Previews

Uncharted 3: Secrets uncovered in latest gameplay

A look at the clues hidden within the E3 trailer...

The Uncharted 3 E3 trailer gives us a lot to speculate about, but let's start with what we know.

Firstly, we definitely visit London. There's a panning shot with Tower Bridge clearly visible, before Drake fights some mean-looking skinheads in a traditional English pub.

It's here that Sully and Drake are cornered by new villainess Katherine Marlowe and her henchmen - including a mysterious, black-suited character who bears a striking resemblance to Drake himself.

Marlowe wants the ring Nate wears around his neck, an heirloom of his distant ancestor, Sir Francis Drake. "Finally, Drake's secret will be revealed..." she says, cradling the ring. Does she mean Francis or Nate? Drake tries to grab the ring but is shot - not fatally, we imagine - and a firefight erupts. Luckily, the pair manages to escape in a van driven by returning character Chloe Frazer.

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SANDS OF TIME
Next up, Arabia. We've already discovered El Dorado and Shambhala; now we're after the mythical city of Ubar, the 'Atlantis of the sands'. A lot of the game seems to take place on the Arabian Peninsula; we see the endless dunes of the Rub' al Khali desert as well as an unnamed city.

Sully, looking through age-weathered documents, says Ubar was 'destroyed by God for its arrogance'. As he reads the line we see a gorgeous vista of a ruined city buried in dunes; the smart money's on this being the remains of the lost city.

Much of the trailer revolves around a cargo plane, Uncharted 3's equivalent of Among Thieves' train sequence. We see it in the air with Drake fighting on the open ramp (and beyond), its netted cargo flailing in the slipstream high above the desert.

Elsewhere Drake sneaks into an airport under cover of night, where the plane's being loaded with those crates, while later still we see him chasing it by truck - driven by Elena - and jumping on the landing gear just before it takes off. The last time we see it, it's crashed in the middle of the desert.

SINKING FEELING
Other snippets in the trailer show Drake riding through a narrow desert canyon on horseback and chasing the black-suited man we mentioned earlier through a marketplace. Another, frankly stunning level takes place on a ruined cruise ship in the midst of a raging storm. Here we see some insane real-time water physics as Drake blows a hole in the hull (oops) and the liner starts sinking.

Those are the facts; now for some speculation. That black-suited mystery character is clearly important: in Sony's officially released screenshot package there's a close up, and he looks to be Marlowe's right-hand man. But here's where things get mad: if you look closely, he's almost the spitting image of Drake.

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Slightly slicker and better turned-out, sure, but the resemblance is there. An 'evil' twin brother? Adding further weight to this theory, however co-incidental, is the familiarity Marlowe seems to have with both Drake and Sully. Could she and Sully be old flames? Could Drake actually be her son? But that would make Sully... well, you get the idea.

It's a wild theory, but Naughty Dog did say that in Uncharted 3, 'Drake will be deceived, and Drake will deceive'. If our theory is true, it will make for some great drama. In a later scene we see Sully and Drake arguing, and Sully says, "I taught you better than that!" which comes across almost fatherly. Phew. All that from a two-minute trailer. The new footage also reveals much slicker melee combat, with new moves - including Drake pulling the pin from an enemy's grenade while it's still attached to his belt, blowing him up.

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