Naughty Dog's adventure opus, Uncharted, has gradually become one of the biggest franchises in video games
The original launched to muted praise, but got a second wind of enthusiasm when it was one of the first retail titles to boast trophy support. For many, that patch introduced them to the escapades of Drake, Sully and Elena, and is probably one of the most important updates in PlayStation history.
This year's E3 unveiling of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception focused on another slice of technical sorcery, showing Nathan Drake trying to escape from a sinking cruise liner. But it was the trailer that followed the gameplay demonstration that got our blood boiling. Not only did it reveal the return of Drake's squeezes — Chloe and Elena — but also some amazing gameplay set-pieces. As Drake commandeered a jeep, he leaped from the moving vehicle onto the wheels of a plane, before ending up embroiled in a ferocious fist-fight mid-flight. Naughty Dog's ability to recreate huge James Bond sequences within real-time gameplay remains unchallenged.
In a weird sense though, watching Uncharted 3's E3 trailer made put us off seeing any more. It leaves us in a precarious position. As a publication we're required to commentate on as much PlayStation content as possible, but we're fans too, and sometimes we just want to go into a game blind and be surprised. That's precisely how we feel about Drake's Deception. Like Batman: Arkham City, we suspect there are number of you that don't need to see previews, screenshots and trailers to purchase Uncharted 3; you're going to buy it anyway. Going on a media black-out always results in the best experience when you see something fresh, for the first-time. As bloggers we rarely get that luxury, but any game that challenges us to consider our stance on coverage deserves to be at the top of our most wanted list.
Uncharted 3 is unlikely to be a gameplay revelation, but the series is the best in the industry when it comes to story-telling and plot development. Naughty Dog has already revealed that while present, Chloe and Elena will share a smaller role in Uncharted 3, allowing Sully and Drake's relationship to sit at the forefront. We suspect — largely because of the game's sub-title — that Uncharted 3 might depict a darker side to Nathan Drake. That's exciting. And without even factoring in the game's fantastic multiplayer component, that's why it's our most anticipated game of 2011.