Where I left off from my last blog Happy 30 Years of Naughty Dog Part 1 and Happy 30 Years of Naughty Dog Part 2 we continue with the third part of Naughty Dog 30 years starting off with Crash Bandicoot and then Jak and Daxter, what did they work on next after finishing another trilogy for a franchise for the PS2?
They move on another trilogy for the PS3 Naughty Dog assembled their most technically talented staff members and began development of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune under the codename Big. It was in full production for about two years, with a small team of engineers working on the game for about a year before the first game was released in 2007. Naughty Dog decided to create a brand new IP rather than opt to develop a PlayStation 3 Jak and Daxter game they wanted to create a franchise suitable for the new hardware, in order to develop such ideas as realistic human characters instead of stylized ones owing to limitations of previous hardware, as well as create something fresh and interesting. You could say that they may have come from the likes of Indiana Jones and National Treasure for its action sequence and Tomb Raider series for its puzzles and action-platforming.
The story for the first game on a clue which was in the coffin of Sir Francis Drake, sets a modern-day fortune hunter on an exploration for the fabled treasure of El Dorado, leading to the discovery of a forgotten island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The search turns deadly when Nathan Drake becomes stranded on the island and hunted by mercenaries. Outnumbered and outgunned, Drake and his companions must fight to survive as they begin to unravel the secrets hidden on the Island. With a mix of an action-3rd person shooter and puzzle-platforming Uncharted was a big hit on sales worldwide a year later Trophy Support was added in the game which is like the Xbox Achievements but with trophies instead for the PS3 after Updates came for the system itself.
In December 2008 a gaming magazine called Game Informer which had the first images of the sequel where Drake is walking through a snowy blizzard and of course the first trailer for Uncharted 2 was posted online a few days later. Uncharted 2 was even bigger, better and more action then the first Uncharted, it even won multiple awards including Game of the Year for 2009 on multiple sites and magazine. When inFamous was released in May 2009 pre-ordered were made where gamers could play the beta for the online multiplayer for Uncharted 2 and then also emails were sent out to players all over the world before the game was released meaning that most people managed to play the multiplayer beta before the game was released in October 2009. Story for the second follows Nathan Drake as he tries to solve the mystery of Marco Polo's last voyage, like the last game Drake meets some of the most deadly people he comes across in the sequel. This was my Game of the Year for 2009 and I'm pretty sure that most people would agree with me that this was the best game in the series in my opinion which had almost everything when it comes to an action game it does make it feel almost perfect as a Spielberg film at the same time.
Past games made by Naughty Dog there was always a third game in a trilogy and indeed there was when Uncharted 3 was first mentioned at Spike Video Game Awards in 2010 showing off some of the first gameplay footage, as the game was still in development there was a ton of new stuff added from the graphics and visuals including the first Uncharted game to have 3D support if you owned a Sony HD TV which still cost an arm and a leg if you want to get a full experience of gaming in 3D. Online Multiplayer had a ton of more options and choices when it came to online matches on PSN and DLC content kept coming in from maps to character packs. The motion capture for Uncharted 3 was even more realistic then the last two games, however when it came to playing Uncharted 3 certain PS3 consoles like the older 60GB or even 80GB PS3 consoles made this game over-heat their PS3's very easily meaning that you either spend little as possible playing the game or change to the lowest display settings on your screen. But that never stopped gamers and fans when it came to playing Uncharted 3 where Nathan Drake journey across Europe and into the Middle East, following in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia.
Like Uncharted 2 the third game was a huge success a month before the game's full retail release, players who purchased certain items from Subway had access to the entire multiplayer mode of Uncharted 3, as part of a cross-promotion between Sony and sandwich chain Subway. But this was only available in North America only but it was a great idea on promoting the game plus there was even a few TV commercials where Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones) was playing the game in front of his TV which I thought was funny to see because it reminded me how good the Indiana Jones series when it comes to movies. Winning more awards including Game of the Year on both sites and magazine it was also yet again my Game of the Year for 2011, a fourth game has been mentioned a while back but it will be released for the PS4 and Naughty Dog have said that Drake's adventures haven't finished just yet for this Treasure Hunter.
Not only Uncharted was just released for the PS3 two more games got released for the PS Vita when it was launched in 2011 for Japan and 2012 for the rest of the world. Uncharted: Golden Abyss was a launch title for the handheld console and it did get some good reviews for its clever gameplay and touchscreen on the back of the PS Vita. And a card game called Fight for Fortune was released in December 2012 where players use their decks of cards to defeat the opposing side, the game can connect with Golden Abyss, earning the player new cards based on their progression in the campaign and the trophies they have earned.
The series itself was still a huge success making it even more popular than there was a novel called Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth which I have read and would say that it's worth reading if you are a fan of the series or you've read Christopher Golden's other novels. There was also talk on an Uncharted Movie in the works which is still under progress but there was a report that Seth Gordon was planning on working on the movie and should be made sooner or later but the question is will it be good as the games?
When you compare Naughty Dog's past games with the likes of Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter you can tell there have been a lot of changes over the years on how far they have come when it comes to gaming from its animation, art, graphics and visuals. It makes you wonder what will Naughty Dog do next? My final blog will be talking about The Last of Us which is Naughty Dog's latest and finest piece you'll ever come across in gaming history and yes there will be a lot to talk about on that game.
What were your favourite moments or game in the Uncharted series? Thoughts on how far Naughty Dog has come during those years in development what do think made that company one of the best in gaming? Let us know in the comments