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Uncharted 2: Among Thieves review

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Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Summary

Our Score:

10

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune was a hugely important game for the PlayStation 3. Up until its release there was little defence against those detractors of the console rightly pointing out the utter dearth of quality, exclusive games for the console. And then Uncharted came along. Oh, sure, it was derivative, but it's hard to find fault in a game that derives from the likes of Prince of Persia, Tomb Raider and Gears of War while still feeling fresh.

What Uncharted managed fantastically was immersing the player in an engrossingly cinematic experience. Aside from Metal Gear Solid 4, it's hard to think of any game except Uncharted where you could use phrases such as "interactive movie" without sounding like an utter pillock, but that's how Uncharted played. The story was engaging, the characters likewise, the visuals stunning and the production values simply stratospheric.

In creating Uncharted 2 its producer, Naughty Dog, hasn't lost sight of what made Uncharted great. Instead, the few complaints have been addressed - there's slightly less linearity this time around, a multiplayer mode has been added - and everything else polished to a high shine. The result is a truly fantastic game released, rather poignantly, just as the PlayStation 3 Slim has made its debut. Co-incidence? Maybe. Fortuitous? Definitely.

The key to the brilliance of Uncharted 2 is undoubtedly Naughty Dog's impeccable narrative. It's not just how involving the story behind the game is that's impressive, it's how that story plays out.

The plot is hardly complex, but it wouldn't look out of place in a Hollywood film. It plays out like a blockbuster, too. Obviously you have your hero, Nathan Drake, defeating your stereotypically Russian villain, but there's also betrayal, love and loss, suspense, drama, a bit more betrayal and yaks along the way.

DrDark

October 23, 2009, 5:23 am

Bravo, it deserves it.


I'll have to read the text tomorrow though as my eye's twitchy and I need some kip. Night all.

Nicholas Phan

October 23, 2009, 5:50 am

Okay if you own a PS3, then you HAVE to buy this game. If not, then treat yourself to a PS3, and then immediately get this game. It is THAT good. Probably the only game I have played this generation that deserves to get a perfect score. It is currently the highest rated exclusive game of the generation (97% average). The only higher ranking game is Grand Theft Auto IV, however I think this beats it!





I do not care if you like Sony or Microsoft or Nintendo. If you love games, you need to do yourself a favour and experience this. A true masterpiece that breaks new ground in cinematic storytelling coupled with addictive, fun, satisfying and varied gameplay.

Ironduke

October 23, 2009, 11:09 am

This is a fantastic Game but the final Boss Level is weak & Not as Good as Drakes fortune

Cub

October 23, 2009, 12:24 pm

"and they're bidding a friendly "how do you do" to Mr Precipice and the Rocky-Outcrop family." You save these lines up for Friday's, no?





I can only echo your comments, Batman was hanging in as the best game of the year so far, but this has jumped in as game of the generation (so far). It's not without it's iddy biddy flaws, if you're near cover that's on the edge of a drop, it's sometimes tricky to hide and not dangle... But if that's my biggest complaint I think they've done well.





Finished the game just yesterday evening and the ending's certainly an improvement over the final QTE's of the first. On to the multiplayer!





Claudia Black is fantastically cast as Chloe, loved Drake's line "get to the gate" to her, right before the end of the game... A small homage to her days in Stargate?

ChaosDefinesOrder

October 23, 2009, 1:43 pm

I have a question, how is aiming handled in this? Is there any form of lock-on or crosshair? The original game was spoilt for me because the demo had neither so aiming was impossible (for me I should add) and the game required you to aim precisely with no hint as to whether you were aligned or not... No point buying a game when you can't get past the first fire-fight!

Hugo

October 23, 2009, 2:32 pm

Ironduke, you're talking nonsense - the less quicktime events in a game the better.





Cub - no, I save them up especially for games reviews =) I agree, Batman was a brilliant game, but it still didn't leave me feeling as... I guess satisfied(?) as Uncharted 2.





ChaosDefinesOrder, it's handled by holding L1 and moving the right stick to move the targeting reticle just like 90 per cent of other third person shooters.

Stefan752

October 23, 2009, 2:33 pm

@Chaos:


There's no auto-aim, but both the first game and this are more about aiming down the sights with L1. Until you do that you wont get any crosshairs aside from when going full auto. Its done like that so that you generally have to aim in order to succeed, but there's still the run & gun for you to fall back on if you need to.





There was one little criticism of the triangle button being for picking up ammo and changing weapon. That's only true of when you're aiming down the sights. The rest of the time you need to use the left & right D-Pad buttons to switch between what you're carrying. Where the pick-up of weapons and ammo falls apart is when you've got lots of guns and ammo in the area and moving a millimetre will bring up a different gun. I don't really know how they could have improved this.

Ironduke

October 23, 2009, 2:45 pm

sorry dude no lock this game requires true skill

hankb6d

October 23, 2009, 3:16 pm

@Nicholas Phan


I will keep my uncharted fortune thanks, this game is very good but spending £300 for a game would be money down the drain. Keep things in perspective.

Energizer Bunny

October 23, 2009, 3:18 pm

First game to make me really really want a PS3. Looks absolutely fantastic. When I can get a PS3 for sub £200, I'm there. Especially as PS3 titles seem to go to budget so quickly. Why can't 360 titles do that?

smc8788

October 23, 2009, 3:31 pm

@Stefan - I think he meant swapping weapons (i.e. your current one for a new one) rather than changing between weapons in your inventory. At least that's the problem I had in the beta (I don't have the money to buy it at the moment). If that is indeed the case, they could have easily improved it by making ammo automatic pickups.

Cub

October 23, 2009, 3:42 pm

@Hugo - Batman certainly left me satisfied, but only until I'd completed it a second time (on hard). It was a great game, wonderfully put together and deserves all the praise that it was given, but it pales in comparison to something like Uncharted for me as I couldn't see myself playing it again. I'm still looking forward to playing the original Uncharted *yet* again.





@Chaos - There's no lock-on, it does require a degree of skill in aiming, although the reticule does turn red when it's over an enemy which can be handy at long distances.





@Hank - While I definitely agree that no single game is worth buying a system for, I think the PS3 has a great catalogue now, enough so to allow a single game to sway you towards the system.


If you've been on the fence about buying a PS3, this is the game that should make your mind up.

betelgeus

October 23, 2009, 3:58 pm

i agree with the review,however by the time of the later chapters it starts feeling a bit samey.Climb some rocks,massive firefight,cutscene.Also it felt a bit short had to force myself to drag it into 3 sessions.

DrDark

October 23, 2009, 9:27 pm

@Hank: further to what Cub mentioned (I almost used that fence line myself!), you'll hardly have to spend £300 - http://www.hotukdeals.com/item...

hankb6d

October 23, 2009, 10:24 pm

@cub


I much rather sit in the house it's the warm feeling inside. I disagree with your PS3 catalogue. Uncharted 2 is the only game I would play in the PS3 catalogue, again never at the price of £300 including console. Though I am falling out of love for the 360 and online gaming buying a PS3 would be really silly.

Ironduke

October 23, 2009, 10:57 pm

Hugo except my opinion mkay.





Running in circles around the woods be chased by a slaphead and turning now and then to shoot some blue crap is hardly ingenious.





In the first game the final level involved making your way along a boat taking on the hordes of soldiers.

Ironduke

October 24, 2009, 1:02 am

hugo respect others opinions.

MrGodfrey

October 24, 2009, 1:47 am

Thanks Hugo. A very fair review and an entirely justified score and award.





My take on the game? Well, complaints first: Yes, it does get a bit repetitive in places. But this is a small price to pay for the quality of the set-pieces and the general sense of value - I certainly didn't feel it was too short.





Secondly, there were times when I found the camera angles annoyingly restrictive or obstructive. This was usually done for good reason, and was probably the only way to implement certain scenes, but it still felt a little too "old-school" for me.





Thirdly the ending: The last scenes were fine but the boss fight itself was indeed fairly weak when compared to the rest of the game. A sense of anti-climax here was probably unavoidable, but to me it did feel fairly basic and uninspired.





Finally, I must disagree with you Hugo on the characterisation. To me Drake still seems fairly two-dimensional, beyond throwing out the odd gag and gaining sympathy by being consistently beaten or shot to pieces (otherwise known as the Willis/McClane Factor). I didn't find him or the other characters particularly believable or consistent (did anyone else find it odd that in a "non-violent" mission Drake insists there will be no killing, then proceeds to throw an innocent museum guard to his certain death?).





Thing is, these are probably the only complaints I have, and are all minor compared to the quality of the map design, animation, control system, well-balanced weapons and enemies, and pretty much everything else. This is even before you mention the multiplayer; the co-operative modes are particularly well-thought-out and addictive. This is a truly excellent game which should reassure PS3 owners that Sony know what they're doing, while Naughty Dog have really impressed and I can't wait to see what they do next.

Ironduke

October 24, 2009, 1:54 pm

true betelgeuse and no jetski this time:(

smc8788

October 24, 2009, 5:31 pm

@Ironduke - Why don't you respect that others haven't played the game and don't want to know how the game ends, huh?





Oh, and the word you're looking for is accept.

Ironduke

October 24, 2009, 10:49 pm

The mod didn't have to post it.:)

Hugo

October 25, 2009, 2:35 am

I am made from sarcasm, if you take anything I say too seriously you're not going to fare well =) It should be fairly obvious nothing I say is anything more than my opinion. And I'm fine with people not respecting it if it's a crazy one ;)

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