It is a happy coincidence that, at a time when storytelling in games is being scrutinised as never before, along comes an example to demonstrate the sheer table-thumping power of a rollicking good yarn, even if it's one relayed in a manner that may not win it fans among those attempting to reinvent the way games are played. Uncharted 2 propels you through a procession of intricately staged episodes of drama peopled with characters that sizzle with zip and pith, and, in showing you how your reckless treasure-hunting ways adversely affect the lives of others, even asks you to question your morality.
At no point, though, are you given the option to change those ways. This is no Infamous. It's obviously not a firstperson action game, either, which leaves the player feeling much less like he is the hero than is the case in contemporary action classics such as Half-Life 2 and Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare, in which the characters you inhabit never utter a word. Conversely, Uncharted 2's returning protagonist, Nathan Drake, tosses out a quip as readily as he draws a breath (even, repeatedly, when faced with a character who quite clearly understands not a single word coming out of our hero's mouth).
Despite never being short of a comeback, however, he remains likeable throughout the game's duration, whether holding his resolve against what seem to be overwhelming odds, carefully picking his way through elaborate locations that belong to other civilisations, or even playing his part in a surprisingly tense love triangle.