Repost: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Review
Obviously Uncharted was one of the great launch titles for PlayStation 3, showing what the console could do with the right amount of R&D, and a top notch development cycle. That’s not to say Uncharted didn’t have issues, like the melee combat and the aiming controls behind cover needing some tweaking.
Uncharted 2 corrected those issues, and added a couple of new ones, but at the same time added a multiple amount of new things that still make this game shine.
Uncharted 2 is somewhat of a semi-sequel to the first game, as the time frame from the original to Among Thieves isn’t really clarified. In this instance, Nathan Drake is after the secret of Marco Polo’s armada and the treasure that was supposedly taken from Mongol lands years ago. With that simple beginning, a great ten to fifteen hour adventure starts.
Uncharted 2 contains more of what made Uncharted excellent. The cast of characters is expanded, but still given the proper focus on believable characters. Along with the old cast, the new players are all acted and animated with beyond realistic ability and the graphics show more than the first game did.
Before just watching Drake submerge himself in water and see realistic soaking of clothes was amazing, but now watching the snow and its effect on clothes on the characters surpasses that. Character animations in reaction to levels is more impressive with Drake’s climbing animation bordering on perfection. Hand grips and leg boosts are all animated and along with the stellar voice acting, it is very much like watching a movie.
On the audio side, Uncharted 2 is an amazing listen through surround sound as the direction specific sound like characters behind you or ambient noise filters through each speaker correctly depending on the position of Drake. Honestly, Uncharted 2 could have the best sound in a game this year.
As for the fixes, melee combat is more capable than it was previously. The animations are quicker and the stealth combat is very useful in many of the scenarios. The AI of the enemies is pitch perfect most of the time, though they have an uncanny ability to locate Drake even through a snowstorm.
The gun combat felt a little more fine-tuned and weapons reacted better, though some combat scenarios were a little skewed in the unfair range on some occasions. Blind fire also played better with the proximity of enemies to Drake reacting more realistically than before.
Uncharted 2 is a linear game, a point A to point B story, but Naughty Dog created a story that surpassed Uncharted, partially by removing long stretches of combat with almost invulnerable enemies like in the first game. There are sections that are focused on run-and-gun as a necessity, but the open nature of the game usually caters to the stealthier combat. Playing through the game, I started to wonder when the climax was going to start because the story was so dense and new branches seemed to be introduced every chapter.
The platforming of the game through the various environments is still one the best parts of the game, but the new fidelity of the title and more detailed areas caused me some confusion on where to go. Almost everything looks climbable now, and sometimes the proper path didn’t even appear because it looked too simple.
Uncharted 2 added a 5-on-5 multiplayer mode with a leveling system to gain different skins and weapons. While the multiplayer works, it really isn’t the star of the package. I did enjoy the multiplayer, but the matchmaking occasionally created biased teams. The combat in multiplayer does not play like the single player and it is very apparent from the first match played. It works, but the lifespan of the multiplayer might be diffused over time.
Uncharted 2 is a strong contender for Game Of The Year. Naughty Dog proved that there are titles that can only be run on the PlayStation platform and other developers should take notice. Even with the small nagging issues, like enemy AI and overpowered enemies, this game is a required library entry for any PlayStation 3 owner.
Review Copy Provided By Publisher