Marlowe, a Helen Mirren-esque British mastermind who, as Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells told us during GDC, has a history with Drake going back “even further than any of the two enemies he’s faced before.” Aside from her gender, Marlowe’s biggest difference with previous Uncharted villains is her use of more “psychological and insidious warfare,” instead of overt physical force.
Marlowe’s tactics will be felt all the way down to her henchmen, as enemies will rely on deception and fear just as much as they do on traditional weaponry. “They really try to trick Drake and fool him into thinking that they have greater numbers than they really do. And they go back to the Elizabethan timeframe. Actually, this is a secret society, so her agents, all these special ops guys, have been trained, passed down for hundreds of years.”
As for the 3D, all I have to say is, I’m kind of a believer now. For someone who has been pretty much indifferent, if, at times, a bit dismissive, of 3D gaming as it stands today, this is not something I say lightly. The sequence that was shown was the same one Naughty Dog released a while back in which Drake and Sully fight their way through a burning chateau (seen below), so I won’t rehash the particulars of the level. The important thing is that watching Drake maneuver around the crumbling inferno in 3D was jaw dropping. Remember how you reacted during the opening train climbing sequence in Uncharted 2? It was like that, only even more pronounced, because the effects on display are just spectacular.
Embers dance in front of your eyes and seem to flutter from just behind your head and swirl around you. Some rises up out of the floor and wafts from background to middle ground to foreground as naturally as if you were actually walking through it. The platforming and gunplay benefit the most from 3D, since it gives you a tactical advantage against enemies, and turns already heart-pounding platforming into heart-bursting moments of pure adrenaline pumping brilliance. The final sequence of the demo was the part where the floor buckles underneath Drake’s feet and he slides down the broken portion and falls down to a stairwell, catching the banister just barely and saving himself from falling into a fiery pit below. The sensation you feel as the camera tips over Drake as he falls is like being on a rollercoaster as it takes a massive drop. It’s terrifying yet energizing and ever so thrilling.
Uncharted 2 was the game that convinced me to get a PlayStation 3, and Uncharted 3 might end up being the game that convinces me that 3D gaming is in fact a legitimate step forward for gaming. We'll know for sure when the game ships this November.