Sony and Naughty Dog were on hand at last week's Game Developers Conference to show off a bit of new content in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. And when we say "a bit," we really mean it. The press got to see a quick cutscene revealing the game's primary villain, and then it was on to the same burning chateau demo we saw back when the game was introduced in December. Fortunately, Sony did bring along some 3D glasses so we could see how the gameplay looked with the Z-axis all poking out and whatnot. So how's it all coming along? Well, this will come as a surprise to approximately zero people, but Uncharted 3 looks great no matter how many dimensions you're experiencing.
Let's start with this new bad guy…or rather bad lady in this case. Her name's Catherine Marlowe, and according to developer Naughty Dog, she's quite the evil mastermind. Marlowe is the head of a highly powerful cabal (read: shadowy organization) that began during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. We're not entirely sure what sort of conspiracies this cabal gets up to, but we were told that they operate with a brutal task force of former special forces agents to get whatever it is they need done. Now Marlowe is after the ring that Nathan Drake carries around his neck (the yin to his half-tucked shirt's yang) because of its connection to Sir Francis Drake. Obviously, Nate would very much like to hold onto it.
Marlowe was shown being all snide and villainous in a cutscene plucked right from the game's storyline. Sully and Drake are violently knocked from a doorway into a dimly lit urban alley, likely somewhere in London judging from the well-armed guards with English accents standing by to keep our pair of heroes from doing anything stupid. To drive home the point, these guards give Drake and Sully a pretty good beatdown despite the fact that the two are dressed in surprisingly snappy formalwear. Soon enough, Marlowe shows up and has a less-than-pleasant conversation with Drake. If we had to describe her look and sound, it would be Dame Judi Dench's fun-hating evil twin. With Helen Mirren's hair. And a giant umbrella knife. Listen, we're getting sidetracked--this lady is nasty. That's the important thing.
After this brief look at the game's new villain, Sony and Naughty Dog passed out the shutter glasses to show how Uncharted 3 looks in 3D. We were situated too far away from the TV to see if there was a noticeable impact on the game's resolution with 3D enabled--an issue with recent games like Killzone 3. However, we did notice that the game's 3D effects add a pretty substantial sense of scale to the climbing and platforming sequences. In this burning chateau demo, Drake and Sully are trying to flee a burning mansion as crackling walls and support beams are toppling down around them. During those moments when Drake has to balance across a narrow beam above a massive pit of fire, or shimmy his way along a narrow ledge, the 3D effect makes the drop below seem that much more ominous. The effect is substantially more subtle during combat sequences, where nothing really popped out at us. But when you're staring down a potentially deadly ledge, the effect is much more pronounced.
Sony's GDC demo of Uncharted 3 was an impressive showing, though we'd be lying if we said we weren't hoping for more substantially new content out of the event. Still, we've got plenty of time to go until the game's November release, so we'll just bide our time knowing that Naughty Dog--with all those Game of the Year trophies on the shelves--probably knows what it's doing.