Uncharted 3 Post-E3 Q&A

We talk to Naughty Dog about some of the finer points of the developer's impressive E3 demo.

Naughty Dog turned the Electronic Entertainment Expo on its ear back in 2009 with a show-stealing demo of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. We all remember how that particular story went: boy meets helicopter, helicopter tries to kill boy, boy escapes collapsing building. This year, Naughty Dog brought along another exciting demo for the upcoming sequel Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, but it was impressive for altogether different reasons. We had a chat with game director Justin Richmond to explore some of the details of Uncharted 3's E3 showing that might have been overlooked by the hustle and bustle of the big event.

GameSpot: Now that the dust has settled from E3, let's talk about the demo that you guys brought to the show. The Uncharted 2 demo from a couple years ago was one for the ages, with that incredible helicopter chase through a collapsing building. What made you guys decide to showcase what was, for the most part, a more subdued, stealth-oriented demo for Uncharted 3?

Justin Richmond: We really wanted to show off something that was different from Uncharted 2, but that was also impressive and interesting in its own right. That opening shot of Drake standing on the cruise ship as the rain pours down and waves pitch around him was something that resonated strongly within the studio. As a result, we decided to use that as the starting point to the demo would we ultimately show at E3. I think the level shows off some really amazing stuff, including new features (underwater swimming, for example) and technology (all that flooding water and the rolling ocean). While the demo is more of a slow burn than the collapsing building, it shows off some amazing stuff we simply could not have done in last game.

GS: In terms of the public response you got out of this demo, were there any surprise reactions that you guys weren't expecting going into E3?

JR: Anytime we do a public demo or release assets or information on what we're working on, we always want to keep our fans happy and have them chomping at the bit for more. If we accomplish those goals, we have done our job. During E3, I was really excited to see how well the cruise ship demo was received. To be honest, it's always a pleasant surprise to have people react so positively to something you have spent so much time on, especially as we are so heads down when in the middle of development, so we don't get an opportunity to see this kind of reaction until we've shown it to everyone in a very public way!

GS: Were there any aspects of the E3 demo you think might have been overlooked amidst the general hullaballoo of the show?

JR: With much of the focus at the show being on the single-player, I think many people may not know about the hands-on multiplayer demo we were showing on the floor to anybody and everybody who attended E3. All three days, the line to play was insane, with people giving us all kinds of positive feedback about how much they enjoyed the game. We are really excited for the rest of the world to get its hands on Uncharted 3 with the upcoming multiplayer beta, which starts on June 28 and runs through mid-July. We are really proud of all the improvements and additions we have made to our multiplayer game, expanding on the success of our Uncharted 2 multiplayer experience. We have added tons of new systems, customizability, and gameplay features that provide a multiplayer experience that is unlike any other title out there. Don't miss this beta; it is going to be awesome.

GS: One of the big themes from the demo was the devastating power of water. We saw it in the crashing waves, the constantly moving floor of the boat, and eventually that huge flood at the end. Can you talk a bit about the process behind deciding that water would play a bigger role in this game and the technical challenges of implementing that vision into the game?

JR: The decision came about organically. After Uncharted 2, Jacob Minkoff (lead designer) wanted to try creating a dynamic environment that was moving while you were on it. He came up with the idea of the cruise ship. Out of that, came the necessity of water. Water is obviously immensely tricky to render realistically in video games. We spent a ton of time developing systems to make sure that the level both looked and played how we wanted it to. The boat is actually being driven by the ocean, so it will never play the same way twice. Drake reacts in real time to the sway and pitch of the boat, as well as having to deal with enemies. Then, in the hold, the level actually rotates 90 degrees in real time, the water sloshing as it does so. All of these systems alone are tricky; making them interact with each other in a realistic way was even more difficult.

GS: While Uncharted is very much about those big scripted, cinematic events, there's generally quite a bit of freedom with how players can approach enemy encounters. Is there any other way the E3 demo might have unfolded depending on the player's combat strategy?

JR: Obviously, some of that demo was scripted, but the vast majority of it was player controlled. Depending on how the player chooses to play, the fight in the hold can progress completely differently. The boat will eventually flood to the point where it flips, but the player is in full control the entire time. Also, certain events were not shown in the demo that exist in the full game, so there is actually even more gameplay in the sequence than the demo let on. Players are going to get a real treat when the full game comes out.

Don't worry, that water won't mess up Drake's hair.

GS: You guys also showed a behind-closed-doors demo set with Drake and Elena trying to break into a cargo plane. There definitely seemed to be more of an unspoken bond between those two. Can you talk about where Drake and Elena are as companions--or maybe just as people--and the effect that will have on the story?

JR: With every game, we try to expand upon our characters and their relationships. I don't want to give away anything, but you will definitely see even more of Drake and Elena and how they have grown as characters over the course of the Uncharted series. Obviously, this is a sequel, and it is not like the clock has been reset. Drake and Elena have been through a lot, and Uncharted 3 will put them through even more. Players should come away from this game with an even deeper understanding of these characters and how they relate to each other. All I can say is wait and see.

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Discussion

120 comments
thisisburito
thisisburito

Uncharted 2 was may 2nd favorite game of all time, it was so awesome the way they did the game and I still don't think there is a better looking game on PS3. By the way, my most favorite game of all time is Jak 2, which was made by naughty dog the best video game developers ever. I've played almost every Naughty Dog game and I can't wait to see what they'll come up with after the Uncharted series is done!

studfly
studfly

When you play these Uncharted games, you know your in for a real treat. These Uncharted games are just freaking excellent.... Great characters, great action, great storyline. Its games like this, that are the ones that keep me still gaming....honestly. I still enjoy the first two games alot, and I have never even tried the multiplayer. ONE OF THE BEST SERIES...EVER.

inso-maniac
inso-maniac

@0207mm i agree with u about the online which i forgot about but offline im gonna have to disagree the unllockables r not good enough to keep me going

kaem79
kaem79

The graphics and everything else is much better in Witcher:AoK.

macca366
macca366

@FamousCalibur @hella_epic Those all seem like good games definitely, but personally they just don't interest me at all.

ghhajini
ghhajini

I don't think there is a person alive who can say anything bad about this game. G O T Y for me! And is it confirmed ? everything you just saw was in-engine... EVERYTHING

imsosickofyou
imsosickofyou

Nathan drake is a P***y magnet!!!....my girlfriend almost left me for this virtual guy.......We'd be in trouble if he was real..

Partyskelett
Partyskelett

Completely stoked. Although there are other grand titles scheduled to emerge around the same time, this will be the only one pre-ordered.

Maddogtaylor
Maddogtaylor

cant wait for this one, was made by the crash bandicoot crew so its gotta be a great adventure game, the last one was great and i hope they have co op missions again!

4610383no
4610383no

I NEED THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

waleedsmz
waleedsmz

@EL_Esbirro If you have PS Plus or you pre-ordered Infamous 2 and received a beta code.. You can download it form PS store :)

keybladegamer
keybladegamer

I can't wait until november!! I loved co op multiplayer and singleplayer in uncharted 2. Definetely a release date buy for me.

El_Esbirro
El_Esbirro

nice f'n game! question to you all, how do you get the beta??

waleedsmz
waleedsmz

Getting ready for the Beta tomorrow! :O

parkurtommo
parkurtommo

Just the framerate combined with the graphics is jaw-dropping.

graphidz
graphidz

one word : WOW let's just hope uncharted truly,forever, stays on the playstation.THAT would be awesome

Ivory-Dynamite
Ivory-Dynamite

There was a big improvement gap between no 1 & 2 So I wonder how big the gap will be between 2 & 3.

hella_epic
hella_epic

@macca366 i'm adding resistences to ure comment too.............

FamousCalibur
FamousCalibur

@macca366 what about LBP and Killzone, and Motorstorm

shadow580
shadow580

This is such a strong series. I almost missed the first Uncharted because I felt like it looked like an adventure game for kids. A friend of mine told me it was good so I picked it up and enjoyed the crap out of it. Then Uncharted 2 came and was pretty much a bigger and more awesome version of number 1. I think the 3rd one won't disappoint in those regards and will definitely be an epic adventure.

eliebaz
eliebaz

wake me up when its November :P cannot wait!!

snake3rules
snake3rules

Man I cant wait for this one ... just downloaded the E3 trailer in 3d from the ps store ... looks soooo good. Loving the new music in it, much more heart-pounding, climactic, and with that touch of desperation, like everything's on the line ... love it. Plus the 3d and action looks great ... love the way they tease the big set-pieces showing the huge cruise liners, plane, etc ... but in brief flashes just to show their immensity and tease what will come ... well we've all seen the ship now, and boy was that impressive. And the MP Beta is gonna be in 3d too... man, is it the 28th yet?! Because I CANNOT WAIT! And @ TonnFool23 -- Please ... That booster is like level 40-something, which essentially means you have to play like 50+ hours to get it... Also, you left of the fact that even those who have access to it hardly EVER use it (myself included), because it has about e a three foot radius of effectiveness, and is only useful to pathetic hiding shotgunners ... I just hope that this time out they dont try to turn the MP into Sony Smash Bros again... UC has enough in its own universe, and it definitely will after this game, plus throw in the new customization options, and theres absolutely no reason EVERY sony character needs to horn in on my UC3.

NojYensog
NojYensog

Almost the perfect adventure game and series ever created...just missing more scantily clad chicks.

TonnFool23
TonnFool23

@0207mm The online mode in uncharted 2 is absolutely barbaric, I mean people with special powers in that game that can see you through the walls etc? Hopefully Uncharted 3 isn't like that at all.

veryfrost
veryfrost

Well, i guess Nathan Drake is Sam's Fishers and Lara's Croft son. Both parents got old so their son continues their adventure !. Haha

0207mm
0207mm

@inso-maniac you obviously dont have access to online multiplayer, there is a vast amount of replay value on and offline.

inso-maniac
inso-maniac

awesome game but i still say rent because not much replay value

macca366
macca366

The Uncharted games are the only ps3 exclusives that really make me wish I had a ps3. Naughty Dog has just been so consistent and improving ever since Crash Bandicoot, great company.

thegamegod
thegamegod

as nice as this game looks,i really dont see the hype surrounding the drakes games...i've play and completed both,and they're average,but only worth a rent if anything.

realistic44
realistic44

Lol i hope im not the only one whos not gonna try to finish the story, just to practice all of the melee moves :P

Nano1124
Nano1124

I love what Naughty Dog makes. This, Jak and Daxter series, and Crash series. can't wait wha they will come up next. :D

BloomerNYC
BloomerNYC

Will this go down as one of the best game series ever? Very possible.

Trident001
Trident001

NaughtyDog is by far one of the best comapnies out there today. They are consistant in quality and inovative with each new ipo. Uncharted series is the best series on the market, on any platfform.

Jir11
Jir11

Really can't wait for this one.

godofwar1229
godofwar1229

i just wanna know more about the main story.Which is supposed to be why you play the game right?

ps2wii719
ps2wii719

The "don't worry, the water won't mess up Drake's hair" under the picture is so true.

MrM9991
MrM9991

Super super excited for this! :D I've already pre-ordered my copy! Woot! Hope to see you all on the beta! ^-^

shani_boy101
shani_boy101

I'm pretty pissed off that I paid the most out of anyone in the world for inFamous 2 ($169 for the Australian Hero Edition) and I don't even get access to the Uncharted beta. Total BS. I really want to get into that beta.

waleedsmz
waleedsmz

I. NEED. THE. BETA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

kkee
kkee

Everything that's been shown so far looks excellent, and we still have 4 months until release.

Alex__V
Alex__V

Wish there were more games like this!

SS451
SS451

So, there will be a decrease in scripted events? I'm so down with that!

F4Remix
F4Remix

I Only Started Playing Uncharted 2 Was Out So I thought What The Hell Ill Buy Both And See What They Like And They Are AMAZING!!!!! Best Exclusives Money Can Buy,Never Seem To Disappoint,Day 1 Release Buy When This Is Out.

tony_hak
tony_hak

naughty dog programmers make my world M@d by the launching these third title of Jncharted series....thnx for osaum gameplay & i appreciate ur every second of ur life to deliver us such good games..God Bless naughty dog

02050muh
02050muh

hope gamespot didnt give review like they did with infamous 2 with this game