Uncharted 3 thins the line between game and movie

When the PS3 was first announced in 2005, Sony promised to make games look and feel more like movies.

In 2011, that vision is becoming closer to reality. When the first Uncharted game came out early in the PS3’s life cycle, it was heralded as part game, part cinematic experience.

The problem, though, was that they were two separate parts. While the story cutscenes were beautiful and the script was written like something you’d find on a Hollywood director’s desk, it almost seemed like an interruption when gameplay resumed.

This has been a fundamental issue for these high-profile adventure games. It seems impossible to make that transition from pre-rendered animation to real-time gameplay.

But Sony improved on that aspect in Uncharted 2, and it looks like the progress will continue in the hotly anticipated sequel.

Sony demonstrated some Uncharted 3 gameplay at its pre-E3 press conference earlier this week, but we saw a deeper sneak peek into the game this afternoon.

Specifically, we were shown a level in which Drake has to run around a debris-strewn airfield, make his way to a taxiing plane, and jump on before it lifts off.

In the demo, everything Drake did reacted just like you’d expect in real life – e.g., fall down on a pile of barrels, and they’ll topple over, no matter how ancillary or in the background they may be.

The more interesting thing, though, was that when a cutscene began playing, it actually took a couple seconds to realize the live gameplay was over. It was able to bleed almost seamlessly into the game.

That’s the kind of game we’ve been expecting on the PS3, and even though this is just one level – admittedly, a level where there wasn’t a lot of user interaction – it shows there is still progress being made.

Uncharted 3 is arguably the most hotly anticipated PS3 exclusive on the show floor at E3 this year, and will be coming to stores in November.