Nathan Drake certainly gets around. We've seen him exploring lush green jungles, climbing frozen mountains, and stumbling through the snow with nasty wounds, and if Kotaku is on the money with its latest rumor report, we may soon see him trudging through the desert. There are stirrings that the upcoming Uncharted 3 for the Sony PlayStation 3 may well be set in a desert to allow developer Naughty Dog the opportunity to show off its sand skills.
The deserts of Africa have been a frequently theorized and requested setting for the third Uncharted game—one that would put Drake on a path already traveled by Indiana Jones. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy traveled from the jungles of South America to the snowy mountains of Nepal to the Egyptian desert. Coincidence? Crazed theory? We'll find out where Uncharted 3 will take Drake soon enough, if this rumor is right. Sony has something to unveil in Hollywood on December 12, so we'll hopefully know something more official about Nathan Drake's future before too long.
If this turns out to be true, I hope that Naughty Dog can avoid the trap into which most desert levels in games fall: desert levels are boring. Not all desert levels, of course; I'm thinking of the instances of endless sand that stretches out in all directions as far as the eye can see. Jungles and snowy mountains work so well in Uncharted titles because they give Drake something with which to interact. I'd like to believe that if Uncharted 3 were to tackle a desert setting, it would feature enough interesting architecture and environments to make it all worthwhile. Think of sand temples, underground chambers buried beneath the sand, and other such examples. Those would be fun to explore. Eternal dunes? Not so much.
Say, do you suppose Uncharted 3 will introduce Drake's father and uncle?