Everyone who’s played the Uncharted games knows the quality experience and engaging movie-like cut-scenes that come with the series. It’s a no-surprise that Uncharted 3 is getting so much attention, even though the contents of the upcoming game seem quite similar to its predecessor. Well, they are and aren’t similar, as major and minor changes accompany the mischievous Nathan Drake in his brand new adventure that takes him from flooding ships to scorching deserts, and far ahead.
The iconic feature of Uncharted – which Naughty Dog believes is the key to the series’ success – is the use of historical artifacts and recognizable mythologies that gamers can research and find out more about.
The folks at Naughty Dog claim they have thoroughly done the study of the art of story-telling in games and movies. During an interview with theguardian, co-lead designer Richard Lemarchand and actor Nolan North said:
A bunch of us at Naughty Dog have made a study of story-telling, in particular story-telling in film. Every film students reads Christopher Vogler’s book [The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers], which outlines the conception of the hero’s journey for story-tellers. And we realised fairly early on something that the writers of science fiction and fantasy always say: it’s important, when you’re telling a fantastical story, to ground it. Enough of the story has to be comprised of recognizable nuts and bolts reality so that the audience has something to grab on to during the tale.
That’s all good, but one always wonders what strategy they are coming up with to actually make Uncharted 3 at least as good as its predecessors, while still managing to add enough new content to make people say ‘oh, this is something new’, or anything similar. That wonder has been assessed to in some ways.
Firstly, a big part of the game is set in a desert area that spans for a good few hundreds of miles. This gives the game a bit of an open-world feeling – call it sandbox styled if you like. Naughty Dog is interested to know how players will psychologically react to this change in play-style, and whether they’ll be forced to do something unpredictable.
To add to it, there will also be a great amount of change in the AI. The artificial intelligence has been dismantled and reworked a great deal, so you can expect smarter and more situation-oriented enemies. It’s tempting to think how it’ll work in combination with the desert environment.
The enemy AIs have a set of rules that they wish to operate by. They have a hierarchical set of goals – they’ll analyse the terrain and make different choices each time about how to approach the player character. It took a lot of work, we had to disassemble the whole AI system – before, it was much more scripted, we’d tell the enemies explicitly, go over here, flank the player… now they have a choice
Lastly, there are also the dynamic systems to consider. These are systems that influence other systems that are connected directly to them – in a manner similar to real-life. For example, the movements of the ship you saw at the E3 trailer aren’t scripted animations. In fact, the style and frequency of the wobbling of the ship is directly determined by the waves of the ocean. There are many different dynamic systems such as these in Uncharted 3, and we can expect them to have more presence in certain parts of the game.
So, you can expect yet another adventurous adventure when you get your hands on Uncharted 3 in early November this year.