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Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Review

June 11, 2010
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was the first game by Naughty Dog for the Playstation 3.  While it was an amazingly fun game, critics didn’t give it as much love as it deserved.  Uncharted 2: Among Thieves took everything from the original and added a few extra notches.  So how does Nathan Drake fare in his second adventure?
Amazingly well, despite a few physical injuries.  For those who don’t know, the Uncharted series focuses on the character of Nathan Drake, the descendant of Sir Francis Drake, the famous pirate of yesteryear.  While that little fact was crucial in the first game, it isn’t addressed in the sequel.  Uncharted 2 takes place a few years after the original, with Drake starting in a crashed train with severe wounds with said train hanging off a cliff.

Yea he had a bad day.  From here about half the game is told through a flashback that leads up to and continues from what causes Drake to be on a crashed train.  Like God of War before it, once the game starts you’ll soon forget that you’re playing on a flashback and enjoy the twists and turns the story takes you.  In now true Uncharted style, Uncharted 2 has a very well written story with believable and fun characters that emulates what made old movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark so beloved.

The supporting cast of the first game returns, if at different times and varying lengths and the new cast can hold up their own.  What helps make the Uncharted story/characters so good is how Naughty Dog does the voice over work.  Cutscenes/vocal work are done at the same time, with the voice actors donning the motion capture suits and speaking the lines.  This adds an extra level of realism that helps brings the characters and stories more alive.

Now enough of the story let’s get down to gameplay.  Naughty Dog took the formula from the first game and refined it to near perfection.  The balance between platforming, gun play and puzzles is better than before, though the puzzles are relatively the same.  This time around the platforming and gun play aren’t as exclusive as they had been before with shoot outs happening in different tiers.  For example you can be platforming across a street lamp with enemies storming into the area to attack you, from you’re small hanging spot you have to take care of enemies.  The cover based gunplay is more or less unchanged, however the implementations of grenades is much better this time around.Multiplayer has been added to Uncharted 2 with great results, bringing in the experience of the single player campaign but adding in real people.  Competitive multiplayer is a blast and learning the different tiers of the levels can help dominate a map.  The cooperative aspect of the game is also well down, taking place as offshoots of the single player campaign.  The maps are fun and given the right amount of communication can make it even more fun.  There are varying modes in both the competitive and cooperative games that help bring in the variety.

On a graphical standpoint the game is BEAUTIFUL, even though it was released nearly a year ago, few games can match the technical prowess of Uncharted 2.  The animations are top notch, environments gorgeous and the sheer amount of detail is just great.  As mentioned before the voice work is excellent and help bring the game to life, especially in in-game conversations, which are separate from cutscenes.

Uncharted 2 has some nifty features ranging from the now standard trophies, to different skins and “tweaks” to the game.  Tweaks are basically in game purchasable cheats like unlimited ammo or choosing your weapon at any point in the game.  Of course this is only available after beating the game in that difficulty and only after having the cash.  Said cash is earned from gaining medals with some tied into trophies.  These medals/trophies give cash to buy skins, tweaks, artwork, videos etc.
I’ve played each of the two Uncharted games a total of ten times or more, no matter how many times I play either game, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves especially, it never losses its charm and fun.  If you enjoy games Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is a must own.


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