If Uncharted 3 Doesn't Make Me Want 3D Gaming, What Will?

Illustration for article titled If emUncharted 3/em Doesnt Make Me Want 3D Gaming, What Will?

Nathan Drake is surrounded by flame, it pops and sputters, licking out of the television toward me.

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Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception should be the winning argument for gaming in 3D. It is spectacular. In the moments of gameplay we watch while crowded in a second-floor meeting room at San Francisco's posh W Hotel, that extra visual dimension is put to good use. Holes in the wall of the conflagrant chateau drop away from the screen, showing distant enemies. The burning beams upon which Drake balances show a path deep into the room. When Drake momentarily loses his balance and his view sinks toward the fall, the room offers a nearly vertigo-inducing view of that drop.

This is 3D put to great use, not the 3D of movies like The Green Hornet, which seemed only to be there to get viewers to wear glasses and watch credits float in front of a movie screen.

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But despite its good use, I'm not convinced this is something I want, let alone need.

I tell a PR person later that I'm not a fan of 3D. They start to make the counter arguments, saying that eye fatigue really isn't an issue, that 3D television prices could be dropping.

You don't understand, I say. It's not that 3D is too expensive (it is) or that my eyes may hurt after three or four hours of gaming (they might), it's that I just don't see the benefits.

Given a free 3D television and fatigue-resistant eyes, at the best I find 3D in action games, especially action games with shooting, to be distracting.

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I want to turn it off, some part of my brain finds that extra level of processing and wonder, annoying, not entertaining.

Maybe I'm alone, but fortunately I won't have to play Uncharted 3 in 3D when it hits the Playstation 3 later this year. And that's a very good thing, because it looks like it has all of the potential to be a better game than its predecessor, a game that was easily the best title to hit 2009.

Before watching the visual fidelity of the game in 3D, developers showed us a new cut scene from the title. In it we're introduced to Katherine Marlowe, the game's new heavy.

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"We are excited to introduce you to Katherine Marlowe, the head of a cabal, a conspiracy that stretches over 400 years, back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I," Richard Lemarchand, lead game designer at developer Naughty Dog, tells us.

Sir Francis Drake, we're told, was one of the cabal's agents.

Uncharted 3 finds Drake and buddy Victor Sullivan pitted against Marlowe in a struggle for Drake's ring.

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"The long-contested fight for possession of the ring will propel Drake and Sully to the heart of the Arabian desert," Lemarchand said. "This will be a much more dangerous and insidious threat than Drake has ever faced before.

Illustration for article titled If emUncharted 3/em Doesnt Make Me Want 3D Gaming, What Will?
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"Marlowe's tactics are more psychological."

The 3D gameplay we see a bit later still shows the brutal melee attacks, the fire from cover, the climbing and tactics that made the game's action moments so sublime.

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With an amped-up version of the gameplay of 2009's Uncharted combined with what appears to be a more intricate plot, I can't see how Uncharted 3 could go wrong.

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DISCUSSION

someone_else
someone_else

the major problem with "3d" at the moment, other than the price, is that its not really 3d at all.

Think about what you actually see in your field of vision, its hundreds of objects all at different layers of depth, nothing "pops out" at you, its all a gradual change of depth, but your eyes can only focus on one "layer" at a time, and it works, because thats how we see.

"3d" in the cinema, TV and games is not really 3d at all, its an added layer that is made to pop out at you, everything is in focus with a layer popping out, its not how we are supposed to see things, its confusing to the brain, and its not going to add anything to gaming.

Now I am not going to say 3d is a gimmick or a fad, because I truly believe that its the future of pretty much all forms of entertainment, but it needs to get a hell of alot more sophisticated than it already is... almost to star trek "holodeck" levels (without the interaction part) so that the image produced matches that of real vision... and when that is achieved there will be no wow factor, no slack jaws, because it will look natural, what people experience in their day to day vision.

That all sad.. IMAX 3d films are fucking awesome.. Hubble 3d blew my mind when I saw it!