If you ever played Naughty Dog's superb - and for me still best game - Uncharted 2, you'll remember the train level.
How the Nathan Drake Collection modernises and improves a genuine last-gen classic.
6th October 2016
7th October 2015
17th September 2015
21st August 2015
11th June 2015
17th March 2015
23rd July 2014
5th December 2011
23rd June 2011
7th April 2010
19th May 2010
20th March 2010
22nd February 2010
25th January 2010
15th January 2010
21st December 2009
26th November 2009
13th November 2009
7th October 2009
30th September 2009
29th September 2009
29th September 2009
24th September 2009
24th September 2009
9th June 2009
1st June 2009
27th April 2009
19th March 2009
5th February 2009
Yesterday, 19th November, marked the 10th anniversary of Uncharted - and with it the birth of PlayStation's biggest of big budget franchises.
Former Naughty Dog employee David Ballard has gone public with a claim of sexual harassment he faced while working at the Uncharted and The Last of Us developer.
The Last of Us and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End co-director Bruce Straley is departing from Naughty Dog after 18 years.
Marvel's Spider-Man, aka Tom Holland, has been tapped up to play a young Nathan Drake in the upcoming Uncharted movie.
The Uncharted movie has found a new director with Shawn Levy, the man who helmed both Night At The Museum films, Date Night, and Real Steel.
Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection wonderfully remastered Naughty Dog's groundbreaking treasure-hunting adventure trilogy (back when it was still a trilogy), but it was rather costly if you were only interested in one or two of the collected titles. That won't be a problem come 16th November in Europe as Sony will start selling each remastered entry a la carte.
What we don't know is the price point. Chances are it will still be a lot cheaper to purchase the Nathan Drake Collection, especially as the anthology has come down in price since its release last October. Right now several sellers on Amazon UK are charging £30 or less for it.
Still, the individual titles might be worth it if you just want to play one of the games. But which one? Uncharted 2 is the fan-favourite, but our Oli Welsh seemed particularly fond of Uncharted 3 upon reassessing the series, while there are the rare holdouts who still favour the original adventure above all.
The Uncharted movie now has a new screenwriter, so we know it's still in development - even if it's sounding unlikely that it will hit its previously reported June 2017 release.
On paper Naughty Dog's Uncharted series is as generic as it gets. It's about a good looking white, heterosexual man going on exciting globe-trotting adventures, killing bad guys and wooing a spunky blonde reporter. On this level, it's functional at best and banal at worst. But dig deeper and it becomes clear that Naughty Dog's bombastic blockbuster series quietly had a profound effect on the medium's development over the past several years.
The Last of Us and Uncharted's film adaptations are both stuck in development hell.
Sony has added 22 games to its PlayStation Now subscription streaming service.
When it comes to pushing hardware to its limits, Naughty Dog is one of the best in the business. Yet, more than any of its previous games, it was Uncharted 2 that really demonstrated just how much of a technical powerhouse the studio really had become. The PS3 original was a technical marvel in its time and a huge improvement over the first Uncharted, with sweeping changes made to lighting, animation, materials, and frame-rate.
So when approaching the remastered Uncharted, we weren't entirely sure what to expect. Unlike Drake's Fortune, returning to the original PS3 release of Among Thieves isn't difficult - it remains a beautiful, highly playable game that continues to impress to this day. Improving upon an already polished experience is not a simple task by any means. So how has Bluepoint tackled this already stunning looking game in bringing it to PlayStation 4?
To begin with, we see the expected improvements right up front. That means a full 1080p resolution coupled with an excellent post-process anti-aliasing solution that manages to dodge in-surface aliasing while minimising flicker and blur. In addition, anisotropic filtering is utilised across the game with a variable level of quality. We see some surfaces operating with what looks similar to 16x AF while other, less important details seem to go as low as 4x. Even at its lowest level, it's still a substantial improvement over the trilinear filtering used on PlayStation 3. Image quality is simply excellent all around here.
Last month, Aoife and I had the great pleasure of meeting veteran video game voice actor Nolan North. We filmed a lovely interview about the reality of video game voice acting, and I managed to rope him into taking part in one of the most incredible Dad-Jokes of all-time.
A smorgasbord of early concept art and animation detailing Naughty Dog's early vision for Uncharted has been revealed.
The Uncharted 4 beta will launch on 4th December and run through 13th December, Naughty Dog has announced.
To acquire this early multiplayer beta you'll have to purchase the Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, due 9th October, and have a PS Plus membership.
A single-player demo for the Nathan Drake collection will arrive on 29th September. Here's how it's shaping up:
At what point does a remaster become a remake? Remastering involves improving video or audio quality, but fundamentally it is still derived from an existing source. The definition of a remaster in the gaming space is a little vague, but it rarely involves much in the way of new, creative work - it's about enhancing what's already there via higher resolutions and frame-rate boosts. But the release of the latest Uncharted: the Nathan Drake Collection story trailer demonstrates that developer Bluepoint Games is indeed improving and remaking swathes of Naughty Dog's existing assets, respectfully enhancing even incidental detail. The evidence suggests that this isn't just a simple port we're dealing with here - new art or geometry is commonplace in virtually every shot in this latest trailer. Bluepoint Games is well known for its accomplished work in converting classic games to new platforms but with this new collection, we could well be looking at its best work yet.
In order to better understand what has changed, we took the time to go back and re-create the entire trailer using the original PS3 software. It's important to remember here that the vast majority of footage in this trailer is comprised of scenes that were originally pre-rendered on PlayStation 3 - which begs the question: are they still pre-rendered on PS4? 1080p60 video eats up a lot of disc space - perhaps more than a standard Blu-ray disc can provide. Are we looking at a multi-disc collection here? Have these scenes instead been re-tooled to operate in real-time? It's not clear yet, but we're looking forward to finding out.
Regardless of whether they are pre-rendered or not, a lot of work has gone into to every one of these scenes. As noted above, many assets are improved, sometimes surprisingly so, resulting in richer, more cohesive storytelling across all three games. For instance, the original character models used in Drake's Fortune look rather dated next to those used in Uncharted 3. It makes sense to create a more coherent look across all three games by upgrading the models, and based on what we've seen in the trailer, that's exactly what has happened.
Sony Pictures has pushed back the release date of its long-in-development Uncharted movie until 30th June 2017 thanks, (Variety).
Sony's long-in-development Uncharted film sounds like it is back in development hell, according to a new round of reports.
UPDATE: Sony has told Eurogamer user feedback will help shape pricing when it comes to PS Now, currently in beta.
"During the paid private beta the titles will be priced between £2.99 and £9.99," a spokesperson for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe said.
"Final pricing for when PS Now fully launches has not been confirmed yet but we'll continue to listen to gamer feedback on this subject.
UPDATE 4/6/16 3.05pm Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection will launch in the UK on 9th October, Sony has now confirmed, and will grant you access to the multiplayer beta of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.
A private beta for PlayStation Now begins this spring in the UK, Sony has announced.
PlayStation Now is Sony's game streaming service. It lets you play PS3 games on PS4 using Gaikai's cloud gaming technology.
PlayStation Plus members will given the opportunity to "be among the first" to use PlayStation Now, but you have to register your interest on PlayStation.com.
The Uncharted movie is now getting the A-list treatment with The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty scribe Mark Boal bringing his writing talents to the script.
Uncharted and The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog is turning 30 this month, but I'd swear it doesn't look a day over 21.
The Uncharted film will be released on 10th June, 2016, the Hollywood Reporter has announced.
We still don't know who's going to play Nathan Drake, but King of Kong and Horrible Bosses director Seth Gordon is helming the project. Previously American Hustle and Three Kings director David O Russell was going to direct the film with Mark Wahlberg in the starring role, but that was cancelled when The Illusionist director Neil Burger stepped in. Of course, that too didn't stick.
Last we checked, Safe House and Stolen scribe David Guggenheim was set to pen the film.
Naughty Dog's co-presidents have denied Uncharted creative director Amy Hennig was "forced out" of the company.
Sony is in talks with Horrible Bosses and The King of Kong director Seth Gordon to helm the live-action movie based on Naughty Dog's Uncharted series.
This is the End directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg claim to have been approached by Naughty dog for roughly four years about writing an Uncharted movie.
"Why is Nathan Drake a mass murderer?" Oh I don't know, but it's the question not the answer that's important. It symbolises a seismic shift in attitudes towards games that may mean, "possibly even for the very first time", that the next generation of consoles also becomes "the next generation of game design".
UPDATE: Uncharted: Fight for Fortune is a casino card game for PS Vita, the Brazilian ratings board has revealed.
Will the Uncharted movie ever come out? Further doubt was cast on its future last night after Sony tapped up a new team to rewrite the script.
Everyone will be able to download all the Uncharted 2 DLC for free from today, Sony has announced.
Veteran video game voice actor Nolan North has won a role in big screen blockbuster Star Trek 2 off the back of his work on the Uncharted series.
Uncharted designer Richard Lemarchand has quit Naughty Dog after eight years at the Sony-owned developer.
Sony has announced the Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception Game of the Year Edition. It includes the game and all 14 additional pieces of DLC. Sony is yet to announce when it will release.
The DLC list in full, in Sony's words:
Classic Skins Packs 1 - 3: A huge total of 25 skins for the Uncharted 3 multiplayer experience including fan favourites such as Nathan Drake as he appears in the original Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, or Winter Drake as he appears in Tibet during Uncharted 2: Among Thieves; even minor characters such as Cameraman Jeff make an appearance.
Who needs Mark Wahlberg and Hollywood to make an Uncharted movie, when all you need is right there in the games themselves?
PlayStation 4 won't be powered by complicated Cell processing technology as is the PlayStation 3, "gaming industry sources" have told Kotaku.
The Naughty Dog team making The Last of Us very nearly made a new PS3 Jak & Daxter game, the developer has revealed.
Naughty Dog's Uncharted series has sold in excess of 13 million copies worldwide, publisher Sony has revealed.
Sony marketing man Asad Quizilbash offered the figure during an interview with IndustryGamers.
He added that the latest in the series, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, sold twice as many copies in its first week as Uncharted 2 did, "far exceeding our expectations". However, he didn't offer precise sales figures, reiterating only that it shipped 3.8 million copies to retailers on day one.
Nottingham doesn't have the swagger of Los Angeles or the neon allure of Tokyo, but it can boast a games show that puts E3 and TGS to shame. GameCity is a festival in the truest sense of the word, a celebration of a community and a culture that's sadly all too often swamped by corporate concerns.
Fans of Uncharted 3 will be able to sample the game's single-player campaign for the first time in the UK this Saturday.
At Eurogamer Expo 2011 Naughty Dog delivered a world exclusive gameplay demo of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, a game sure to be one of the PlayStation 3's biggest hits. Nathan Drake actor Nolan North and co-lead designer Richard Lemarchand wowed fans with the premiere, and offered insight into the development of the game.
PlayStation 3 tentpole Uncharted started out life as a fantasy adventure, according to a former Naughty Dog employee.
New Uncharted movie director Neil Burger is going back to the PlayStation exclusive video game for inspiration.
Limitless and The Illusionist director Neil Burger has reportedly signed on to write and direct the Uncharted movie following David O. Russell's exit.
Sony has confirmed to Eurogamer plans to launch three collections of PlayStation 3 exclusives on 22nd July in Europe.
The first two Uncharted games are being taped together and put on store shelves from 22nd July, Sony has announced.
As well as the first two games in Naughty Dog's revered PlayStation 3 franchise, you'll also get a theme and avatar for Uncharted 3.
According to CVG, the same treatment is also being afforded to the first two Resistance games and Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction and A Crack in Time.
The planned Uncharted movie has lost its director this week, with David O Russell reportedly moving on to pastures new.
The Next Generation Portable Uncharted game takes place between Uncharted 1 and Uncharted 2, Naughty Dog has revealed.
There can't be many lead actors and writers in the games industry who know each other so well they practically finish each other's sentences. But then, how many can say they've been working together on their latest project almost every week since last June, let alone for large, intensive chunks of the past five years?
Hollywood director David O. Russell has promised to show as much skin as he can in the upcoming Uncharted movie.
Uncharted movie director David O. Russell has moved to reassure fans of the videogame concerned by the direction of his unfinished script, asking them to trust that he'll make an "amazing" film.
Uncharted fans worried about the upcoming movie of the game were given further cause for concern after the director and scriptwriter revealed plans to depict a Sopranos-like family with a sense of justice.
Scarlett Johansson is the latest name attached to David O Russell's controversial Uncharted movie, according to a new interview with the director.
Firefly's Nathan Fillion is philosophical about losing out to Mark Wahlberg in the race to play Nathan Drake in the Uncharted movie – he's just praised the Three Kings actor on Twitter.
The impending Hollywood adaptation of Naughty Dog's Uncharted franchise looks set to bare precious little resemblance to its source material.
Uncharted 3 – heavily rumoured for a reveal at the Spike Video Game Awards next month – is set in the desert according to Kotaku.
Mark Wahlberg has officially been cast as Nathan Drake in the forthcoming movie version of Naughty Dog's PlayStation 3 exclusive Uncharted series.
Sony plans to unveil a PlayStation 3 exclusive the day after the Spike Videogame Awards - and word on the street is it's Uncharted 3.
Mark Wahlberg is gearing up to play Nathan Drake in the forthcoming Uncharted film, with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in supporting roles, according to rumours flying around Hollywood.
Nathan Fillion wants to play Nathan Drake in the upcoming Uncharted movie.
Naughty Dog and Sony are to released a Game of the Year edition of acclaimed action-adventure Uncharted 2: Among Thieves in North America, celebrating the first anniversary of its release.
Naughty Dog - the creator of Uncharted, and Sony's top PS3 studio - won't support PlayStation Move in its new game.
Sony has confirmed that some new downloadable content is in development for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
The Hollywood adaptation of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune has been set back indefinitely - far beyond the 2011 release Sony had planned.
Naughty Dog is aware of and fixing issues that rendered Uncharted 2 multiplayer unplayable.
Naughty Dog has announced plans to run a custom Uncharted 2 multiplayer playlist next weekend to "mix things up and maybe, possibly lead to updates or additions to the existing playlists in competitive matchmaking".
Batman: Arkham Asylum shocked the BAFTA Video Game Award 2010 audience by winning Best Game - a trophy expected to fall to Uncharted 2. The Rocksteady-developed superhero game also took Best Gameplay.
Digital Foundry is currently en route to GDC 2015, so there won't be a new article published today. However, as we make the long journey across to San Francisco, we're reminded of the first - and possibly the best - GDC talk we saw. That would be then-Naughty Dog Richard Lemarchand's hour-long journey into the making of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, a title that remains one of the greatest games released in the last-gen era. A remarkably insightful talk that gave us fantastic background into the way Naughty Dog worked, we couldn't help but think that the presentation would translate into a great feature - and to this day this remains one of our favourite pieces. Originally published on the March 20th 2010, this is an article we're happy to share with you again.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Eurogamer's Game of 2009, has gone on to win a record five statuettes at the Game Developers Conference Awards.
Uncharted 2 has become the "fastest-selling first-party title for PlayStation" according to Sony America's Scott Rohde.
Writing on the US PlayStation blog, Rohde said the game had sold 3.5 million copies worldwide since its October 2009 release, with more than 1.5 million "online users" too.
Last week Uncharted 2 won 10 AIAS Awards at the DICE Summit in Las Vegas and received nine BAFTA nominations.
Sony's Uncharted 2 dominated last night's Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Awards in Las Vegas; the PS3 exclusive went home with no less than 10 gongs.
BAFTA has announced the nominations for the British Academy Video Games Awards for 2010, with Uncharted 2 receiving the most attention.
Naughty Dog is preparing a fresh batch of new downloadable content for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
Sony's released a single-player demo of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves on the PlayStation Store.
The downloadable add-on for Uncharted 2 revealed by Sony Japan last week has been confirmed for worldwide release, although it's not free as was originally reported.
It will, however, feature the skins based on characters from Sony stable-mates Killzone 2, Resistance 2 and InFamous for use in multiplayer that we saw in those screens.
The PlayStation Heroes Skin Pack will be released alongside a demo of the game in this week's PSN updated on Thursday, 28th January. It will cost $4.99 / £3.99 / €4.99, according to the PlayStation blog. It contains seven skins: good Cole, evil Cole and Zeke from inFamous, Sgt Nathan Hale or a Chimera Hybrid from Resistance, and a Helghast Trooper and Tomas Sevchenko from Killzone 2.
Update: Naughty Dog has Tweeted (thanks, Zero_) that this information may not be right at all. There's no word on what is, however - only a warning:
Actor Nolan North, the voice of Nathan Drake, has hinted that production on Uncharted 3 will begin this year.
The Writers Guild of America has announced the nominees for the 2009 Videogame Writing awards.
As reported by Kotaku, those in the running include Assassin's Creed II (written by Corey May, Joshua Rubin and Jeffrey Yohalem) and Uncharted 2 (Amy Hennig).
Then there's Wet (Duppy Demetrius) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Marc Guggenheim). There may not be room for all the writers on the stage if Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 wins (written by Jesse Stern; additional Writing by Steve Fukuda; story by Todd Alderman, Steve Fukuda, Mackey McCandlish, Zied Rieke, Jesse Stern, Jason West; battlechatter dialogue by Sean Slayback).
Naughty Dog's Evan Wells has said he won't be making an Uncharted-style game for the PS3 wand any time soon.
"Man only interested in the climax. You must be a real hit with the ladies."
I didn't fully appreciate how good Uncharted 2 is until I played Halo 3: ODST. "Naughty Dog" is about right. The studio did, after all, ruin a game I'd been looking forward to all year. Bungie wasn't to know I'd play ODST right after the return of Nathan Drake, of course. But boy, that was a mistake.
Naughty Dog has patched Uncharted 2 to improve loading times in multiplayer and add clan tags, among a variety of other changes.
"You will notice that the game loads into a map much faster after leaving the vote screen," according to the PlayStation blog.
As for clan tags, they're available to everyone from the same place you choose boosters. "While it's not full clan support, we wanted to be sure that everybody can fly their clan colours within Uncharted 2 multiplayer," the developer wrote.
Naughty Dog plans to release a Thanksgiving update for Uncharted 2 this week featuring a new map, new character models and leaderboards.
Not content with that, it's also having a "double cash" weekend between 6pm GMT tomorrow and 7pm GMT on Monday, during which the money you get for multiplayer feats will be - you guessed it - doubled.
The new map is The Fort, and was inspired by the Fortress chapter of the original game. Naughty Dog has said to expect "a long rectangular map with wide open spaces and excellent flank routes". Apparently there's a shotgun in the centre of the map, and an RPG in a side room in the crypt.
Thanksgiving patch featuring boards, new map and fat men.
One day some brave developer is going to include a competitive multiplayer element in its game without using the word "Deathmatch". While running around and shooting strangers may be fun (in a strictly virtual sense, right kids?) it's a gaming trope that has long since slid into hopeless cliché. The margarita pizza of online gaming, it's something you consume almost without thinking - we multiplay, therefore we deathmatch.
October's NPD results are in and a big winner is Uncharted 2, with 537,000 units sold.
But with exclusives like Wii Fit Plus in second (441,000) and Wii Sports Resort in fourth (314,000) Nintendo's Wii has regained dominance in the US, and shifted a meaty 506,900 units.
Last month's leader, Sony's PS3, finished as second best console (320,600), while Microsoft's Xbox 360 had to be content with third (249,700).
Sony is polling European gamers about which new playlists they would like to see introduced in Uncharted 2 multiplayer.
More treasure from Naughty Dog.
We don't normally interview developers the day their game comes out. And to be fair, we didn't exactly speak to Naughty Dog just now - we've been sitting on this for a couple of weeks. But we did speak to them after we'd made up our minds and given Uncharted 2: Among Thieves a honking 10/10 review.
Naughty Dog multiplayer designer Justin Richmond has said he will be "working on DLC stuff for the next while", confirming post-launch support for the outstanding PS3 game.
"There will be downloadable content, yes," he told us at Sony's London HQ.
"What you'll probably see is more of the competitive type: more maps, more modes, stuff like that. The co-op stuff is hugely time-intensive and the size of it - the physical download size - is huge, so that's probably not an option.
Sony has thrown the Uncharted 2: Among Thieves multiplayer beta open to everybody following a period of closed testing.
That means that you can rock it up across four maps - The Ice Cave, The Temple, The Village and The Plaza - in a range of multiplayer modes until the beta ends on 12th October.
The full game, which picked up a 10/10 review on Eurogamer last night, is due out in the States on 13th October and in Europe on 16th October.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is beautiful, and Naughty Dog knows it. About halfway through, the game almost comes to a halt so that Nathan Drake can wander around a village where nobody speaks English and he is unable to run or use any of his small but imaginative range of gymnastic abilities. There is nothing to do but stare at the scenery: children and livestock scurrying across sun-baked mud-tracks crisscrossed by shadows cast from clothes fluttering back and forth on washing lines, the perfect transition of bright daylight to dark interiors, and a spectacular mountain range rising beyond the rooftops in panorama.
The attention to detail is beyond compare. One of the children squirms and blushes with embarrassment when Drake kicks him a football and he holds it to his chest uncertainly; the dark outlines of the clothing on the ground cast by the brilliant sun soften at their extremities, which are devoid of the jagged serration typical of game engines being pushed to their limits; Drake strolls with cautious optimism, as the exceptional voice actor Nolan North throws out a few gentle quips that convey his character's puzzlement without ever seeming contrived or scripted. Ahead of Drake walks Temzin, the hat-wearing sherpa whose dialogue you never understand, but with whom you develop one of the strongest bonds in the game.
The village also answers a question many were asking at the conclusion of 2007's marvellous Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, which lifted so many treasures from its peers - notably its Tomb Raider platforming and Gears of War combat - and fashioned them around Naughty Dog's own wit and matinee storytelling. Was the likeable Sony-exclusive developer, whose Jak & Daxter series had grown to mask its routine objectives behind novel weapons and punchy one-liners, capable of the subtle changes and deft transitions necessary to elevate the series to the same standing as mature action storytellers like Valve and Bungie?
Naughty Dog has disabled chapter-completion updates via Twitter in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, after reviewers drove all their friends and colleagues mad with constant automated posts.
Sony has finally announced the UK-specific 250GB PS3 bundles, which will cost £284.99 and be available from 1st October.
Naughty Dog creative director Amy Hennig reckons the Uncharted series has the potential to run and run, long past upcoming sequel Among Thieves.
Sony has told Eurogamer that Uncharted 2: Among Thieves will be released here earlier than expected on 16th October.
The European Uncharted 2 multiplayer demo [beta to some - Ed.] appears to have started a day early, with users posting videos of themselves playing on YouTube.
A trusted retail source has corroborated earlier reports and told Eurogamer that a 250GB PS3 Slim will arrive here as early as October, as part of three console-plus-game bundles.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves the long awaited sequel to Uncharted: Drake's Fortune on the PlayStation 3 launches this October.
Naughty Dog co-president Christophe Balestra believes the technical demands of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves make the game "impossible" to recreate, like-for-like, on Xbox 360.
Platform games have come a long way in the last couple of decades. Remember when this was all just 2D side-scrolling fields? Now there are huge 3D environments to explore, combat that involves more than jumping on enemies' heads and storylines that aren't just about rescuing princesses. In fact they're not even called platform games any more - it's all action this and adventure that.
Drake a look at me now.
Naughty Dog community manager Arne Meyer has said the studio is keen to do a PS3 instalment in the Jak and Daxter series.
Good news, time-poor fans of rollicking action adventure games - there will be no installation required for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells has promised another Uncharted: Among Thieves multiplayer demo before the game's autumn launch - a date for which we'll have "very soon".
The Hollywood Reporter brings news that Columbia Pictures is working on a film adaptation of PS3 action adventure Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.
Once upon a time, the beta stage of software development was kept firmly behind the velvet curtain of industry secrecy. Then some cunning soul realised you could get the customers to help test the game, and build some early marketing buzz at the same time. Now it seems like no multiplayer game with any sort of profile can make it through development without throwing beta keys around like candy.
The downside to this welcoming gesture is that it can build expectations a little too high, turning something into an event that would otherwise pass without comment until review time comes around. So it is for Uncharted 2, still several months from release, but already sharing a slice of its multiplayer component.
This isn't to say that Uncharted's dip into online waters is a bad idea, just that the result seems to be the sort of multiplayer experience that might extend your entertainment for another week or so, but nothing to make you gasp in astonishment.
Nathan we can't handle.
Update: Sony UK has confirmed that our beta kicks off tomorrow as well.
Original story: Sony has announced that the Uncharted 2 beta test will begin this Wednesday, 3rd June, and offers two playlists - co-operative and competitive.
The competitive mode consists of two maps and two game-types - deathmatch and plunder - while co-op takes place in a war-town city with up to three people controlling a mixture of Drake, Sully and Chloe.
Welcome to the Digital Foundry channel at Eurogamer. Check out the Editor's blog to find out what it's all about, and make sure to explore for loads more technical breakdown and analysis.
Fight amongst yourselves.
Surprises don't come often in this job. Whether it's down to leaks, or rumours, or press cynicism, or PR plans that slow the flow of information from a trickle to a drip - or just the fact that so many games developers so reliably do what exactly you'd expect them to - it's rare to see a games journalist raise an eyebrow, never mind gasp in shock. So it was with great satisfaction that Naughty Dog stunned a room full of us, from all around the world, with its Uncharted 2 presentation in baking-hot Los Angeles last week.
Sony has revealed that everyone who buys inFamous in the US will receive a bonus - access to the multiplayer beta test for Uncharted 2.
This is a US-specific promotion, but Sony has told Eurogamer that it's working on something for Europe that will be announced in due course.
Uncharted 2's multiplayer modes - five-on-five competitive matches and three-player co-op - have just been announced by Sony and developer Naughty Dog. You can read more about them in our hands-on preview.
Sony has confirmed that Naughty Dog's PS3 action sequel Uncharted 2: Among Thieves will be graced with online multiplayer modes, including co-op.
Naughty Dog's Richard Lemarchand has explained that ice and snow in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves will create the same impact water did in the original game.
Plenty of elbow grease has been applied to get the weather up to scratch, he said, so it will not only look nice but also affect gameplay.
"We've spent a lot of time focused on the distinctive look that snow has as it falls and is blown by the wind, and of course on the way in which Drake leaves footprints as he trudges through the snowdrifts in the Himalayan mountains that he ventures to," Lemarchand told IGN. "When he's out in the snow he'll accumulate a layer of snowflakes on his clothes and in his hair, which will slowly thaw when he gets back inside, under cover.
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.
Nine more views of Drake's latest.
Plenty of honour in Among Thieves.
Naughty Dog has said Uncharted 2: Among Thieves will come close to using all of the PS3's power, after the first game used just "30 to 40 per cent".
Sony has lifted the lid on the sequel to its PS3 action-adventure, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, via a trailer and a Game Informer magazine cover.