The original Uncharted was a genuine hit out of leftfield, a rollicking old school adventure that took the Indiana Jones template and blasted it into the new millennium.
Uncharted 2 took the genius of that idea and proceeded to rewrite the rulebook when it came to production values and rollercoaster action - becoming arguably the finest videogame adventure of all.
Just when we're thinking there's nowhere left to go (or, rather, climb or shoot), along comes Drake's Deception... Deception, if you'll excuse the disambiguation in chronology, might be Nate's Temple of Doom.
See, this is the Uncharted where our oh-so-slick hero encounters 'occult treachery' and is forced to 'confront his deepest fears' as he searches out a fabled lost city deep in the Arabian Desert.
We were banging our heads together to work out where devs Naughty Dog could possibly take us this time round and got to thinking: what if there were some Arkham Asylum-style hallucinogenic bits - especially since a chunk of the adventure is set in the fever-inducing sands? Food for thought.
Let's concentrate on hard factage for the moment, though. Naughty Dog have put their tails on the line by promising 'bigger' set-pieces - and we've already watched as Drake and erstwhile buddy Sully negotiated their way through an ancient French chateau that's combusted into a towering inferno.
As debris falls and flames roar, Nate showed off some new stealth takedowns, like a flying headlock! His already-unrivalled animation set has patently been expanded even further, with cheeky little idiosyncrasies like altering grip or swinging from chandeliers (now with their own individual physics) looking ultra, ultra real.
There's also markedly more interaction between buds now - which has unsurprisingly gotten everybody cooing about potential co-op. Nothing confirmed as yet, though. Uncharted 2 was damn near perfect, so Drake's Deception is going to need a darn sight more up its torn sleeves than simply a dexterous grasp of contextual actions.
One aspect that has us purring are the hints that Team Nate will be dropping in on Blighty during their latest jaunt, with the recent teaser trailer dropping all manner of clues - from £20 notes through to 020 dialling codes.
Drake scaling the face of Big Ben while pursued by hordes of clandestine killers? Yes please. If not, we'll settle for a chase over the Tyne Bridge...
Multiplayer fans will be stoked to hear that Uncharted 3 will be 'bringing the cinematic elements of the campaign into multiplayer,' which sounds thrilling. Finally, Naughty Dog also ventured that Drake's Deception might well be using Move - though only if the context fits - as well as announcing stereoscopic 3D support.
This last bit really has us excited; Nate's adventures have always leapt off the screen in a metaphorical sense, but we can't wait to experience it literally! Oh November, why art thee so far away?
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