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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.