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Uncharted interview divulges game size, SPU usage

Evan Wells sat down with PALGN for an interview about Uncharted recently, talking the game up with words of praise and the promise of treats. Well, he talked about the game, anyway. It's a long interview, so we'll skip the story stuff in case you don't want to know. Wells believes our first playthrough will last from 10-12 hours, but with four levels of difficulty, the hardcore bunch will probably enjoy trying out the hardest mode of all. There are 60 little treasures hidden throughout the game as well, so finding them will probably take more than one run through the game unless you're very, very meticulous.

Also, "we've also put into the game a medal system, so as you're playing the game if you perform special feats you'll get medals, such as getting a certain number of headshots, getting a certain number of headshots in a row, killing people, doing a special brawl combo, just lots of things along the way that will unlock the medals. The medals then contribute to your overall medal score and your medal scores then feed into our bonus system which allows all of the unlockables to be unlocked." Sounds like there's plenty to do in the game other than just blaze through it! The medal system is also planned to turn into a trophy system once Home hits. Rumble is built right into the game, so for those of you who'll be importing Dual Shock 3's, you've got a surefire rumbling game on your hands.

The meat of the interview is why Uncharted could only be on the PS3. Wells explains a number of reasons. First, standard hard drive creates the seamless, load free world. Blu-ray helped squeeze the 24GB game on a single disc -- he says it wouldn't have been impossible on DVD, but the game would have been very, very different. Future games, Wells declares, will probably demand a dual-layered Blu-ray disc. The Cell processor served as a very handy tool for compiling all of Nathan's 3,500 animations as well, so you'll see the right reaction, or a random/new reaction, every time something happens. Wells admitted that "As far as the Cell processor and the SPU's are concerned we were only using about 1/3 to 1/2 of the SPU's at one time and so there is still quite a bit more we can do." We can't wait to see what the future holds, but for now, we can't wait to play Uncharted!

Naughty Dog co-president says Uncharted not that similar to Tomb Raider


When you first see Uncharted's beautiful scenery and gameplay, it's hard not to immediately think of Eidos' Tomb Raider series. While many gamers continue to make those comparisons, anyone who's watched a few gameplay videos will realize the two games aren't that similar after all.

Naughty Dog copresident Evan Wells told Gamespot that he understands the comparisons, but the gameplay focus and the lead characters are entirely different. "I think just by the very fact that both Nathan Drake and Lara Croft are treasure hunters, there will be comparisons. But beyond that, they diverge pretty rapidly. From a character standpoint, Nathan Drake is an everyman who struggles to get by, who you can see on his face that he's stressed out as he's flinching from bullets ricocheting off the cover he's hiding behind, while Lara is the more stone-faced acrobat, perfect landing every time," he said. "And then the gameplay, obviously we were very focused on third-person cover-based play, while theirs is more auto-aiming and a little more heavy on the puzzle-solving."

Well said, Mr. Wells. Hopefully, this clears up any misunderstanding anyone has about the two games. While it'd be great if Uncharted reaches the same success as Tomb Raider, we just hope it doesn't follow Lara's downward spiral of mediocrity.

Sony sets mid-November for Uncharted demo

After posting an interesting piece on Uncharted on the official PlayStation Blog, the AI and Animation Programmer for Naughty Dog, Christian Gyrling, responded to commenter's questions regarding a demo of the title. He said simply, "a demo will be available in the PlayStation Store sometime mid November. I don't know the exact date as of now." Demo in November? Game due out in November? It seems we'll get a demo a week or so prior to release. That's all, really. Gyrling seems pretty gung-ho about answering commenter questions, so if you've got something else on your mind, it doesn't seem too far-fetched to think he'll shout an answer sooner or later.

Debate! Uncharted: lost in a wave, or system mover?

There's an interesting little quibble over at Ars Technica about the relevance of Uncharted to the holiday performance of the PS3. There are two sides: Frank and Ben. Frank thinks the game will be a surprise hit in November, worthy of praise and front-page reviews, etc. Ben thinks it'll get lost in the tidal wave of excellent games due out in November. Did somebody say sitcom?

Seeing as how most of the other games due out are multiplatform titles, it would be foolish to think Uncharted isn't on most PS3 owner's radars. Naughty Dog is a huge Sony-supportive company and the game itself, well, built from the ground up on PS3, it looks damn nice. So is a high volume of titles (a lot of shooters, it seems) really all it takes to bury this hyped up game? Ben thinks so. Frank, however, is smart. We kid, we kid. Both make valid arguments. How do you guys feel about Uncharted? Is it going to make a splash on the PS3, or bellyflop into oblivion in the wake of stuff like Haze, Call of Duty 4, and Unreal Tournament 3 (despite the delay)?

First hour of Uncharted in four minutes, spoiler-free

Now, GamesRadar tried their best to remove any sort of spoilers from the first hour of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, but we know that's nearly an impossibility. So consider yourself warned -- there may or may not be something you could possibly consider a spoiler in the above video. What you're seeing is basically a montage of the first playable hour of Naughty Dog's new adventure title in the timespan of a little over four minutes. The game looks, sounds, and appears to play incredible. We really are excited to get our hands on this game and give you all our review! Until then, though, we'll watch videos.

Naughty Dog wants to raise animation bar with Uncharted

It's so refreshing when development companies actually aim to raise the standards of videogame development rather than sit back and rehash sequel after sequel. While it's plain to see if you've ever watched an Uncharted: Drake's Fortune gameplay video, Naughty Dog's gameplay animation lead Jeremy Yates explains how they're pushing animation technology further than we've ever seen before.

Impressively, Naughty Dog has crammed 10 times more animations in Uncharted than it has in any game its ever made, and it clearly shows as Nathan moves seamlessly from one set of animations to another.

According to Yates, Naughty Dog has three goals for Uncharted's animation: realistic movement, fluidity and responsiveness. From everything we've seen so far, they're right on track.

Uncharted box art and screenshots will make you say 'wow'


Click for high-res image.

Isn't that some fine box art? Nathan Drake looks like a capable gunman, shotgun casually resting on his shoulder. The green of the jungle environment and the skull juxtaposed on it give it an alluring sense of adventure. This is quite compelling box art -- some of the best we've seen on PS3.

But that's not the only thing that looks good. New screenshots showcase Naughty Dog's incredible technology, taking full advantage of what the PS3 has to offer. It's undeniable: the game looks stunning, at least from a visual perspective. It won't be too long until gamers everywhere can try our Drake's first adventure.

Gallery: Uncharted

Taking a look "inside" Uncharted: Part 1

Here's Sony's promo-documentary for the upcoming PS3 exclusive adventure, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Watch the team at Naughty Dog talk about straying from the usual grays of other action games, and go for its own style. Expect some heavy pro-PS3 propaganda ... but we don't think you'll mind!

Stay tuned to the historical connection, around minute 4. It's fascinating to see how Uncharted is very loosely based upon historical events. To see how, you'll just have to watch.

Watch Uncharted: Drake's Fortune's first level


After watching the first level of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, it's hard not to be blown away by the sheer graphical beauty Naughty Dog has been able to capture. At times, it really feels like you're watching a movie as Nathan shoots, punches, climbs and jumps his way throughout the level.

Andrew noted the game has come a long way since its E3 showing, and we can certainly tell. The most exciting part is Naughty Dog still has nearly two months for some fine tuning before it's set to ship.

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