The opening scene of the game dumps you straight into the action about half way through the tale, just long enough to be hooked on the action, before whisking you away to the beginning. As such, you end up with enough knowledge of what’s ahead to appreciate the gradual revelation of just how you’re going to end up there all the more. The details you don’t have are then drip fed to you slowly, giving you the incentive to press on with the constant mantra of: “just one more chapter and then I’ll go to bed, I promise.”
All of this is executed brilliantly, your attention grabbed onto vigorously at the offset and held onto continuously. It’s not often in a game you can relate to the characters or find them tolerable, let alone likeable but Uncharted 2 manages it. Fans of the cast of Drake’s Fortune will be pleased to see reprisals on this adventure, while the new participants are worthy of the franchise.
It’s not just it’s narrative that excels, though. Uncharted 2 has the visual presentation to match – it’s an undeniably pretty game. The proprietary engine might not have the technical prowess of that powering Crysis, but it so often produces such breathtakingly impressive visuals you’d hardly know it. The lighting is brilliant, the shadowing likewise and the camera framing – until you take control of it – seems to have been carefully tailored to show off Naughty Dog’s works.
Importantly, even at those points when there’s an intimidating amount of action occurring on-screen the frame rate seems to hold steady. If Sony hasn’t convinced you of just how powerful a system the PlayStation 3 is already, Naughty Dog will make a believer of you.Those little touches that stood out in Uncharted are present again. It’s still just as brilliant to jump into a pool of water and emerge with Drake’s clothes dripping wet, or to roll in the snow and come up dusted with powder. The attention to detail is remarkable.
It’s in motion that Uncharted 2 really shines, though. Animation is fluid and realistic and in those sections when you can keep moving at a reasonable pace it’s commendably believable. The control system remains elegant in its simplicity. Whether you’re running and gunning, diving over a piece of cover or sliding in behind one, Drake’s movement is simple to dictate.
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