Game Review: Uncharted 2 Among Thieves
Release: 13th October (NA) 16th October (Worldwide)
Developer: Naughty Dog
Available Platforms: PlayStation 3
Players: 1 (1-16 Online)
ESRB Rating: T
Uncharted 2 Among Thieves is a game which thrills you with an adrenalin rush of nostalgia. There’s something mysterious about the game, you’ll see countless homages and whole rip-offs of games inside it. The shooting, the gameplay, the cinematics – everything here has been taken from something. But it has all been seamlessly molded into something that is just down right awesome.
You play as Nathan Drake, a couple of years after the events of Uncharted Drake’s Fortune, in which he and his thieving buddies get a contract from a war waging sociopath, called Lazarevic, to steal an old oil lamp. This oil lamp just so happens to to lead him and his buddies on to the trail of the lost city of Shamballah. Along the way he takes a trip into a jungle, fights through the streets of Nepal and even clambers around an age-old ice cave. He meets a couple of new friends this time, Elena and Sully still return, the stereotypical Englishman – Flynn, and the luscious Chloe. I swear I’ve never been more attracted to pixels.
Uncharted, at its core, is a third-person shooter with a dash of Tomb Raider thrown in. You’ll manage your cover with the circle button, perform dives with the same button, and hold L1 to pop out and aim. You can hold down R1 in cover to blind fire or in combination with the L1 button, pop out and fire. Climbing has returned, along with huge areas which just include the clambering. You jump on to the ledge or perch with a tap of the X button and waggle the thumbstick in the direction you want to climb, and tap X again.
What’s great is that it works. The controls are tight and intuitive enough to get to grips with easily, the shooting just works. It is ripped from Gears of War, if toned down a little, but I even think that the mechanic is miles better than Gears. The climbing and puzzles are both ripped from Tomb Raider, but Uncharted has always been better than modern day incarnations of Lara. All the cast and characters thrown into the mix are always there to give you a good laugh. It’s one of the only games in which you’ll genuinely care about the characters and story, you will also definitely learn a thing or two in ancient history.
That being said, there is still a lot of work to be done, hopefully in Uncharted 3. The game is just too short, not because it is short, but because it’s just that good. You’ll play it to death in one sitting and maybe the multiplayer may weigh you down a bit, but I want more Drake! The plot can also get a bit far fetched, and the stealth tutorial section near the start doesn’t even give you a loose idea of what to do. I also had trouble with matchmaking in multiplayer, but that will probably be fixed within the coming weeks, along with downloadable content on the way.
Uncharted 2 Among Thieves is almost exactly like its predecessor, except it’s just miles better. It’s not restricted to a tiny pacific island, and it lets the PS3 hardware loose on some breathtaking scenery. The multiplayer is what gives this game a kick, sixty levels and boosters (COD4 perks in disguise) to wet your appetite. The multiplayer does nothing different but it does nothing wrong, and the co-op modes such as Survival and Goldrush are downright addictive. You’ll be playing this for a long time, and it’ll never lose its fun or charm.
Also included in the multiplayer package is Cinema mode, allowing you to take photos and share files of games with your friend. In fact, every screenshot in this review has been taken in-game, from cinema mode. On top of that is Twitter connectivity, a treasure collecting system in the main campaign, a journal with extra details and backstory. The list goes on, you’ll never get more value for your sixty bucks.
Nath’s final say: This is more than just the game that PS3 has being waiting, it’s more than just one of the most memorable experiences and it’s more than just the best single-player experience this generation. This is game of the year!