So as we really hit our stride on ZKG’s preview sweep, you didn’t really think we were going to overlook Mr. Drake did you. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is the follow-up to the original Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune which some people still argue is the best game on the PS3. Following up a game that was as huge a success as the original is no easy task but it looks like the folks at Naughty Dog are more than up to the challenge.
The hunt begins again November 2009.
In Uncharted 2 we find our favorite treasure hunter Nathan Drake lured back into the treacherous world of thieves and mercenary treasure-seekers. In the last game we didn’t get a lot of background on Nathan’s past but expect to get a whole lot more of that information this time. The tenth game by premier PS3 developer Naughty Dog, UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves will allow players to take control of Drake and embark on a journey that will push him to his physical, emotional and intellectual limits to discover the real truth behind the lost fleet of Marco Polo and the legendary Himalayan valley of Shambhala.
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 – even on his deathbed.
Drawn in by the potential riches to be found – but most inspired by the intrigue of the historical mystery – Drake embarks on a quest to find the lost fleet. He soon realizes that Marco Polo was hiding a much bigger secret – 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 – if it truly exists, it would be worth billions of dollars today.
Just taking a little walk.
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, rumored to lie deep in the Himalayas, really exists. This quest also pits him against a new, more formidable adversary who is after the same artifact – a ruthless, rogue paramilitary leader with a private army and a relentless ambition to recover the stone for himself.
Utilizing the Naughty Dog Engine 2.0 to blend together the art of cinema and gaming, the immersive action and storytelling is brought to life on the PS3. Maximizing the CELL processor like no studio has done before 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 – from lush, green swamps and dense urban environments, all the way to the ice and snow of the Himalayas.
- Unrestricted combat 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 – even while climbing and hanging.
- Introduction of new traversal and free-climbing mechanics allow Drake to navigate through the environments more fluidly and naturally.
It’s way too quite around here.
- 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.
- Utilizes Naughty Dog Engine 2.0 purpose-built for the PLAYSTATION 3; utilizes the PS3 technology to hit a turning point in technology innovation by recreating reality and capturing human emotion.
- No visible loading – a Naughty Dog hallmark – returns along with technology improvements in major game systems such as lighting, shadows, ambient occlusion, animation technology and physics, among many others.
- Robust party system allows players to remain with their friends in matchmaking and custom matches.
- Custom matches allow players to customize maps and modes which their party wishes to play.
- Currency gained in multiplayer matches can be combined with currency gained in single player missions to unlock additional content and upgrades.
- Character animations and environments taken from single player campaign maintain visual fidelity with no degradation.
- Gameplay and character mechanics identical from the single-player campaign, ensuring user familiarity and same level of quality
- Headset support
- Proprietary Naughty Dog Engine 2.0 network code captures a broad range of gameplay data for statistics reporting on the web and for functionality like Cinema, which allows players to watch replays of matches
- Cutting edge technology such as cloud-based computing allows for scalable online infrastructure to provide optimal player experience
Like sitting ducks.
- Competitive multiplayer gameplay includes up to 10 players in heroes-versus-villains matches
- Deathmatch: Up to 5 vs. 5 with customizable or pre-set game modes
- Plunder: Unique style of multiplayer that encourages team work to transport a treasure across terrain horizontally and vertically over obstacles
- Player boosters give players a variety of options to customize their characters to their play style or to provide an advantage over opponents
- Up to three players work together in cooperative modes to accomplish set objectives with increasing difficulty and against special enemy characters
- Combo system encourages further teamwork to increase a point total and currency multiplier
- Weapon upgrades let players customize their weapons to their play style or provide an advantage over opponents