Uncharted 2: Among Thieves review (PS3)

GunofthePatriots | 1061d ago | User review
Reviewing: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
The Jewel to Sony's Treasure
Uncharted 2 has been acclaimed as one of the best games in 2009 receiving nothing but praise amongst the gaming community. It has won numerous Game of the Year awards with it's addictive gameplay, unique story telling and jaw dropping graphics. It shows off what the Playstation 3 is capable of and unleashed one of the best games this generation. Some may say it's one of the best game of all time.

Story:
Once again you assume the role of Nathan Drake--treasure hunter extraordinaire--who has been presented an enticing offer. It seems as if Drake was looking to take a break from his expeditions since he was "hard to find" but an old friend is able to track him down. Harry Flynn tells Drake about the travels of Marco Polo and a plan to steal a lamp that may reveal the location of treasure from his lost fleet. Drake accepts and off he goes. The job sounds easy but things take a turn for the worse as Drake needs to learn to choose his friends more wisely.

Three months into the future is when the opening scene takes place as Drake is passed out, bleeding, and teetering off a snow covered cliff in a train car. The only thing saving him from falling to his death is the other half of the train car is balancing it out. In between those 3 months you learn many things and the master mind behind this whole operation and his quest for a valuable piece of treasure.

Uncharted 2's story telling is much better this time around as it stays interesting from start to finish. It does have some similarities to the first but it does enough in the first hour or so to suck you in. It throws you a curveballs early on to always keep you guessing...something the first game didn't do and ended up becoming predictable and eventually loses steam. Uncharted 2 packs a great deal of memorable moments that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
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Gameplay:
Mechanics this time around feels much tighter as you will notice the difference from the opening scene. Physics seem life like and less "arcady" as you can feel the difficulty in Drake's jumps.
A few complaints about Uncharted 1's gameplay was the placement of the camera when zooming in the aim. That problem has been addressed as goes over the shoulder and makes shooting more natural. Another was going into cover and dodging as both feel a lot better. It can still be clunky at times since dodging and cover is mapped on the same button but it's now tolerable.

Couple new additions to gameplay are some cinematic fight scenes when engaging an enemy in a fist fight. He can counter your hits but you have the option to counter his counter for a split second. Sometimes his counter will counter your counter and then you counter his counter and send him home crying to Mommy!
It also has some awesome chasing scenes. Uncharted 1 had one but is much more frequent in Uncharted 2. You will be chased by tanks, a convoy of cars, an armored truck, a train, and even a helicopter. It feels like a movie but you are always in control.

The only major complaint I have with Uncharted 2 is that the amount of puzzles--or lack there of. Although the puzzles in Uncharted 1 were anything but challenging, they were fun to complete and gave you another element to the game. Puzzles are few and far between in this game and I feel it would have benefited if it did.

The game spans over 26 chapters and takes 8-9 hours to complete. It has tons of replay value due to friendly tweaks the developers give to the players. Like in the previous Uncharted game you can change how the game plays for a different experience. You can change character skins, purchase weapons or have the wonderful ability to destroy your enemy in 1 shot. Completing in game challenges gives you cash and the cash is used to unlock these bonuses.
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Online: The game does have online capabilities but I will not go into details.

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Graphics:
The game is touted as having the best graphics on any console. It was by far the best looking game in 2009 and even 2 years after it's release, it's still graphically superior than many of the games today. Uncharted 1 suffered from some plastic looking character models but that is no longer an issue. Just by looking at drakes face you can see that it is smoother and has a life like appearance.
Models are toner and detailed and the same could be said for the animations. Drake's necklace moves as he runs and even the shoes bend according to the landscape. The first game also had some screen tearing but I have not noticed anything in the sequel.

You visit many places and are not subjected to see only Jungles and Caves. You visit Cities, Museums, Temples and Towns. From Jungle environments to snow covered plains, they all have a great unique appearance. Richness is color jumps out at you and the amount of detail to the levels compliments the gorgeous visuals. The snow has some pretty cool effects and you tend to be ankle deep in it leaving a trail behind you. The snow piles on your hair and clothes and gives you a frosty look.
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Sound:
The game sounds great too. Uncharted 1 had an exploration theme to it but Uncharted 2 mixes it up and picks up the pace when needed to compliment the action. It also has some awesome Temple/Religious, Tribal and Middle Eastern sounding tracks (There's probably a better word to describe it). The opening scene tells you all you need to know about how good the audio design will be. It's slower and serious but Uncharted 2 branches out and brings all sorts of sounds to set the mood.

Voice Acting is just as wittier than the first game. Uncharted's charm probably comes from how the characters interact with each other--even if everyone seems to have that sarcastic humor. Script and Dialog seems to be made for a more mature audience as it will throw out some sexual innuendo's.
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Lasting Appeal:
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves makes a Nathan Drake like jump and greatly improves over it's predecessor. The game is much more polished as it shows through it's visuals, audio, gameplay and story telling. It might end up having the cliche "Save the world" story but everything that happens in between makes Uncharted 2 stand out. The game deserves all the praise it gets as it still stands up as one of the best games this generation.
It's not too late to get into the series and the Dual Pack has great value. If you haven't played the first 2 games you are doing a disservice to yourself.
Ups
Visual/Audio Design
Improved Story
Good ending is Good
Downs
I'm hungry
Score
9.5
Graphics I'm not sure words can accurately describe how beautiful this game truly looks.
9.5
Sound The vigorous soundtrack is always changing combining sounds from different cultures.
9.0
Gameplay Much more polished. Still needs some fine tuning but It's getting there.
9.0
Fun factor **Story** Memorable story with memorable events that will keep you on your toes.
0.0
Online
9.5
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)
GrayFox007  +   1060d ago
I agree with your review, but I don't think the story was memorable, I think the story was average but the way the characters delivered their lines was a step up from other games.
Tarantino_Life  +   1059d ago
Story is not memorable? Which game this gen has a story better told then uncharted? Please dont tell me its ME? There is a difference between lore and story telling.
coolbeans  +   1059d ago
There's also a difference between story and storytelling. With a username including Tarantino, you'd think this would be evident.
Tarantino_Life  +   1059d ago
good Storytelling makes the story memorable. It does not make the story not memorable. Stop playing around with semantics for the heck of it
GunofthePatriots  +   1059d ago
There are events that happen within the story PLUS the story itself which makes it memorable.

And there is some difference between story telling and story. You could have a lame story but sell it due to great story telling.

If you want an example....Avatar (to me) comes to mind. Look at the base story; Military uses force to steal valuable resources a tribe of people live on. A Joe Schmo is sent to persuade the people to move but can't and ends up betraying his people in order to protect the innocent.

Pretty generic but it was told well.
#1.1.3 (Edited 1059d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report
coolbeans  +   1058d ago
It's not semantics for the heck of it. You ask "Story is not memorable?" in your first post, then challenge the reviewer to name a game with better storytelling. These are two completely different facets in art forms.
ElDorado  +   1060d ago
Story is not memorable? I remember everything. Game is amazing, it's not a perfect 10, but it's very close. I would give it 9.7/9.8 myself. Graphics are 9.5? Which console game is 10 to you? Only God of War 3 and Killzone 3 are competition and all three of them deserve a perfect 10 for graphics, since the consoles are limited.
smashcrashbash  +   1058d ago
I would argue about UC2's story but the kind of cliched garbage that gamers seem to think is a good or memorable story these days makes it pointless. I remember every action and dramatic scene and line in UC2 and that's saying something
coolbeans  +   1058d ago
"I would argue about UC2's story [not being memorable]..."

"...but the kind of cliched garbage that gamers seem to think is a good or memorable story these days makes it pointless."

Man, I wish we could create sigs on here. This is priceless.

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Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Average Score 9.6 Reviews(403)
Release Dates
PS3 Release Dates
US 13 October 2009
AU 15 October 2009
EU 16 October 2009
PSP Release Dates