Naughty Dog has today announced the third instalment in its Uncharted series, called Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.

The game is set in the Rub’ al Khali Desert, and draws inspiration from both Lawrence of Arabia and the exploits of fictional protagonist Nathan Drake’s supposed ancestor, Sir Francis Drake.

In it, Nathan is searching for a legendary lost city. The story will also focus on the relationship between Nathan and his mentor, Victor Sullivan.

Naughty Dog community strategist Arne Meyer says, “Throughout Uncharted 3, you’ll be taken to spectacular new locations around the globe, that will showcase all of the work we’ve taken on to take acclaimed physics, particle and visual effects to a new level.

“Competitive and co-op multiplayer will return as a key ingredient to the Uncharted 3 package, where all of the new features we have planned will combine with our signature single-player cinematic gameplay to create a unique action-adventure multiplayer experience that can only be found in the Uncharted universe.”

No dates have been discussed but Entertainment Weekly – the first to report on the game – points out that 2011 is the year Naughty Dog hopes to make Uncharted a “transmedia” brand. A movie adaptation of Uncharted starring Mark Wahlberg has also been announced.

Initial artwork (some via Entertainment Weekly) can be found at the bottom of this page. The first trailer for the game will be unveiled at the Spike TV Videogame Awards tomorrow.