All of the previously mentioned aspects come together perfectly in the game’s set pieces. I’m loathe to ruin these for anyone, but suffice to say there’s one bit involving a hotel and a helicopter and if you can stop yourself from squealing in delight at the sheer, cinematic brilliance of it you’re a stronger-willed individual than I. The game’s ending is an improvement over Uncharted, too, without the sense of anti-climax that haunted the first of Drake’s adventures.
It’s these moments that, for me, define a truly great game. Those points where everything comes together just right; the visuals, the characters, the score – which is just flawless – and culminate to create an experience you’ll just have to talk about with your friends; “that bit where you… and the… wow, man, just wow.”
Even the multiplayer is better than could have been expected. It’s rare for a strong single player game to come paired with a decent multiplayer mode without offering something different, such as Horde mode in Gears of War 2, or Firefight in Halo 3: ODST. In fact, Halo 3 is probably the only exception, having as it does a massive multiplayer following.
Uncharted 2 doesn’t exactly change that perception but its multiplayer game is still commendably good. Everything you would expect from an online rendition of the game is present. It will take the test of time to see whether there’s any longevity to it, but for now it’s not hard to jump online with Among Thieves and have a quick blast in what is definitely the best-looking, if not the best, multiplayer game on any console.
But it’s the single player game that really matters for Uncharted 2 and there it delivers better than anything else on the PlayStation 3.
Break Uncharted 2 down and there’s no obvious reason why it should succeed quite as well as it does. But when the components are themselves the ingredients of greatness you surely have a recipe for success. And the whole, as the cliche runs, is much, much greater than the sum of its parts.