Yesterday, 19th November, marked the 10th anniversary of Uncharted - and with it the birth of PlayStation's biggest of big budget franchises.
Digital Foundry tackles the opening chapter of the Nathan Drake Collection.
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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.
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.
Let's cut to the chase here. Uncharted: the Nathan Drake Collection is a colossal undertaking on the part of Sony and its chosen developer, Bluepoint Games. Each of the games in the pack receives a sublime level of care and attention, making each title worthy of detailed analysis. With that in mind, we've decided to produce in-depth coverage for every game in the package, beginning with the most dramatically improved game in the remastered trilogy: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.
With the upcoming release of Uncharted: the Nathan Drake Collection, it's time once again to revisit the game that started it all - Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Featuring updated assets, improved performance, and sharper visuals, the 2007 original is reborn on PlayStation 4, offering the definitive version of the original Uncharted experience. We've already praised the Nathan Drake Collection as a whole, but in looking at each of the three games individually, it's clear that the original game benefits the most from these improvements. There are a lot of enhancements made to this game and each change feeds into the rest, resulting a more enjoyable and balanced overall experience.
As Naughty Dog's first attempt at a PlayStation 3 game, the talented development team was faced with its greatest challenge yet - the Cell processor. Starting life as 'Project Big', Uncharted was written entirely from scratch over the course of three years. Naughty Dog was already well known for its technical prowess but this new challenge pushed both the team and the PlayStation 3 itself to their limits. With relatively minimal SPU usage, a key to successful PS3 development, and such limitations standing in the way, the original game's potential was not fully reached. Yet, the title was delivered on schedule and, at the time, was considered a showpiece for the PlayStation 3. While revisiting the game for this article, however, we were surprised to discover so many technical flaws - the most noticeable of which is certainly the near constant screen-tear. Thankfully, on PS4, this bugbear has finally been put to pasture.
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 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.
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".
Former Medal of Honor and Uncharted AI chief Laurent Ancessi has released a new game, KnightScape.
KnightScape is a free fairytale action adventure game for iOS devices (iPhones, iPads and 3GS+ iPods 5.1 and later). It's up on the App Store now.
Ancessi has worked on some of the biggest game franchises throughout his expansive career, including FIFA, Need for Speed and Medal of Honor while at EA, and the first Uncharted game while at Naughty Dog.
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.
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.
Uncharted NGP is set before Uncharted 1, Naughty Dog has said.
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.
The Hollywood adaptation of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune has been set back indefinitely - far beyond the 2011 release Sony had planned.
Naughty Dog is preparing a fresh batch of new downloadable content for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
Actor Nolan North, the voice of Nathan Drake, has hinted that production on Uncharted 3 will begin this year.
Firmware update 3.01 is now available to download for the PS3.
So what does it do, exactly? Sony's official response: "3.01 improves system stability during use of some PlayStation 3 format software."
So which software would that be, precisely? Writing on the US PlayStation blog PSN boss Eric Lempel confirmed, "Yes, this will fix the issues that some users have experienced with Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune."
The Hollywood Reporter brings news that Columbia Pictures is working on a film adaptation of PS3 action adventure Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.
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".
Naughty Dog used barely half of the PS3's power to run Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, one of the best-looking games on the console.
Naughty Dog has patched duck-and-cover platform favourite Uncharted: Drake's Fortune to include Trophies.
Naughty Dog - who most recently brought us the rather lovely Uncharted: Drake's Fortune - has been talking at the Develop conference in Brighton about its rather strange approach to managing game development.
Naughty Dog has explained that Trophies in Uncharted will be awarded for exactly the same things as medals already are.
Quantic Dream founder David Cage reckons that Heavy Rain's storytelling makes Uncharted: Drake's Fortune look like a porn movie.
Super Stardust HD has been updated to support the fancy trophy system for PlayStation 3.
Sony Computer Entertainment has told our old friends GamesIndustry.biz there are plans to take action over Uncharted-branded air guns being sold on the Internet.
Sony has declined to comment on suggestions it is encouraging first-party developers to add PlayStation Home integration to their games.
Sony has confirmed to Eurogamer what some of you have been arguing about in our forum - that the European version of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune doesn't support 1080i resolution after all.
The first game may only have come out today, but Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells says that Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is bound to continue in future.
Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells has just completed a live interview with you about Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and a host of other things - including confirmation that he would like to do a Jak game for PS3 and his views on next-gen console development and the recent Manhunt 2 fiasco.
Couple of fantastic PS3 exclusives doing the rounds. As far as opening statements go, that isn't one we've often felt compelled to write thus far. But on the games side, that's precisely the case right now. And for the aforementioned "couple" we have Sony stalwarts Insomniac and Naughty Dog to thank.
A% Tom Super Moderating Hero Bramwell: Hello everyone! Evan's ready to start, and will get us underway by telling you all a little about himself. Evan! Tell us all a little about yourself! A% Evan Wells: Sure. I'm the Co-President of Naughty Dog and my background comes from the design side of the industry. I started with Naughty Dog back on Crash 3 as the Lead Designer. Before that I worked at Crystal Dynamics on the Gex games. And my first job in the industry was working on ToeJam and Earl on the Sega Genesis. Q%Killerbee%296% Was Uncharted a deliberate attempt by Naughty Dog to move away from the cartoony/comic past of the Crash and Jak games? Is this sense of realism something you think appeals more to current PS3 owners versus, say the PS2 or Wii? %A% Evan Wells: Yes, it was a deliberate decision. We wanted to make a game that took full advantage of the hardware and we felt if we stuck with what we knew and made another Jak game that we wouldn't have pushed ourselves hard enough and would have ended up with something mediocre or just okay. Q%WanderingIssun%50715% Nathan's animations in Uncharted are simply amazing. They look natural and do not feel akward like so many other games in the same genre. Do you think there is potential to improve on what you achieved with this game? %A% Evan Wells: Absolutely. We really are only getting started with our understanding of the PS3 and more importantly the programmers and the animators that worked on this game have learned so much. It's going to be great to be able to go into producion on our next game with all of the knowledge that we gained from this project already under our belts. Q%Grogmonkey%50607% Given the somewhat disappointing critical reaction (compared to initial expectations) of other high-profile PS3 exclusives like Lair and Heavenly Sword, did you and your team feel under more pressure to ensure that you delivered a truely console-defining experience with Uncharted? %A% Evan Wells: I feel that most of the pressure we feel at Naughty Dog comes from within. Everybody is very passionate about what they do and nobody here is willing to settle for anything mediocre. Our co-workers pushed each other and we weren't really feeling too much pressure from outside. Q%kissthestick%24567% Any chances of a Jak PS3 game? %A% Evan Wells: Sure. Everybody here would love to do a Jak game on the PS3. However, I'm not sure about the timing. We want to stick with only working on one game at a time to maintain our focus. Everybody is taking a much deserved vacation right now and we will decide what we're doing next when people get back. Q%Inquisitor%13113% Would you ever consider working on a PSN title? %A% Evan Wells: I think the PSN has opened up a lot of interesting opportunities for us as well as many others. I think it could come in handy during some of the transitional roll over periods between games if there hasn't been enough preprodution work done to get started on the next big project. I think it would be fun and definitely something we're interested in. Q%JediMasterMalik%17048% What has been the most influential game of the last few years to you personally as a designer? %A% Evan Wells: Well it's becoming somewhat of a cliche answer, but I'd have to say ICO. That game has so much style and heart that I think it has influenced the entire industry. Q%spadge%12927% In terms of meeting expectations, what matters most; Developer, Publisher or Consumer? %A% Evan Wells: Absolutely the consumer. It's something that we are always asking ourselves... "How is this going to affect the play experience or the player?" We put a lot of emphasis on our animation system and pretty early on we had some great looking stuff. But it felt like shit. It took months and months of tweaking and interating to finally get something that looked and FELT good. Q%myiagros%13132% Uncharted seems to be the overall name of the series with Drake's Fortune the subtitle. Does this mean that future titles in the series would centre around a protaganist other than Nathan Drake? %A% Evan Wells: Definitely not. The subtitle was supposed to have the double meaning of Drake referring to Sir Francis Drake or Nathan Drake and the Fortune could mean either wealth/money or destiny. We thought we were being pretty deep :) Q%krudster%858% If you could work with any film license, what would it be? %A% Evan Wells: That's a tough question. I really prefer to work on our own IP. The team has so much more passion when working on charcters and a universe that they created. And ultimately IPs created from within the video game industry have a much better track record of success. But if you insist, I'd have to say Die Hard. I love that movie. Q%ElNino9%48209% Was Nathan Drake based on any character in particular? He does look a lot like Frank Lampard. %A% Moderator informs Evan who Frank Lampard is. %A% Evan Wells: He was based on an amalgamation of many famous actors as well as some ordinary people. But we were driven largely by the concept art that our team created. In the end I've been told that he looks like no less than three dozen different people... from actors, to neighbors, to boyfriends, and now a football player! So I guess we succeeded in creating our everyman :) Q%Obli%120794% How hard would it be to port Uncharted to the Xbox 360? I'm not just talking storage constraints (Blu-ray). Could Uncharted be faithfully recreated without the use of Cell? %A% Evan Wells: I won't say that it would be impossible, but it would be very difficult and we most certainly would have to make enough concessions that it would start to feel like a different game. One thing that would be particularly difficult would be keeping the game load-free. The HDD really came in handy and allowed us to have pretty big open levels with lots of detail. Q%Fernando%58648% Have you considered tackling any genres Naughty Dog hasnt tried before, maybe a Survival horror, FPS, Racer? %A% Evan Wells: Well we have done a couple of racers. Don't forget CTR (one of my favorite games to have worked on) and Jak X! For a while we had some interest in doing a FPS, but it's such a crowded market and everybody it doing it so well now, I'm not sure the world needs our take on it. But we're always open to trying something new. We don't like things to get stale around here. Q%windflaw%13418% One criticism I've heard levelled at Uncharted is that, given the high quality of its graphics and art direction, the physics in the game sometimes stands out as lacking (e.g. when objects hit the water). Given this observation (and by all means feel free to refute it), what are your thoughts on the place of physics in modern games, and do you feel that it generally contributes more to gameplay or aesthetics? %A% Evan Wells: In certain sandbox style games I think physics can contribute to gameplay. But in more structured/directed games like Uncharted I think physics are better left as aesthetics. For example, often, when something blows up you need it to end up in a predermined way so that you can use it to continue to traverse forward. In this case, you're better off just animating the physics. But I actually think that our physics engine is pretty good. Our ragdoll I think can stand up with the best of them especially as they interact and the dead bodies float on the water. Q%Shrike%26572% Uncharted hasn't received quite the same amount of media attention/hype as a number of recent titles. In your experience, does hype help or hinder the development process? %A% Evan Wells: We were definitely in an awkward position. If I had to do it again, I'd certainly change a few things. The videogame industry is unique in that we are forced to show our unfinished product 10+ months (sometimes years) in advance of it being complete. There isn't a single other industry out there that does this. So with Uncharted, I think we ended up putting the game in people's hands a little bit earlier that we should have. Our control still wasn't as tight as it needed to be, and we knew that. But we had to get the hype started so we went for it anyway. Then we spent the next six months trying to convince journalists who got an early taste for it, that we had addressed this issues. Fortunately it all looks like it's turned out okay. Q%morriss%8305% What aspect of the game are you least happy with and why? %A% Evan Wells: Well this is going to sound strange because it looks so nice, but I'd say the water. And not because there is anything wrong with it but very early in our design stages we wanted to do a lot more fluid dynamics that really affected gameplay. It was cut from the plan very early because of the technological challenges that it presented. But it's something that we want to take another stab at in a future title. Q%pjmaybe%212% As a developer, do Naughty Dog feel that optimising code to get rid of immersion-breaking anomalies like tearing etc are high on their list of priorities? %A% Evan Wells: Hah! I knew the screen tearing question was coming! We obviously take the look of the game very seriously and we want to create the most beautiful experience possible. So we walk a very fine line. We try to put as much on the screen as possible which of course has an impact on the framerate. If the game occasionally slips below 30FPS we have a choice to make... do you want to drop the framerate down to 20FPS or let the screen tear momentarily. We opted for the latter. It happens very infrequently and we feel that the increased number of polygons and effects that we can use outweighs the occasional artifact. Q%Phattso%6286% Clearly Uncharted has been in development for quite a while, but there are some parallels between the combat/cover mechanics it offers (which are great, by the way) and those from last year's Gears of War. Was this a conscious effort to take what Epic did and hone it to perfection, or was it just a case of two separate development houses arriving at the same control scheme as a logical solution for similar gameplay/control requirements? Also, what's your favourite colour? %A% Evan Wells: We had been working on our cover taking mechanics for 6 or 8 months before we saw Gears. We were initially attracted to the idea after seeing it in Kill.Switch. We felt that it really helped create the feeling of being pinned down and we thought that would suit our pulp action/adventure genre nicely. Of course when Gears came out and we saw what a great job they did with it really raised the bar on what we had to achieve and we were definitely pushed to step our game up. And I like Green. Q%Inquisitor%13113% Given the answer to [an earlier] question you are in agreement with Denis Dyack [of Silicon Knights]. Ideally games would not be shown till they are complete and would be held back once finished to allow for maketing? %A% Evan Wells: I don't know if I want to be compared to the guy who is suing Epic :) (actually I know Denis from back in the Crystal days). But I'm not sure if I know how we can or should change the way things are done, I just think if I could go back in time on Uncharted, the first few public showings of the game I would have kept the controller in my hands and given demos instead of handing it over to journalists. Early in development it's sometimes easier for the designer to show the game off and make it look good instead of somebody who hasn't had time to practice with the still far from final control. Q%NewYork%31030% Drake's Fortune has a more mature feel to previous Naughty Dog games. Is this game aimed at people who've grown up with Crash and Jak, or are you expecting an entirely new audience? %A% Evan Wells: I hope that Naughty Dog fans keep following our games. We as developers are maturing (or at least we like to think so) so our interests are changing and evolving as I'm sure our fans' are. I also hope that we are reaching a wider audience with Uncharted due to the deep and involving story and characters. It passed the "girlfriend" test with my wife... she and her friend were totally engrossed watching me play it when I brought it home one night. It was like they were watching a movie and didn't want to get off the couch to go to the bathroom :) Q%SeesThroughAll%16335% Is Uncharted going to be patched for Home goodies, when that comes? %A% Evan Wells: We really hope so. We included our Medal points with the expectaion that we could attach those to Home eventually. We are talking with the Home development team and looking forward to working with the SDK when it's available. Q%morriss%8305% How do we know if anything you've said today is true and if I find out you've lied, what do I win? %A% Evan Wells: How do you know I'm even Evan? Q%woodnotes%4250% Do you expect to release a game every year this generation like in the PS2 Jak days? Or do the additional development costs and time mean we may be waiting somewhat longer this gen between ND releases? %A% Evan Wells: That's hard to say right now. Even on the PS2 we took two years to develop Jak 1 and 2. It wasn't until later in the generation that we had enough tech built up that we could get the production down to one year. I imagine things will be similar this time around. Q%mcwildcard%19790% Any chance of a 'Hat and Whip' patch in future for us Indy fans? ;) %A% Evan Wells: We have a lot of great unlockable costumes, but no "Hat and Whip" (that's the truth!) For the truly hardcore we have a treat. If you collect all 1000 medal points you can unlock "Doughnut Drake" and I won't spoil what that is, but it's totally worth it. Q%SeesThroughAll%16335% What did you think of the Manhunt 2 ban? Do you think that the violent nature of this game in particular justified the degree of censorship (even gameplay mechanics were altered)? %A% Evan Wells: I don't think that video games should be treated differently than other forms of media or entertainment. I think there is a place in this world for titles that should only be played by those over 18. Our problem is right now is that we [in America] don't have any retailers who are willing to sell those games, therefore you end up "banning" the game by giving it such a rating. However, I really don't see the appeal of the game and I really do think they are just using the shock factor to try to sell a mediocre (at best) game. I would much prefer to see somebody make something with a little more substance that still pushed the artistic boundaries of our industry. Q%ElNino9%48209% Have you got anything planned for the PSP? %A% Evan Wells: Not right now. And honestly I'm not sure any time soon. We want to focus our attention and technological efforts on one platfrom and one engine (the PS3 if that isn't clear). Q%mcwildcard%19790% Why do you think other developers have seemingly struggled to get to grips with the PS3 dev kits, whilst Naughty Dog has managed to put together what appears to be a polished and seamless game, with no obvious technical faults? %A% Evan Wells: I don't think it's problems with the PS3. Next-gen game development is tricky business. I think you're seeing a lot of developers struggle with the Xbox as well. It just so happens that the 360 has been out there for more than a year longer and people have had more time to work with it. Q%Mugwum%5% Isn't it about time you gave up all this videogame nonsense and got a proper job? %A% Evan Wells: Mom? Is that you? Q%Mugwum%5% No, come on, do you still get that thing where people ask what you do, you explain, and they go "oh"? %A% Evan Wells: What I get is... That must be so much fun! You get to play games all day long! Of course that couldn't be further from the truth. Everybody is suprised to find out that we typically work 80-90 hour weeks for the last 6-12 months of a project! %A% Tom Super Moderating Hero Bramwell: Aaaand that seems like a good enough point at which to let Evan go. Anything to add Evan? %A% Evan Wells: Thanks for all of the really great questions! This was a lot of fun!
Having released four Jak games in as many years (and four Crash Bandicoot games before that), it's hardly a great shock that Naughty Dog wanted to do something completely different on PS3. But the surprise is just how different Uncharted is compared to anything it has done before.
Gone is the Day-Glo cartoon cuteness and coin-collecting kleptomania of old, and in comes an action-adventure which sits somewhere between the architectural beauty of Ico and Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, and the combat intensity of Resident Evil 4 and Gears of War. Far from being just another Tomb Raider, Uncharted, at times, feel like a wish-list of all the best bits of your favourite action games of the past five years.
Of course, Naughty Dog's Evan Wells and his friends probably wouldn't admit that, preferring as they do to talk of Uncharted as more of a homage to classic action hero romps, but whatever the 'tributes' this fine game possesses, it all adds up to arguably the finest PlayStation 3 exclusive yet.
Naughty Dog has very kindly fixed the problem that stopped us all playing the Uncharted: Drake's Fortune demo on the US PlayStation Store, so now we can all use our pretend accounts to grab it.
Sony has released a demo of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune for the US PlayStation 3 Store - but you might as well leave your console off, because your fake US account won't work for this one.
Another good thing about Christmas is that you can kiss people by holding a twig with leaves above their heads, made all the more likely by the enormous vat of incredibly pungent mulled wine stewing in the kitchen. Similarly smile-worthy is that yes there are games on PS3 to buy this year, despite what James with his rival console says in the comments section while picking his nose and flicking it at his equally spotty friend.
Sony has said we will get the European demo for Uncharted: Drake's Fortune before the end of November, although when exactly is still not decided.
Sony has finally decided that SingStar PS3 will be out in December, after making us fear the worst recently by saying the game was stuck in "release limbo".
Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells has said that Uncharted: Drake's Fortune will probably be released here in early December, with a demo due out before launch.
If you checked out Ellie's recent in-depth look at Naughty Dog's Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, you'll know that it's one of the more promising prospects on the exclusive-craving PS3 this Chrimbo.
Despite fairly obvious similarities to 'er with the big 'uns, the creator of Crash and Jak insists our chiselled hero Nathan Drake is much more than a brainless Larry Cruft knock-off. You can now judge for yourselves in three tasty gameplay vignettes we've just whacked up on Eurogamer TV.
Videos one and two show off combat - the first has Drake sploshing around in an underground, well, tomb, rapidly switching between weapons, going hand-to-hand, and cobbing grenades at nasty types. The second heads outside and into ruins for more happy slapping. Finally, the third clip offers a taster of the puzzle-solving you'll encounter in the course of your grave-robbing escapades.
Might as well get it over with. Yes, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is a bit like Tomb Raider. But then Tomb Raider nicked a load of ideas off Indiana Jones. Which was inspired by '50s TV adventure serials, which were inspired by films like Gunga Din, which was inspired by a poem written in the previous century, which was... There's probably a cave painting somewhere of a stick figure being chased by a giant boulder into a pit of spikes, trying to make sure they don't lose their hat or puncture their breasts.
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune will be released on 20th November in the US and is still down for release this Christmas in Europe.
Of all PlayStation 3's forthcoming releases, the most interesting and significant is neither a game nor for sale. Home, Sony's more structured, sanitised and solid attempt at a Second Life world might seem innocuous enough but with the screenshots of its cinema space and the implied possibility of fully downloadable movies, there's the chance it might eventually outgrow even its host platform in significance.
Dan Arey spent nearly a decade at Naughty Dog, where he helped make both Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter into rip-roaring successes. And the studio has gone from strength-to-strength, currently working on its first PS3 project Uncharted: Drake's Fortune - an impressive mixture of Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones.
We mentioned recently that a modeller had lifted the lid on Naughty Dog's PS3 project, referring to it as "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune" in his online portfolio.
That information, which miraculously disappeared from the internet, has been confirmed by Game Informer in preparation for its April cover story, which claims to: "take the wraps off Naughty Dog's next creation - Uncharted: Drake's Fortune".
Sony wasn't available to comment on this recent development, though we expect little more response than US sites received before: "We do not comment on rumors or speculation. No official announcement has been made."
An unwitting modeller at Naughty Dog has accidentally revealed the name of the team's upcoming PlayStation 3 game in his online portfolio, referring to the upcoming 2007 release as Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.