Uncharted 3’s Secrets Revealed

Of the few publications running Uncharted 3 previews just now, it’s Future’s Edge magazine that hits the spot so resoundingly – the ten page special in issue 223 not only graces the cover and goes in-depth with Naughty Dog’s new game, but it also includes a two page interview on gaming exposition, with some fascinating insights into crafting the perfect story.

Obviously we want everyone to go out and buy the magazine, but it’s probably worth picking out a few highlights as a teaser, and there’s some cracking slices of new information hidden in the extensive text.  For starters, Naughty Dog co-president Christophe Balestra reveals that the second game, Uncharted 2, didn’t even fit into memory three weeks before the game was shipped.  “The day we have no solution for that,” he says, “that’s going to be a real problem.”


Uncharted 3 is set around Drake searching for an object in Ubar, an Arabian city known as the Iram of the Pillars, and the trial set by Francis Drake in the first game continues here, although players can expect plenty of plot based on explorer TE Lawrence (yes, he of Arabia).    The game will, according to the article, push Drake to the “limits of his endurance” and “threatens to conjure all of his deepest fears.”

Indeed, Naughty Dog’s Amy Hennig suggests the enemy this time is something a little different.  “A kind [Drake] hasn’t seen before,” she says, “a more insidious… ancient and sinister order” and it’s one that some suggest might be involved with the somewhat mysterious death of Lawrence himself.

Sand, as you’ll have seen from the various screenshots, will feature heavily, replacing the snow from the last game and the jungle from the first.  Naughty Dog promise drifts, sandstorms, mirages and heat hazes, sand, then, “in all its forms.”  Not that the yellow stuff will be the only location in the game: “it’s hard to give even a rough estimate,” says Even Wells, promising “several environments,” some of which “aren’t even remotely sandy.”

Game changes?  Weapons are now automatically picked up, combat is now much more up close and personal and the enemy AI much improved, including what looks like proper squad dynamics – the magazine describes Drake being grabbed from behind and fighting off an assailant in front.  Likewise, animation has been ramped up considerably, with 32 cameras in the motion capture studio last used by the Beowulf movie.

In terms of performance, Uncharted 3 uses all six of the PS3’s free SPUs but at a far more advanced and efficient rate.  Uncharted 2 used all six too (Uncharted just used two) but the difference is akin to “street-car” and “Formula 1” levels of performance.  “We’re at full speed,” says Balestra of the game’s single player, although the team clearly don’t yet want to talk about multiplayer apart from to say that it’s a “massive component” compared to the last.

Wells does admit that we might see the return of Drake’s love interest, though.  “Some of the characters from the past games will return,” he says, but confirms that the most important relationship will be between Drake and Sully.

We can’t wait to get our hands on the game ourselves, even the chateau level we’ve already seen looks absolutely stunning, as well we’d expect.  We’ve barely scratched the surface of the article though, which is a wonderful read (as is the rest of the magazine, as normal) and covers plenty more aspects to the game (and the past two) so anyone looking to learn more about Uncharted 3 would do well to grab a copy.  Edge’s online site is here.



  1. The whole part about an ancient cult being the main antogonistic presence interests me. However, I would rather like a history lesson on how Drake met Sully, and an extensive list of old Vic’s female fancies.

    • Ha! Drake’s most devious and sinister enemies are all the Filipino girls that Sully’s bedded throughout his splendidly promiscuous life.

    • haha yeah i love the bond Drake and Sully share.They could be some great stories with them what would make some exciting levels

  2. It’s hard not to sit here, read this and simply drift off into a happy blissful gaze of pure ecstasy. More, better, tighter controls, improved animation. They pretty much raised the bar in almost every facet of gaming and they’re about to do it again. Sure, even if they only nudge the bar up a bit, it’ll still be gaming heaven.

    Personally, there was no stronger relationship than Sully and Drake. The ribbing, camaraderie, genuine care, bickering. All superb.

    • You even made that comment sound perverted :P

  3. Really looking forward to this. Loved the first two, will be sure to pick this up as soon as it’s out.

  4. im not looking forward to the relationship of sulley and drake, with the second ending with eleana and drake they should really continue with that and probably will :P

    still sounds great as usual and will be the best game on ps3 yet

  5. Can’t wait, IMO the Uncharted series is just as much of a reason to own a PS3 as Halo is a reason to own a 360…

    I’m looking forward to seeing how much more juice the ND team squeeze out of the PS3, it’s just a shame there aren’t more devs with the ability to do it as well as them.

    However at the same time as being excited about the continuing character development between Drake and Sully in the game, I can’t help but recoil in horror at the thought of the direction they are going with the movie version!!! When will film makers learn that the reason most game based movies suck is because they try to change the source material too much – you don’t see them entirely rewriting the back story of Harry Potter when they make a movie version of the book, so why do it with story-driven games?

    • With all the excitement of UC3 i completely forgot all about the film. Now i will have nightmares.

  6. “Weapons are now automatically picked up”
    Please, someone tell me we can disable the “automatic”.
    If Uncharted 2 was “The Kingdom of Crystal Skull” (bad) of the Uncharted series, then this one is shaping to be “Temple of Doom”(terrible)
    Note: I’m trying to think this is going to be a terrible game so it seems as good as the first one, when it surpasses my expectations.

    • How can someone be so negative and still look forward to it! :-)

      • Let’s face it: A terrible Uncharted will still be great, at least.

  7. I’m not sure about this “automatically picking up weapons” I like the fact it always restricted you to 1 pistol and 1 rifle/shotgun/etc. if you’re automatically picking up weapons everywhere, this won’t be the case

    • I believe what they’re saying is that you won’t have to press triangle to pick up ammo, whereas picking up a new gun still requires the triangle button.

      • I atleast hope that is what they are saying.

  8. Really hyped for this, I can’t see it ending up as anything but amazing.
    The automatic weapon/ammo pickup is unnecessary though, not a game-breaker ofcourse, but I would like it to stay the same as in the last two games. For some odd reason I just love picking up weapons/ammo in UDF and UC2, oh well…

    • *High fives eye8have9you3 and Aquastyle*
      Within 10 minutes, we already have 3 comments saying they don’t like automatic picking up weapons. See, Naughty Dog?! You don’t fix, what it isn’t broken. Can we just have Uc3 as a DLC for UDF? I’d even pay 100£ for it to have UDF’s gameplay.

      • There’s even a thread/petition over at the official ND forums entitled “Say NO to automatic weapon pickup!”… Hopefully they’ll atleast make it optional.

  9. as far as the automatic pick up of wepons im assuming itl only apply to the single heavy gun and hand gun your holding, promting you to press triangle if you want to switch out for an alternative when you encounter one on the map.

    again, im assuming… also hoping.

  10. So excited it hurts.

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