In 1292; after spending nearly 20 years in the court of emperor Kublai Khan; Marco Polo departed China with 14 ships filled with over 600 passengers and crew. Eighteen months later; when Marco Polo arrived at his destination; only one ship remained and only 18 passengers survived. Although Marco Polo described every aspect of his adventures in detail; he never revealed what happened to these lost ships; passengers or treasure on board Ð even on his deathbed.
Drawn in by the potential riches to be found Ð but most inspired by the intrigue of the historical mystery Ð Drake embarks on a quest to find the lost fleet. He soon realizes that Marco Polo was hiding a much bigger secret Ð he had gone on a secret expedition on behalf of the emperor to find the mythical kingdom of Shambhala (otherwise known as Shangri-La) and to recover the legendary Cintamani Stone; the "wish-fulfilling jewel" of Buddhist mythology. The Stone is described by Marco Polo as a massive raw sapphire Ð if it truly exists; it would be worth billions of dollars today.
This discovery sets Drake on a new course following Marco Polo's 700-year-old trail through a diverse range of exotic environments to find out if the lost city of Shambhala; rumoured to lie deep in the Himalayas; really exists. This quest also pits him against a new; more formidable adversary who is after the same artefact Ð a ruthless; rogue paramilitary leader with a private army and a relentless ambition to recover the stone for himself.
Using the Naughty Dog Engine 2.0 to blend together the art of cinema and gaming; the immersive action and storytelling is brought to life through technology only made possible on PLAYSTATION 3. Maximising the CELL processor as animation; physics; sound; and motion / audio capture combine together to enable gamers to become Nathan Drake and immerse themselves in his extraordinary story as they play.
- An expanded cast of characters who reflect different facets of Drake's character; including Chloe Frazer; Drake's current partner and new romantic interest.
- Varied and exotic locations Ð from lush; green swamps and dense urban environments; all the way to the ice and snow of the Himalayas. Open design allows players to take an aggressive or stealthy approach to combat.
- Free-flowing "traversal gunplay" adds a unique vertical element to familiar cover-based third-person shooting mechanics; allowing the player to engage in combat from any position in the environment Ð even while climbing and hanging.
- Introduction of new traversal and free-climbing mechanics allow Drake to navigate through the environments more fluidly and naturally. Gunplay and combat enhancements; including an expanded melee system; and a variety of enemy types with advanced AI routines.
- High-quality cinematic presentation of scenes; characters and dialogue; all rendered within the Naughty Dog Engine 2.0.
- Dramatic in-game events that make the player an active participant in the cinematic experience.
- Full character interaction with dynamic geometry.
- Uses Naughty Dog Engine 2.0 purpose-built for the PLAYSTATION 3; uses PS3's technology to hit a turning point in technology innovation by recreating reality and capturing human emotion.
- No visible loading Ð a Naughty Dog hallmark Ð returns along with technology improvements in major game systems such as lighting; shadows; ambient occlusion; animation technology and physics; among many others.