Uncharted sequel to cost USD 20 million

Will "deliver a richer narrative experience".

Naughty Dog bosstype Evan Wells has said Uncharted 2: Among Thieves will cost USD 20 million to make.

That's the same as Uncharted 1, but this time there's no need to build an engine for PS3 from scratch. So where's all the money going?

"Not only is the spectacle part of things that we are doing bigger - in terms of the kind of enemies and encounters that Drake is going to find himself in - but we are also trying to deliver a richer narrative experience as well. So both sides come at a cost," Wells explained to Joystiq.

"We definitely want to enrich the player's experience in as many ways as we possibly can. Right now though our focus is to enrich it through creating a much deeper and enjoyable single-player experience.

"As far as other online elements, we will see what the future holds," he added, dispersing any whiff of multiplayer.

The way Nathan Drake moves around the environment has been overhauled as well, we're told. He can now climb in a much more free-form, Assassin's Creed-style way, and shoot guns while doing just about anything: jumping, swinging, hanging, balancing and generally monkeying around.

"It really allows our designers to think completely creatively. Any situation you can imagine or any scene from a movie, it is like, 'Well we can put that in our game,'" said Wells.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves will apparently be longer than the first game, too, and give players more reasons to replay through the action: Trophies and medals being prime contenders.

And, as with Uncharted 1, the motion-captured Hollywood-style characterisation of Nathan Drake and new-face Chloe Frazer is paramount to Naughty Dog. Wells, however, was tight-lipped about possible cameos from familiar faces Sully and Elena.

"We want to introduce Chloe Frazer because she is such an important part of this game, and we don't want to be distracted by talking about any other characters that may or may not be in the game. So yeah, it is all about Chloe right now," he said.

All that plus a promise of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves using all, and not less-than-half, of the PS3's power.

There's no release date for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, but we're hopeful of a Christmas 2009 launch. Wells isn't sure about a demo, as chopping a character-lead story into an appropriate sampler can be tricky and often misrepresent the final game.

Head over to our Uncharted 2: Among Thieves gallery for a very recent batch of screenshots.

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