For months, rumors of a third uncharted game have percolated, thanks to premature product listings and overly imaginative artists. Now, though, the game has been officially outed, thanks to a preview in Entertainment Weekly magazine.
The official title of Naughty Dog's next game will be Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, and it will arrive in late 2011. Though details were light on the game's story, it will reportedly focus on the relationship between Drake and his avuncular mentor Victor "Sully" Sullivan. This time around, a search for a lost city will take the wily adventurer to the Arabian Peninsula and its bleak Empty Quarter.
The magazine also reported the game's plot will be partially inspired by the exploits of famed British adventurer T.E. Lawrence. Said exploits won't be of the military variety that earned him the nickname of Lawrence of Arabia, but rather the archeological career he had before World War I.
That's not to say there won't be any shooting in Uncharted 3. Gameplay details dropped in the article include expanded co-op and multiplayer modes, improved reverse climbing, and the ability to shoot multiple enemies at once. As rumored, much of the game will be set in the desert, with the developers at Naughty Dog putting a visual emphasis on sand.
[UPDATE] Sony has now officially announced Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, and has confirmed it will support stereoscopic 3D out of the box. The game will also feature the ability to engage multiple enemies in melee combat, and will also sport new stealth abilities.
As with its predecessors, Uncharted 3 will be exclusive to the PlayStation 3. The game will debut alongside the first novel based on the series, Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth, but not the film based on the series. That project, directed by David O. Russell and starring Mark Wahlberg, is set to shoot next summer.
[UPDATE 2] Via Twitter, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon producer Gavin Purcell is now saying a live demo of Uncharted 3 will be conducted on the show on Monday, December 13.