[GDC 2011] Drake's Misfortune

We get a slightly deeper peek into Uncharted 3 and its main villain in a brief but tantalizing live showing.
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: March 12, 2011
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We did get to see how the new combat system would work as Nate was wrapped up by one enemy and then approached by another, allowing Drake to actually use the goon holding him to kick his legs up and into the breadbox of the approaching baddie, then introduce him to the business end of his elbow to break the hold. Melee attacks are still quite brutal, and seem to better use contextual environmental bits, so slamming someone up against a post or a low-slung wall yields a different finisher. The gunplay, however, is still pretty much as it was, though we noticed what seemed to be ever so slightly less of the bullet sponge mentality among the common grunts Drake took down.

As the fire spread, we got to see it actually eating away at walls, creating escape routes for the heroic pair before a final, massive give-away of the floor underneath them that sent Nate falling to his doom in a fiery pit below... right as he was able to grab a staircase railing and (hopefully) escape. This was the part seen on Fallon, but we did notice a few more ooh-and-ahh moments where more fires were started and just burned naturally across the various doorways, walls and ceilings. It would also eat away (rather quickly, we might add) at posts and bits of cover, creating a fairly constantly-changing set of ways to keep from dying of a lead overdose.

While all of this is well and good, Sony's big 3D push seemingly isn't in danger of ending any time soon. Hot on the heels of the release of Killzone 3 (which we'll have a full review of up as soon as the big multiplayer patch is released) and looming arrival of MotorStorm Apocalypse (which we also checked out at GDC this year), games like SOCOM 4 (again, a game we previewed extensively at GDC) and of course Uncharted 3 are pushing the PlayStation 3's ability to kick out impressive visuals in far more than a simple set of cookie cutter layers.

Uncharted 3 in particular just has volume. The chateau itself was teeming with little touches that added depth and flair to the 3D effect; vines hung down, bits of broken wall would stab up into the air and nearly everywhere dusty, luminous shafts of sunlight would spill out into the space. These didn't feel like cheap tricks, though. To the contrary, they opened the rooms up, made them feel deeper into the screen than they would have been otherwise and when Nate tumbled (nearly) to his fiery doom, the sense of vertigo and sheer height were absolutely fantastic. There have already been a few benchmark 3D implementations so far, but Uncharted 3 is without question the one that offers the biggest wow factor. We absolutely can't wait to see more, and when E3 comes rolling along, we'll be able to do just that.

For now, have a peek at that cutscene we mentioned earlier, and we'll keep heaping on the screens and videos as soon as we can get our hands on 'em.
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