Honestly, it’s difficult to find much fault with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. It delivers an impeccably well done sequel and delivers a new standard for all third-person action adventure games to follow.
It is the follow-up to the 2007 adventure of Nathan Drake, who is a treasure hunter, small time thief, and all around lovable rogue. We last followed Drake on his quest to discover the lost treasures of El Dorado. Now we find ourselves being drug along on a expedition to find the fabled Cintamani Stone. This hunt takes Drake from Istanbul to Tibet as he races to find the legend stone before the evil, psychopathic, warlord Zorin Lazarevic and his army.
The fantastic script, voice quality, and overall direction of the game gives Uncharted 2 a very movie-like feel. You easily develop an attachment to the real-to-life characters and will quickly become enveloped by the addictive game. Every single one of the 25 levels (except a level featuring a heist in Istanbul) includes a staggering amount of twists and turns that allows Uncharted 2 to keep its movie-like qualities. You rarely have to suffer from the feeling of aimlessly walking from A to B that typically is found in most games. Now, it’s not like there are huge ridiculously unbelievable events occurring throughout the entire game. There are plenty of smaller, more-reactive based events too. This creates a very welcome balance that allows the game to move on in a smooth fashion. This was accomplished because whenever Nate is walking from here to there he will stop to chat and interact with other characters and react to specific proceedings. This fills any instances when you have to walk between events.
Naughty Dog, the company that developed Uncharted 2, did an absolutely incredible job revitalizing the third-person action/adventure gameplay ideas. The game is infused with a multitude of scripted events, tied to fantastic cut scenes, that keep the gamer hooked. Some say that Uncharted 2 is one of the most gameplay-focused, cinematic games that has ever been created. The game moves with a flawless liquidity that gives it such action movie-like qualities. It is fascinating the way that Naughty Dog was able to incorporate the cinematic qualities while still creating an amazing game with an intriguing yet plausible storyline.
A lot of the game is consumed with combat, but there are also plenty of platforming and puzzles. There is a fantastic selection of weapons to choose from throughout the game which is important as Nate must always be on his toes and on the lookout for Lazarevic’s soldiers. The covering system has been compared to that of Gear’s of War. You can easily duck behind a multitude of objects and move flawlessly between the different objects. Melee combat is made simple by having only one button to punch and one button to counter. Although this may sound like melee combat could become repetitive, the rhythmic based attack system and varied attacks can sometimes be more fulfilling than the games that require the pressing of many buttons for up-close combat.
Uncharted 2 also now features the ability to play the game from a stealth-like position. As you are hiding behind objects, you can creep around behind an unsuspecting guard and break his neck, which is a new addition to Drake’s abilities. He can also hang from ledges and pull guards over banisters to throw them to their death. Now the one disappointing level mentioned previously could have given Nate the ability to put his stealth to work, but unfortunately, the gameplay does not allow for this. The Istanbul museum heist level, which takes place early in the game, is very clinical in nature. The level is a predetermined mission failure, which can be frustrating. This level simply does not fit with the otherwise outstanding features if the game, but hey it’s only one level!
The excellent variation of combat, big scripted events, platforming, and puzzles is presented seamlessly and keeps the game fresh from the start to the beginning. The game as a whole offers an average of between 10-12 hours of gameplay, which seems like the perfect length for Drake’s adventurous tale. From the very start, Uncharted 2 grabs your attention and makes you never want to put down your controller. Even after you’ve beat the game, it’s entertaining enough to make you want to play it again, and if not, there is always the online multi-player mode that I think should keep PS3 owner happy for quite some time. This game has everything a gamer could ever want. With the combat, puzzles, platforming, fantastic storyline, and online play there really is nothing else that you could want or need in a game. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is simply incredible.
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