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Uncharted 3 looked way better at E3 
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Gavin Mannion
November 28, 2011 at 8:30 am

Uncharted3BeforeAfter

The videogame industry is a funny thing, all the big titles are shown off at preview events and shows across the world and at that time we are always promised that what we are seeing is either preview code that will be improved or true ingame footage that we can expect at retail.

However generally it’s pre-rendered and looks far better than you can ever expect the game to look. This isn’t really a problem and is to be expected. However what is weird about the videogame industry is the fans who will swear on their mothers grave that the gimped final version is better than the pre-rendered marketing bull we got at E3.

Let’s take Uncharted 3 as the prime example here as someone has raised this issue on the Naughty Dog Forums and the differences between the E3 preview and the final product are quite shocking.

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This one’s not so bad as they’ve just changed how Nathan arrives in Yemen. Granted Elena loses her tan and Nathan changed clothes but the final build is still awesome at least.

Here’s another angle of that shot

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You’ll notice that the biggest change is the lack of definition on the skin and clothing and the lighting in the final build just isn’t as realistic as the pre-rendered E3 trailer.

But it gets worse, check out these bus scenes

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and

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Okay so I don’t even need to go through the differences here, it’s not even close and the E3 build is obviously far nicer. But like I said, it’s not a surprise that a pre-rendered trailer is better than the final release. It’s surprising though as the cutscenes in the final build are also pre-rendered which makes me think the PS3 just couldn’t push out as many pixels as the E3 PC.

But the best part by far are the comments on the forum defending it, let’s take for example carlosdfn who responded

Guess what? When a game is still in development things can change. So the conversation between Nate and Elena happens in a different place and they changed the lighting in the bus scene. So what?

So lighting changes removed textures, detail and added in a mustard cloud?

Banting-Best however has the answer to that mustard cloud

The bus scene.  When a bus is dusty, old, and the morning light shines on it, that’s what it looks like.  I know from riding lots of crappy school buses.  I can see why people prefer the older build though, it’s beautiful.  What’s so weird about the Nate/Elena pics?  They made some changes to the story or maybe felt the real pictures were too spoilery.

I’d love to know where that kid goes to school that his bus looks like that, but he also left a pearl of wisdom over why Chloe had her sexiness removed

I know someone is going to mention this, Chloe does look good in the early build, in a bland typical pretty girl way.  The last version is better because she looks more exotic and interesting.

and then the predictable calls of fakery are started by shnoob2

That honestly does not look like Chloe from the campaign in the final build shot.  In the real game, as far as my memory serves, she looked more like the shot on the left (E3) during that scene, and there was much more detail than what can be found in that "final build" shot.  The final build screenshot looks like MP Chloe’s face, not SP Chloe.  I may be wrong, but I think that these screenshots were severely tampered with, because the final build never looked that horrible.

Thankfully the logical voices on the forum stopped shnoob2 before he finished getting his tinfoil hat on.

So that’s that, do you care that Naughty Dog showed us pre-rendered graphics that were never going to be achievable in the final game or is all just part of the Hollywood that follows the gaming industry?

I'm cranky, arrogant and ever so amazingly annoying but when you get to know me you will also realise I'm honest and incredibly good at describing myself... now pass me that beer