Sony decided to make our sneak peek at Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception a bit more interesting by showcasing it in 3d. I’ve never been sold on the idea of 3d gaming, but Uncharted 3 makes for a compelling argument in the technology’s favor. The series has always had exceptionally beautiful environments, and it turns out they work quite well with the 3d perspective. I’m not sure it’s enough to make me want to play an entire game wearing a second pair of glasses, but damn, it sure was pretty.

Drake’s Deception sees Nate and Sully squaring off with Katherine Marlowe, who works for a cabal that has roots going back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Nate’s ancestor, Sir Francis Drake, was an agent of the Queen – is that why Katherine is so interested in the ring that Nate wears around his neck? Interesting question. We were introduced to the intriguing Katherine in the movie you see here (which sure sounds like it includes Jason Statham and Helen Mirren), but after that brief meeting, it was time to show off some of the gameplay.

We weren’t given much context for the scene, which was Nate and Sully trying to escape a burning chateau while dodging gunfire from Marlowe’s henchmen. The action was pretty standard Uncharted fare, with Nate cracking wise and showing off his impressive upper body strength by climbing his way across broken timbers and bits of plaster.

What made this particular demo more interesting was the addition of 3d effects. Naughty Dog wisely recognized that 3d can be used not just to fling things out at you, but also to create depth into a scene; embers from the raging fire fluttered toward us while Nate dangled over a blazing chasm after floorboards fell away. The depth provided by the 3D increased the life-threatening feeling of Nate’s predicament, and there’s nothing quite like bullets zinging past your head to ramp up the tension during a gunfight. When Sully was teetering across a beam to cross a gap, the 3D let you see just how far he still had to come, and the drop he was facing if he lost his balance. No wonder he took his damn sweet time.

We didn’t get to see much of Uncharted 3, but the glimpse we got looks to be in keeping with the roguish vibe and great aesthetics of the first two games. I’m looking forward to learning more about Ms. Marlowe and her interest in Drake – but as good as it was, I’ll still probably skip the 3d.

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