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Review: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
by Tyson Breen
Game Information

Basic information
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Developer: Naughty Dog Inc.
Publisher: Sony
Released: October 2009

PlayStation 3


BBFC: 15
PEGI: 16+
Once in a while, there comes along a game that makes you glad to be a gamer. The type of game that you want to tell all of your friends about and that you can't stop thinking about when you have to part yourself from the screen. For me, and many others, the most recent example of one of these games is Uncharted 2. A sequel to 2007's critically acclaimed shooter/platformer hybrid, Uncharted 2 succeeds in encapsulating everything that made the first game so great, and expanding almost every aspect.

From the get go, Uncharted 2 is a non-stop thrill ride. After a brief cutscene, players will find themselves climbing for their lives from a train dangling over the edge of a snowy cliff. This scene sets the stage perfectly for what is to come. From car chases to shootouts, the action in Uncharted 2 starts high and refuses to let up. Players will find themselves the subject of constant set pieces, such as the aforementioned train climb, which gives off the impression that the game was lovingly and thoughtfully crafted. When playing the game, I found myself constantly striving to find out what was going to happen next, and what the game designers were going to do to impress me.

Taking the role of Nathan Drake, the wise cracking treasure hunter from the first game, players will run, jump, climb, and shoot their way through stunning atmospheres. The controls in Uncharted 2 are extremely intuitive, and make for an immersive experience that isn't clouded by having to struggle with buttons. The shooting has been tweaked slightly since the first game, allowing enemies to be taken out faster and more accurately. Equally as important as the shooting are the platforming elements of Uncharted 2. The controls continue to impress, which makes guiding Drake through various vertical environments an absolute joy. In addition, there are also several stealth sections in the game. Being a fan of the stealth genre, I found these sections quite fun and exhilarating, but the enemies seem a little too unattentive, making these portions a little too easy.

The story in Uncharted 2, while entertaining and a good motivation, takes a backseat to the action elements of the game. Avoiding as many spoilers as possible, the narrative revolves around Nathan and his companions, which includes characters from the last game as well as some fresh faces, trying to find the treasure of Marco Polo. Of course, that is only a brief outline of the story in Uncharted 2, and it is filled with surprises and tense moments. While not Oscar-worthy, the story in Uncharted 2 succeeds in giving personality to the characters and keeps the player interested between the intense gameplay and can easily be considered one of best narratives in an action game.

Uncharted 2 also includes a mode not present in the first game; multiplayer. The multiplayer in Uncharted 2 is fairly standard as far as shooters go, including team deathmatch, capture the flag, and a few other genre staples. While enjoyable, and with an experience system in vain of Call of Duty, the multiplayer comes off as an afterthought to the fantastic single player game. The gun combat feels loose and not accurate, and there is a slight pause between when a player takes a hit and when they die. This causes annoying moments when two players start to shoot at each other and both of the players die. The multiplayer in Uncharted 2 can be entertaining for a little while, but most players will find themselves having more fun with a multiplayer centric shooter, such as Halo or Call of Duty.

Minor complaints aside, Uncharted 2 is one of, if not the, greatest Playstation 3 exclusive title released so far. Most video game fans will find something to enjoy in this title, whether it's the exciting shootouts or tense climbing areas. While lacking in the multiplayer department, Uncharted 2 has an outstanding single player with interesting characters and non-stop action. Amongst the horde of games being released this winter, Uncharted 2 shines through as something special, and is a game that any PS3 owner would be foolish to overlook.

Uncharted 2 images



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- Tyson Breen

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