LOS ANGELES — Naughty Dog Game Director Justin Richmond knows that it would be easy to rest on the laurels of the massive success of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves when it comes to the franchise’s highly anticipated next chapter; Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, but refuses to.

“We always want to make a game that we’re interested in playing. We want to push ourselves,” Richmond said. “We never want to rest on the laurels of the last game. Uncharted 2, it was lightning in a bottle, and we know that. It was the right people in the right studio at the right time, but we’re really proud of what we’re doing with this one.”

So just how does Richmond plan on improving what many see as one of the most impressive and memorable games in recent years? Easy; adding pretty much more of everything fans love and improving what they didn’t.

Take the game’s melee combat system for example, Richmond said that while the system worked for Uncharted 2, the team knew they could do so much more this time around.

“One of the things we really tried to improve this time around was the melee system.  We were never really happy with it in the last game and we’re working on making it as much fun as the rest of the game. We’re really taking a look at all of these little things and seeing where we can tweak them to make the game that much better.”

During our interview, we were shown two sections of the Uncharted 3 campaign, and though it’s obvious that the tweaks Richmond talked about were implemented, it was even more apparent that the studio knew what gave Uncharted its identity, big over the top action sequences. The first sequence we saw was a slightly longer version of the cruise ship level from Sony’s E3 press conference (yeah, the one with the really cool water effects) and it was clear that the scope of the game has been made to be even more massive. The level (as seen below) features a ton of interior and exterior locations, completely dwarfing the scope of the last game.

The second section we saw found Drake and Elena sneaking into an airport runway and Drake literally climbing on to the plane’s landing gear to climb on board. Once on the plane, Drake found his way to main cargo area, where he met up with an awfully large Henchmen, and a very cool battle sequence ensued (where we got to see the new melee system with contextual cues and quick time events). While the demo did show the type of over the top Hollywood style action we’re accustomed to see in the franchise, the cinematic leading up to the sequence told a different story, one not usually associated with Drake’s adventures; the heart and believability of the characters, and according to Richmond, that’s something the team is really aiming to change.”We want to be true to our characters, what they’d do, how they’d act. We feel like we have a natural progression of where the characters were in the last game to where they are now.”

But what about the characters not from the last game? Richmond then introduced us to Katherine Marlowe, the game’s new antagonist and quickly became excited about what she brings to the Uncharted saga.

“This is where the Drake’s Deception title really starts to come in. Uncharted 3 finds Nathan Drake searching for an ancient 16 century treasure, but he ends up being pulled in to an even bigger mystery filled with deceit, pitting him against a shadowy clandestine organization and the occult treachery of its cunning and ruthless leader,” Richmond said. “Marlowe is always trying to undermine Drake and getting him to do things he doesn’t want to do, it adds a brand new dynamic to the franchise.”

Uncharted 3 launches on November 1 exclusively for the PlayStation 3. Check back with Blast for more previews and coverage until the game’s release, and be sure to check out our gallery below for a ton of cool Uncharted screenshots.

About The Author

Joe Sinicki is Blast's Executive Editor. He has an unhealthy obsession with Back to the Future and wears cheese on his head. Follow him on Twitter @BrewCityJoe

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