"All these things, they just make the game in general a different experience from the last game," says Richmond. "We know we're on the right track."

I find I have a lot more fun in the Airstrip map, with its numerous containers to clamber over and under, buildings to creep through, and multi-level vantage points. Chateau is a more tense experience in which you're more likely to be exposed and diving for cover behind nearby ruins.

Beyond the game, social media has a big part to play. Every developer and his (naughty) dog are doing Facebook integration these days, but Uncharted's creator wants it to be worthwhile.

Richmond details one very cool example: "When you login to Facebook through the XMB you can see all your Facebook friends playing the game. If you and I are Facebook friends, even if I don't know your PSN ID, we can still play together, and that's huge.

"Everybody has on average about 150 Facebook friends, but with PSN friends they have a lot less so we want to make sure people can play with their friends and really have an experience that's social and interesting."

Happily, "social and interesting" to Naughty Dog doesn't mean spamming feeds with the usual how-to-make-your-friends-hate-you updates.

"When we update things we're not going to do the general 'You hit level 20!' and blast that out to all the different social media sites," Richmond reassures. "That's boring, people hide it." Amen to that.

From burnt-out chateau to airport yard, multiplayer takes advantage of the main game's key locations.

He adds: "We want to make it much more personal, so: I uploaded a screenshot that I think is cool; I put a clip online that I think is awesome." A new set of editing tools will facilitate this, enabling the creation of highlights reels and so on, which can be uploaded directly to Facebook or YouTube.

Additionally, Uncharted TV will live in the online interface, serving up Naughty Dog-produced content and the best of the community's efforts.

Uncharted 3 multiplayer also supports stereoscopic 3D. According to Wells, this actually came about as a side effect of another new feature: split-screen multiplayer.

"We wanted to add split-screen to our multiplayer - it was a very important feature, the very first thing we started tackling when we started Uncharted 3 multiplayer," he explains. "We knew that we were going to have two points of view anyway, so that's basically all 3D is: rendering in the left eye and the right eye".

Understandably, the 3D effect isn't as knockout impressive as it is in single-player (which Naughty Dog has gone to incredible lengths on – and we'll be covering separately in more detail very soon), but its inclusion underlines the overall ambition to cover every single base with the game and then some.

"It's trying to make sure that everybody in the game has the right experience and making sure it feels like it's running in frame-rate and looks amazing," says Richmond. "So not one system is getting the shaft – the 2D looks awesome, the 3D looks awesome and plays just as well".

Three Team Deathmatch is a terrific addition, pitting three teams of two against each other.

A nice touch here is that both participants in a split-screen game can sign in separately with their PSN IDs, ensuring no-one loses out on progression bonuses.

Elsewhere, you'll have four loadout slots to customise with choices of weapons and boosters, with Naughty Dog promising "thousands of combinations". And characters themselves can be dolled up and accessorised if that is your 'thing'.

One disappointment with Uncharted 2's offering was the not-exactly-inspired range of game modes. Three Team Death Match is a step in the right direction. And Naughty Dog teases us with the promise of further MP mode announcements, one of which just happens to be Richmond's favourite. "We'll be announcing more and more of that stuff through the summer," he says.

There's new boosts, perks, treasure and rewards to discover and capture, and you can experience all of that yourselves when the beta hits on 28th June for PSN Plus subscribers and buyers of InFamous 2, and 5th July for everyone else.

With Naughty Dog saying nothing about co-op missions for now (other than they're coming), that, for now, is everything we know about multiplayer. It's all looking as comprehensive, confident and compelling as one would hope. And that's before we've even had a play of the main adventure.

"We've got some pretty big plans for E3," Wells concludes with a grin. Excited yet?

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Johnny Minkley

Johnny Minkley


Johnny Minkley is a veteran games writer and broadcaster, former editor of Eurogamer TV, VP of gaming charity SpecialEffect, and hopeless social media addict.

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