Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception PlayStation 3
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Released on 02-Nov-2011
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception takes gamers to a fabled city that, once discovered, will reveal its terrifying secrets, pushing Drake to the edge of sanity and fighting for his life!
Gaming's answer to Indiana Jones is back! This latest instalment in the third-person series sees fortune hunter Nathan Drake venturing deep into the Arabian desert on the hunt for the fabled 'Atlantis of the Sands'. In this Playstation 3-exclusive, our wise-cracking hero boasts new moves, old friends and new enemies; this time round a shadowy organisation obsessed with the occult...
- Spectacular Set-Pieces – from escaping a sinking ship to fighting for your life at 12,000 feet while hanging off the back of a plane, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is packed with astonishing set-pieces that challenge the very best Hollywood has to offer. Eat your heart out, Michael Bay!
- Melee to the Max – engage multiple enemies at once in hand-to-hand combat with the brand-spanking new melee system that lets you fight groups of enemy smoothly and quickly, plus use the environment for takedowns thanks to the game's clever contextual melee attacks
- Picture Perfect – featuring some of the best graphics to grace the PS3, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is a treasure trove of eye-popping treats that brings unparalleled realism to smoke, fire and water; you can almost feel the desert sand whipping across your face!
- Match Up – players can work or fight together in the game's unique multiplayer mode that blends fast-paced online action with the storytelling that has made the series so famous.
Campaign co-op for Uncharted 3?
Eurogamer has run an extremely interesting news story concerning forthcoming PlayStation 3 exclusive, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. The website's suggesting that the latest of Nathan Drake's action adventures could include two-player campaign co-op, which would be a first for the series.
A listing for a US retailer outlet is to blame for the rumour. On its product details page, an American chain has the following details for Uncharted 3: Yes for co-op, "1-3 online co-op, 1-12 online multiplayer." But it also mentions "1-2" as number of players for the game, suggesting that Naughty Dog might be allowing fans the chance to play through the main story with a friend, as well as exploring multiplayer scenarios in groups of three.
It's exciting stuff, and even if it's just a rumour, we still can't wait to get our hands on the game, which sees Nathan Drake and friends taking to the desert to explore "the Atlantis of the Sands". American chat show host Jimmy Fallon had a live gameplay demo on his program a few days ago, featuring a set-piece in which Drake and his buddy Sully escaped from a burning mansion. The game's looking extraordinary.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception will be arriving for the PlayStation 3 on November 1, 2011.
Video Games Awards reveal games, games, and more games
This weekend saw the Video Game Awards rock the US of A, and while there were prizes, speeches, and parties, there were also announcements of new games. Lots of them. Here are the biggies.
Mass Effect 3 is on the way from BioWare. The sci-fi sequel will see Commander Shepherd protecting the Earth from alien invasion, and will be hitting the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 somewhere around Christmas 2011. We love the first two games, so we're excited.
Sticking with RPGs, Bethesda's unveiled Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the sequel to sword and sorcery classic Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It's coming out in November, 2011, but we've got no firm word on which platforms it's going to land on just yet, or what kind of epic fantasy story it's going to tell.
Hellboy director Guillermo Del Toro's working on a game for THQ called inSane. Aside from the fact that it's out in 2013, that's literally all we know about it from the reveal.
Prototype 2 is on the way from Radical and Activision. The sequel to the superhero open-worlder features an interesting twist: rather than pick up the story of wall-crawling mutant Alex Mercer once more, you're cast as the man who has to bring him down. No platforms have been revealed, but the game's on the way in 2012.
Finally, we knew it was in development, but now we also know Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception will be hitting PS3s in America on 1st November, 2011. Whether Europe gets it the same day we don't yet know, but it's nice to know roughly when to expect it.
But it wasn't only action and role-playing fans who have things to look forward to following this weekend's Video Games Awards in the US. Sports gamers are getting a few treats, too, with new instalments for the SSX and Forza series being announced.
SSX: Deadly Descents reinvents the classic snowboarding game for the current console generation, although no formats - or dates were revealed.
According to the publisher, EA, players will explore the story of a team who seek to be the first to descend the faces of the most treacherous mountain ranges on the planet. The team will travel the world to face the worst that Mother Nature can throw at them. From the peaks of the Himalayas, where the air is so thin that riders have to descend through the death zone at breakneck speeds to keep from blacking out, to the solid ice ranges of Antarctica, where a sunlit line is the only survival option when temperatures drop 50 degrees centigrade in the shade.
Sounds great. If you're a driving fanatic, though, you'll be excited to hear about Forza 4. The latest game in Microsoft's simulation racing series will be revving up on the Xbox 360 in the second half of next year, and although details are scarce, you can expect some kind of tie-in with Top Gear, apparently, and some Kinect integration to boot.
Uncharted 3 promises more freedom
2011 promises to be a great year for games, and one of the titles we're most excited about is Uncharted 3. According to Eurogamer, Drake's latest adventure, which will take him into the middle of a huge desert, may well offer a lot more freedom than the series first two instalments.
"It's still up in the air how much gameplay we're going to let you wander around," said the game director Justin Richmond in a recent interview. "It will probably feel more open than the other games have. For sure."
That said, the design team isn't going to leave you lost and alone with nothing to do. "We're never going to let you just ride a thousand miles off into the middle of nowhere," admitted Richmond. "Ultimately the feel we want to get is, yeah, you're lost in the desert. So it needs to feel like that. But it's not going to feel open-world. We sent guys to the desert and looked at desert reference and realised that the desert actually does have some natural barriers. There are dunes that are impossible to climb. We sent a couple of our art guys out there and they were trying to climb these dunes and the sand was just sliding. We get away with some of that kind of stuff. But at some point we have to do something. And I don't want to say what we did because I think we came up with a really cool solution. But we try not to kill you."
Sounds intriguing. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception hits shelves on 1st November this year, for the PlayStation 3.
We all know that Mark Wahlberg will be half-tucking in Nathan Drake's shirt when the Uncharted movie hits cinema screens, but now Empire Online (thanks for the spot, Eurogamer) is suggesting that Scarlett Johansson may be in the spotlight to fill the role of Elena.
During an interview with the director, David O Russell, Empire discovered that there are a number of women being considered for the part including Amy Adams, who's just worked with Russell on The Fighter. "Oh I would love that too, I love Amy,said the director. "I also love Scarlett Johansson; there's a lot of great actors I think might suit. Hopefully, we'll see how it works out with everybody who are being scoped to do that role..."
Russell added that he's spent a lot of time thinking about Elena's role, saying, "I've cultivated her quite a bit and I think I've added a lot of dimension to her so that's all I'm going to say. I love the woman characters and the more robust they are, the more robust the movie."
Beyond Elena, rumours are flying thick and fast that Robert De Nero and Joe Pesci have joined the cast as Drake's father and uncle. Sounds like a big deal. We'll keep you posted.
Feedback from gamers on David O. Russell forthcoming Uncharted film has so far been overwhelmingly negative, many responding angrily to the director plans to make hero Nathan Drake part of a Sopranos-like family in the world of art and antiques. Speaking to website Slashfilm recently, Russell implored gamers to give him the opportunity to create really great film
s far as I concerned, I very respectful as far as the core content and spirit of the game,Russell explained, ut beyond that it my job as a filmmaker to make what I think is going to be an amazing movie./p>
eople have to trust that and let that go,he continued. here not a bunch of movies you can point to that are made from games that are amazing movies, that stand up to time as a franchise or as [individual films]./p>
The man has a point. The Resident Evil films may have been profitable but few would claim theye compelling cinema. And, to his credit, Russell has done his research, playing the game and meeting with Naughty Dog Amy Hennig, who directed the original game as he pursued his own vision for the film.
o grow a game into a movie is an interesting proposition because a game is a very different experience than a movie,Russell rightly points out. want to create a world that is worthy of a really great film that people want to watch and rewatch.Here hoping the firebrand director manages to cope with the abuse and make what could be the first truly great videogame adaptation even if it doesn closely resemble the game that inspired it.
That according to designer Jacob Minkoff, anyway, who told Eurogamer's Johnny Minkley that, "Uncharted 2 was a once in a lifetime experience. You can't hope to have such incredible synergy of amazing people working together, creating this genre-defining product."
Luckily, Minkoff goes on to add that the studio aims to "surpass it" and "make sure Uncharted 3 outdoes [UC2] in every way possible".
Wel be hearing plenty more on Uncharted 3 at E3 this year, apparently. For now, all we know is that the game, which will be headed to the PS3, is set in the desert, and features expanded hand-to-hand combat options and another great rip-roaring adventure story as Nathan Drake sets off for fortune and glory once more.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception will apparently be hitting shops on 4th of November this year. Can we wait? Frankly, we cannot.
Uncharted movie loses director
Uh-oh. And just when everything was starting to come together. If youe been looking forward to this new Uncharted movie that everybody talking about, the production had a bit of a setback. The director, David Oussell, has left the project.
It not game over, but it a bit of a blow. Still, according to Variety thanks for the spot, Eurogamer the split has been friendly enough, and it was just a matter of creative differences. Sony is still eager to proceed with the action movie, and the team is looking for a new director.
What isn certain, apparently, is whether Russell take on Uncharted, with Mark Whalberg starring as Nathan Drake, and Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci tagging along as members of his antique-trading family, will survive the transition to a new director.
It a shame to see Russell go, particularly since he just picked up an Oscar nomination for The Fighter. Whatever happens, Uncharted will still continue to provide gamers with great action and adventure. Uncharted 3: Drake Deception is on its way to the PlayStation 3 on 4th November this year, and promises lots of jumping, shooting, and quipping with an exciting desert setting.
With Nathan Drake latest adventure due to hit PlayStation 3 shelves this November, Sony been busy collecting together the treasure-hunter first two outings. The Uncharted Collection will be available as of the 22nd of July, by the looks of things, and will offer gamers the chance to pick up both Uncharted: Drake Fortune, and Uncharted 2: Amongst Thieves.
That won be all the collection includes, of course. You can also expect an Uncharted 3 theme, and an avatar to go with it.
According to CVG thanks for spotting this, Eurogamer Sony also working on similar collections for the first two Resistance games, and the Ratchet & Clank adventures Tools of Destruction and A Crack in Time.
Both of those collections will also be out on 22nd July, the first coming with a Resistance 3 skin, and the second with a theme and a collection of avatars.
As for new games in all three series, Uncharted 3 is out on the 4th of November, while Resistance 3 touches down 9th September, and Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One will hit shelves on 21st October. All of these games are exclusive to the PlayStation 3. Busy Christmas, then?
Fire up your PS3, head to the PlayStation Store and youl find a delicious freebie waiting for you this week. The beta trial for the multiplayer component of Sony classic-in-waiting Uncharted 3 has been released from its private prison and opened up to the public.
The trial offers a selection of game modes across two maps. For this final week of the beta, developer Naughty Dog has added Team Objective and Co-op Hunter to the private playlist which already boasted Team Deathmatch and Free For All. The available maps are excitingly titled Airstrip and Chateau.
Drake Deception is the third entry in the critically acclaimed action adventure series from Naughty Dog, following on from Drake Fortune and Among Thieves, and arrives exclusively for PS3 on November 4th. The game finds wise cracking thrillseeker Nathan Drake once again up to his stubbled chin in international intrigue as he retraces the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia in a hunt for a lost desert city dubbed he Atlantis of the sands
Drake will also swing into action on Sony upcoming Vita handheld in Uncharted: Golden Abyss.
Swashbuckling hero Nathan Drake returns to the PS3 later this year, and may still find his way to the silver screen after the proposed movie version of the critically acclaimed action adventure parted ways with original director David O. Russell (The Fighter).
Russell planned to expand the story to cover a whole family of globe-trotting fortune hunters, played by Mark Wahlberg, Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci. This deviation from the games prompted complaints from fans and an inevitable cry of reative differencesas Russell vacated the project. Now the delicious sounding Neil Burger has settled into the director's chair, following solid box office and complimentary reviews for his sci-fi flavoured thriller, Limitless.
According to movie biz bible Variety, Burger was picked to write and direct an adaptation of original game Drake's Fortune after the movie producers parked to his new take on the pic - one that's more closely tied to the game
It's unclear what this will mean for Mark Wahlberg's proposed starring role, as his involvement would have marked his third collaboration with Russell. Maybe Burger is eyeing his Limitless star, Bradley Cooper, as a potential Drake...
The creators of the Uncharted videogames have expressed their excitement about the movie adaptation of the series that is currently in development.
Richard Lemarchand, of the acclaimed studio Naughty Dog, told Eurogamer that the team has been 'impressed' with the commitment shown by the film's producers to doing justice to the classic PlayStation 3 titles.
With former director David O Russell having left the project, filmmaker Neil Burger - who directed this year's box-office hit Limitless - has now been tasked with bringing the globe-trotting adventures of treasure hunter Nathan Drake to life.
Mr Lemarchand said Burger's appointment was a 'very good sign', adding that an authentic action movie feel has always been a central part of the Uncharted experience.
'We had to study on the techniques of cinema very diligently to be able to make these games ... I remain excited about the future of the Uncharted feature film,' he added.
The series' latest instalment, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, will be released on PlayStation 3 this November, while a spinoff title called Uncharted: Golden Abyss is also in the works for PlayStation Vita.
The beta trial of the eagerly awaited Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is launching this week, Sony has announced.
From October 5th 2011, subscribers to the PlayStation Plus service will be able to gain exclusive access to the trial version of the new PlayStation 3 adventure's competitive multiplayer mode.
Running through until the launch of the game itself in early November, the beta allows players to try out the improved online deathmatch experience of Drake's Deception, while getting a head start on building up their multiplayer stats.
Although the trial is initially open only to PlayStation Plus members, Sony will be looking to provide other gamers with information about how they can get involved later this month.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is the latest instalment in Naughty Dog's acclaimed action-adventure series and sees hero Nathan Drake embarking on a dangerous desert expedition.
The game will include support for stereoscopic 3D visuals, while Drake will have a new array of moves and weapons at his disposal.
Gamersexpectations for the sequel to 2009 multiple Game of the Year award-winner Uncharted 2 are understandably sky-high, so it pleasing to report that the latest entry in PS3 flagship action adventure series often manages to stack up to and - on occasion - exceed the genre leading quality bar set by its predecessor.
The third outing in the Indiana Jones inspired treasure hunting franchise puts our hero Nathan Drake back on the trail of his famous ancestor, Sir Francis Drake. He sets off on a globe-trotting mission to locate an ancient lost city, Iram of the Pillars, taking him on a journey to London, Syria, France, Colombia, Yemen and finally Rubl Khali, one of the largest sand deserts in the world.
Fortune and glory
Also along for the ride are the returning supporting cast of Drake mentor, Sully, and leading ladies Chloe and Elena. As expected from developer Naughty Dog, the game offers highly convincing looking and behaving characters, which are brought to life by an excellent script, great acting performances and Hollywood level motion capture work. It really is a joy to watch them interact and see their relationships develop as cinematic cut scenes are seamlessly weaved with gameplay.
But Drake and his friends aren the only ones looking for Iram, or Atlantis of the Sands, the popular name given to the legendary city in southern Arabia believed to have been destroyed by a natural disaster or an act of god. To have any hope of achieving their goal, theyl have to stay one step ahead of a secret society that been searching for it since the days of Queen Elizabeth I.
While the graphical leap between 2007 Uncharted: Drake Fortune and its follow-up isn replicated here, Uncharted 3 is arguably the finest looking console game to date. Having conquered the jungle, snow and ice in its predecessors, Uncharted 3 masters its chosen elements and environments too, most notably the dangers and roaring life of fire and water, and the harsh loneliness of desert plains.
There a real feeling of authenticity to the game varied locations, with grimy London backstreets, French countryside mansion ruins, a moonlit stone fortress in Syria, and architecturally-diverse buildings brilliantly depicted by the game artists. Throw in the seriestrademark epic set-pieces - including dramatic escapes from burning chateaus, capsizing cruise liners, and an aeroplane take off that sees Drake clinging from the bird rear - and Uncharted 3 takes cinematic action to a scale PS3 has not seen before.
Bare knuckle brawling
Like it predecessors, Uncharted 3 generally alternates between fairly simple environmental puzzle solving, climbing or jumping across structures, and engaging bad guys on this occasion shadowy, slightly clich British operatives using slick, Gears of War like third person cover-based shooting. Drake brings a few new tricks to the party in Uncharted 3, including the ability to shoot vertically while scaling environments, and the smarts to catch enemiesgrenades and throw them back within a certain timeframe
The hand-to-hand brawling system has been developed, with basic kicks and punches now complemented by counter-attacking moves and crowd-managing shoves that bring a little more strategy to combat. The addition of contextual takedowns, which enable you to do things like smash bottles across heads or use pool cues if youe fighting in a bar, are also a nice touch that help further immerse you in your given location at any time.
Aside from the stellar campaign, Uncharted 3 delivers some the best multiplayer action on PS3. This comes in the form of a range of competitive and team-based cover-centric gameplay modes including deathmatch and objective capture ones. The game also introduces Call of Duty style weapon upgrades and ability-enhancing boosts, plus an assortment of unlockable character models and clothing to spend your hard-earned in-game cash on.
In addition, there are five three-player co-op story missions, moving from the London Underground to Syria, which largely focus on shooting and completing simple objectives. Theye a nice distraction in their own right, but given the relative lack of climbing and puzzle solving, we probably have preferred it if the main campaign supported co-op play
As is the case with any game, there arguably some room for improvement. Uncharted 3 difficulty spikes a little steeply and unexpectedly on occasions towards the end of the game, ensuring some players will have to replay sections many times to succeed, and as previously stated, the game fails to deliver the same technical leap as Uncharted 2 did from the original.
But these are very minor niggles that fail to put a dampener on an otherwise thoroughly excellent game. Boasting a brilliant single player campaign alongside polished and expanded multiplayer modes, plus some of the finest video game graphics and storytelling to date, Uncharted 3 is an action title of the highest calibre.
+ Absolutely stunning visuals
+ Spectacular, cinematic set-pieces.
+ Tonnes of things to see and do.
- The clich British baddies.
- Some big difficulty spikes towards the end.
- Doesn feature the same technical leap as Uncharted 2.
Charting the Uncharted
The second game in the fast-paced action romp that is the Uncharted trilogy raised expectations of what a video game could look and feel like. A visual tour-de-force it delivered the most impressive technical accomplishment on any games console, set-piece after set-piece of Hollywood action, all wrapped in a heroic story of derring-do and adventure.
The problem with such a giant evolutionary step is that it can train an audience to expect the same leap with the game that follows. As such, gamers expecting a similarly impressive advance to the Uncharted template will likely walk away exhilarated, but a little disappointed with DrakeDeception.
Nevertheless, for those who want more of the same swashbuckling adventure, built around the three gameplay pillars of third person shooting, exploration and puzzles, Uncharted 3 will meet every expectation, delivering as it does another of the most impressive rides in contemporary corridor-style cinematic gaming.
Fame and Drake Fortune
Once again the story charts the adventure of runaway explorer Nathan Drake, who along with his older sidekick Victor Sullivan are still on the hunt for Sir Francis Drake lost treasure. Together the team race through a huge array of exotic locations, from a dingy London Underground station, to the sunshine baked street of Yemen, the cobbled streets of pastoral France and into the white heat of the desert.
It a whistle stop tour of some beautiful locations, expertly rendered by the graphical artists at Naughty Dog, who squeeze every last bit of juice from the PlayStation hardware. The character animation is superb, bringing the cast to vivid life, and the voice actor cast sterling performances are both expressive and believable.
Play is split between platforming, combat and puzzles. The platforming sections have you scaling castle walls, leaping from burning buildings and working your way through a graveyard of ships as you work your way from A to B. Animations make leaping between rooftops visceral and engaging, while clambering along thin wooden beams is nerve-wracking.
Combat comes in a few flavours, from stealthy take-downs, to bar-room brawls (with button prompts flicking up on screen to show you when to duck), to all out shoot-outs using any number of different guns. Stealth is generally encouraged, but as soon as a single enemy spots your position, the alarm is raised and youl have a small army to deal with.
Finally, Drake Deception isn short on puzzles, many of which are found in the bellies of long lost tombs. If these have you stumped for too long, then you can press a button to gain a clue or even have the entire thing solved for you if you really can work out a way forward. The puzzles are well-designed in general, and it good to be able to use smarts - as well as reactions - in progressing through the story. The jewels of the experience, however, are the glorious set-piece action sequences which, while dialing down the interactivity, ape their Hollywood inspiration for sheer jaw-dropping spectacle.
The Truth About Drake
Outside of the single player story, a strong multiplayer suite of options provides genuine longevity to the package. Uncharted boasts one of the best online third person shooter multiplayer modes thanks to the platforming, and vertical shooting no mere crouching behind walls and tumbling around here. The surrounding structure may be borrowed from Modern Warfare with its experience points, medals and boosters, but elsewhere it entirely its own experience.
A robust co-op mode rounds off the generous clutch of features, allowing players to work cooperatively through a set of levels, while competing with one another for items and treasures. The result is a strong, assured example of blockbuster gaming. It may be fiercely linear and heavily scripted, but few games of this ilk are executed with such charm and expertise. For gamers wanting their own interactive Indiana Jones movie, Drake Deception delivers on every account.
+ Incredible visuals!
+ Mesmerizing set-pieces!
+ Class acting!
- Lack of player choice!
- AI feels too knowledgeable.
- Story rhythm now over-familiar.
However, second-placed Uncharted 3 was still able to generate massive numbers of its own, recording the 11th best PlayStation 3 launch ever, while far exceeding the debut of 2009's Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
The new compilation title includes the first three instalments in the classic platform adventure series on one Blu-ray disc, with each title having received a high-definition facelift and optional 3D visuals.
Created by Naughty Dog, the award-winning team behind Crash Bandicoot and Uncharted, the Jak series celebrated its tenth anniversary last month and is well known for its imaginative worlds, technical innovations and creative gameplay.
The 2001 original Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy is joined in the collection by its darker sequels Jak II and Jak 3, with extensive PlayStation Trophy support promised for each title.
More than 100 Trophies are available across the three games, including three prized platinum awards, offering hours of fun for gaming completionists.
The Jak and Daxter Trilogy has been created by developer Mass Media, with support from the original Jak team at Naughty Dog.
Naughty Dog co-founder Evan Wells has admitted that the studio was tempted to create a new entry in its popular Jak & Daxter platformer series, but eventually decided to focus on upcoming survival adventure The Last of Us instead.
"Something that we talked about early on was, 'Let's go back and apply what we've learned with the Uncharted games to Jak & Daxter'," Wells told Game Informer. "It's one of the franchises that's near and dear to us and, in all honesty, we'd like to somehow honour."
However, the developer decided it didn't want to make the game for the wrong reasons, and end up disappointing fans with a sub-par effort. "Even if we felt like we were going to give the fans another Jak & Daxter, we felt we weren't going to give them the game that they wanted," Wells continued. "We would end up limiting the direction that the company had this passion for while simultaneously not creating the game that fans wanted. We just realised we were going to just do everybody a disservice. So at that point, the conversations started to move in a new direction."
That new direction was, of course, The Last of Us. The PS3 exclusive game follows a man and a girl as the struggle to survive in post-apocalyptic America, and is due in 2013.
Tired of games that leave you hanging at the end credits? It seems that Uncharted studio Naughty Dog agrees. The Last of Us, its upcoming post-apocalyptic survival horror adventure, will tell a self-contained story with no cheeky sequel-baiting, the developer has revealed.
Speaking in a video interview for Game Informer, creative director Neil Druckmann has insisted that the tale will be complete. "We can say now we don't want to end on a cliffhanger. We don't like when games do that. It has to be all encompassing," he said. That doesn't mean a sequel is off the cards completely, but they're not basing the initial story around the idea of a franchise. "If it does well and people want more then we'll discuss it," he explains.
The interview also reveals more details of the game's story. Set twenty years after a virus decimates humanity, middle-aged smuggler Joel finds himself leaving the brutal dictatorial confines of mankind's last stronghold when he takes a job helping teen Ellie reach the other side of a quarantine zone.
The Last of Us appeared out of nowhere in December, after Naughty Dog kept it successfully under wraps while developing Uncharted 3. It's currently slated for release in 2013, exclusively for PlayStation 3.
The finalists for the 2012 British Academy Video Game Awards have been announced, and this year everyone will be watching the detectives, as Batman: Arkham City and LA Noire top the lists with eight nominations apiece.
Categories include Action, Artistic Achievement, Design, Story, Innovation and, of course, Best Game. Batman and LA Noire rub shoulders with FIFA 12, Portal 2, Skyrim and Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword in that category. The omission of best-seller Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 may raise eyebrows, but that gets a nod in both the Action and Multiplayer categories.
Promising indie projects get a look in thanks to the Dare to be Digital One's To Watch award, and there's also a public vote, with ten blockbuster games to choose between. You can head to http://www.baftagameaward.com to pick your favourite.
The winners will be announced at a sure-to-be-lavish ceremony on March 16th.
Rocksteady Studios' superhero sequel and Rockstar's hard-boiled detective drama both scooped eight nominations each, including best game, music, design, artistic achievement and story.
Following hot on their heels were Naughty Dog's globetrotting adventure Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception and Media Molecule's sandbox platform game LittleBigPlanet 2 with six nominations, while Portal 2 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim scored five each.
Meanwhile, a shortlist of ten titles was also revealed for the publicly-voted GAME Award of 2011, the winner of which can be chosen by visitors to the GAME Award website.
Arkham City, Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, FIFA 2012, LA Noire, Minecraft, Portal 2, Skyrim, Uncharted 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword are all in contention to claim the prize.
Those who take part in the vote will also be in with a chance of winning a limited edition Star Wars Xbox 360 console, complete with a Kinect sensor and copy of Kinect Star Wars.
The people who actually make the games we play got to have their say last night in San Francisco, as the Game Developers Conference celebrated with its annual awards show.
Bethesda's Skyrim, the fifth entry in the popular Elder Scrolls series, took home the top prize for Best Game, adding yet another trophy the Bethesda's groaning awards shelf. "We never imagined the reception the game would get or the success that it has had," game director Todd Howard said,
"Thank you to everyone who supported us. Thank you to everyone who's making games that inspire us."
Elsewhere, Portal 2 warped its way to three wins, the biggest haul of the night, as developers from around the world picked it for Best Narrative, Best Design and Best Audio. Naughty Dog won Best Visual Arts for the thrilling cinematic sweep of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, while Battlefield 3 was rewarded for Best Technology.
Legendary designer Warren Spector, creator of the original Deus Ex and, more recently, Epic Mickey, was given a lifetime achievement award. "Changing players' lives is - I promise you - much more satisfying than generating massive revenue," he told his industry peers.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is set to receive a new cooperative multiplayer mode later this month with the release of a new batch of downloadable content.
Co-op Shade Survival Mode will be available to purchase via the PlayStation Store next week and will see players teaming up to defeat progressively more difficult waves of Djinn enemies.
Gamers will need to use group tactics to overcome the Djinn's abilities to catch fire and teleport, while certain rounds require competitors to defeat specifically marked enemies or hardened foes with additional armour and weaponry.
Huge amounts of cash and medals are available to players that are able to beat this new mode, making it a perfect way of levelling up quickly.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception was released last November exclusively on PlayStation 3 and proved to be a blockbuster success, shipping 3.8 million copies in a single day.
So, you've got yourself a shiny new PlayStation 3. You know all about its fantastic online features, like PlayStation Network, BBC iPlayer, 4OD and more. You know about its awesome graphics and Blu-Ray player. What you really need to know is - what games should I get?
Well, help is here! We've taken on the hard work and come up with our PS3 Essentials List - the 'hot half-dozen' you really need to get your game collection going.
SONY's flagship console needs SONY's flagship title - the Uncharted series. Since 2007 we've seen three adventures for Nathan Drake, the everyman hero whose treasure hunting escapades take him all over the world - and into all kinds of trouble. Featuring visually stunning locations and traditional action adventure gameplay like running, shooting and jumping, the Uncharted games are ideal for just getting stuck in and having fun while playing. Grab Uncharted: Drakes Fortune and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves in a special double pack, or jump straight into the latest instalment Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception.
Killzone 3 is the latest chapter in PlayStation's signature shooter series. Putting a sci-fi twist on the traditional first-person shooter, Killzone 3 takes place across a range of locations from alien jungles, to nuclear wastelands, to outer space, marking a strong visual change to the usual combat zones found in FPS games. There's the usual single-player campaign and a host of multiplayer maps and mission-types to keep things interesting. Plus there's a choice of classes to play as and the use of things like jet-packs which put a new slant on the genre. And if you really want to, you can grab the first two chapters too!
Sports on the PS3 are taken to the extreme in SSX. A revival of the classic snowboarding series that helped launch the PS2, SSX presents players with an assortment of mountain slopes to conquer, and whole heap of tricks, moves and skills to learn, and playing modes that reward speed, skill and survival. While the single-player mode is fun enough, the online multiplayer works in such a way that you don't actually have to be playing at the same time to challenge your friends, with a league-like system that makes every race very competitive. If you're looking for a new sporting challenge, SSX is the game to beat!
The Resistance series was a bit of old-school sci-fi, an alternative history where alien race the Chimera had invaded and overrun the planet, thanks to a virus that turns humans into, well, more Chimera. Your job is to stop the Chimera take over Europe (in the first game) and North America (in the second and third), using a combination of contemporary and futuristic weapons. The alt-history setting makes for an interesting storyline with some fun 'what-if' scenarios, while the multiplayer options expand not only the world of the game, but also the fun you can have within it. Grab the first two games in a Platinum Double Pack and start fighting those aliens!
If you really want to get the party going, you want to get the party singing, and what better way to do that than the SingStar series. The gameplay is simple - two people competing to out-sing the other... or at least trying to score higher than the other while singing, as actual singing ability is far from required to make this game enjoyable! With a range of games and songs to suit almost any age and taste, SingStar has proven to be one of the most inclusive and easy to play franchises to hit any console. For the ultimate in friendly competition, SingStar is the winning choice.
The Gran Turismo series has been a stalwart of the PlayStation brand for more than a decade, and Gran Turismo 5 continues the fine tradition of ultra-realistic driving simulation that leaves other racers in the dust. Like the earlier games in the series, GT5 is a showcase of the PS3's lifelike graphics and gameplay physics, this time incorporating realistic damage to your car as you compete. There's an enviable range of locations (26), tracks (71) and cars (over 1000!), and combined with the gameplay choices of career mode, arcade mode and online multiplayer, Gran Turismo 5 is the racing game that puts you on the right track.
Of course, this list is far from definitive, but it does showcase some top games in each of the major categories of modern gaming. If you think you have a better champion for any category, or can think of a key title we've missed, please feel free to share your advice below!
Veteran videogame voice actor Nolan North, who has over 200 credits to his name including the role of Nathan Drake in Sony's hugely successful Uncharted series, recently filmed a part for the upcoming Star Trek movie sequel, and it's all thanks to gaming.
"I just worked on Star Trek 2 with J. J. Abrams," he told Eurogamer. "I met him doing some work on Super 8 and he said 'We're doing Star Trek, you wanna do it?' And I said I'd love to. He's a huge fan of gaming and he was telling me how people just don't understand [the medium] yet, but they're going to catch up. They don't understand how amazing this technology is and it doesn't get the respect it deserves, but if it keeps making the money it makes you're going to see more and more people converted."
North will next be heard in another of his blockbuster gaming roles, as Desmond Miles in Assassin's Creed III this October. Star Trek fans can look forward to the release of a new action game based on Abrams' popular movie reboot this summer. It's a co-op action game for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC with players controlling Kirk and Spock through a series of missions.
There's no denying it, we've been spoiled rotten by the flood of quality games this year. There isn't enough time in the day to get through them all! Fortunately, the Christmas holidays are here to give us a little more time to catch up on the best of 2011.
We've hand-picked a selection of games from this year's release schedule that are all worthy of your Christmas Gaming time...
Batman Arkham City
A comic hero game that turned out to be very good? We were left speechless when Arkham Asylum was released in 2009. Even more incredibly, Rocksteady Studios' sequel managed to be even better than the first!
Batman Arkham City sets you in a massive open world, players assume the role of a Batman imprisoned in the sprawling super-prison of Arkham City. Every nemesis you could hope for makes an appearance in the game - as well as an epic storyline offering dozens of hours of gameplay, there's a huge quantity of sidequests and missions to explore once you've put the baddies to bed.
This third outing for Nathan Drake is his grandest adventure yet. Set amongst deserts, lost cities and ruins, Uncharted 3 is a technically astonishing PlayStation 3 game that features all of the exploration, fighting and explosive set-pieces we've come to expect from the series.
Better multiplayer, more customisation options and some of the most impressive motion-capture animations to hit gaming make Uncharted 3 an unmissable, cinematic rollercoaster. Don't miss out on one of gaming's finest adventures.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
If you can't get your money's worth out of a game like The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, you're very hard to please indeed! Bethesda's follow-up to the best-selling game Oblivion left players and critics alike reeling. A gorgeously rendered, enormous world stuffed with terrifying dungeons, endless quest-lines and open-world dragon fights, Skyrim packs more content into a side-quest than most games manage full stop.
Are you an archer, berserker, magician or rogue? Whatever your play-style, there's a highly customisable role for you in this most epic of RPGs. Hundreds of hours of gameplay are here for players to gorge themselves on, all spread across a game that is likely to become one of the most fondly remembered of this generation. The greatest RPG of all time? It might just be.
Gears of War 3
Tying up all the loose ends of the previous games, this climax to the best-selling Gears of Wars franchise sees Marcus Fenix and co set out to finish the Locust Horde once and for all in Gears of War 3. Some of the most awesome baddies the series has ever seen make their appearance in this conclusion, and there'll be no shortage of sweaty palms once the fighting's over.
Multiplayer provides endless re-playability for the game, as you team up with friends to take on wave after wave of Locust forces. If you'd rather rip your friend's face off than lend a helping hand, you can now fight as the enemy, raining horrible destruction on your whole family once the Christmas pudding's gone down.
Once mocked by gamers for churning out what often amounted to little more than annual updates, EA has been on a charm-offensive these last five years or so, bringing significant innovation and improvements to their flagship footie title every single time.
FIFA 12 sees the introduction of a far more dynamic system for defending where you can link up with an AI defender to put pressure on attackers. Head to Head seasons allow you to take part in a highly competitive ladder tournament, while simply playing the game also adds points to your chosen club. It's as addictive as ever, and about as fully-featured a sports game as we could hope for.
The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword
The perfect game to settle into while the family are having a good old row downstairs,The Ledgend of Zelda Skyward Sword will charm the pants off you with it's perfect telling of the classic Zelda tale, mixed with the best combat and world design the series has ever seen.
Set prior to the events of the N64 (and now 3DS) classic Ocarina of Time, Skyward Sword starts off in a beautiful cloud city by the name of Skyloft. Of course, it's not long until Link's childhood friend Zelda is whisked off into the lands below, beginning a fantastic journey of world exploration, soaring flight, and devilishly tricky dungeons. Skyward Sword is a must-play for any Zelda fans, past or present.
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