Review by megax11
"An excellent ride that could've benefitted from better balance."
Uncharted 2 is an excellent ride... Almost like playing a movie. However, it could have benefited itself by better balancing the types of game play it presented.
The story of Uncharted 2 is a good one. It is a throwback to the Indiana Jones films, and more recently, National Treasure. Nathan Drake is a treasure hunter who goes looking for the lost city of Shambahla, but has his hands full when a power-seeking soldier is on his case. The story is told in an excellent pace, but felt too movie-like for its own good, which scares me at times, being a gamer. For what it is though, it has excellent characters you can easily care about, and not too many that it flushes the story down the drain with an overabundance of characters that are hard to keep up with. Characters from the first return, and in top form, while also introducing new characters, at the same time.
The presentation is top-notch. Again, it feels like you are truly playing a movie. However, just as I stated above in my critique of the story, it feels TOO much like a movie. Games are games, and maybe I am just old-fashioned, but with so much story, there is a sacrifice somewhere... That sacrifice is that it tends to drag its feet near the end. This gamer found himself near the end, asking "when is this going to be over already?" The reason I kept thinking this will be explained in my gameplay segment. Otherwise, the game had some truly standout moments, that will be described below.
Game play -
Gameplay is fast and fun, for the most part. Weapons are always easy to see, and grab amidst the flurry of gunfire taking place. I did run into a couple of glitches throughout the game, but they were probably so hard to kickin, that they aren't cumbersome. The gameplay is varied, but there are instances where I kept asking myself "what is with the many shoot-outs?"
Sometimes this gamer felt as though I was going from point A to B, only to fall into another wave of shoot-outs. It's like playing an 80's arcade game like Galaga, or New Rally-X where you tackle wave after wave of the same thing, with minor variations spread throughout.
I felt the game lacked challenging puzzles, and what puzzles it did offer (this gamer counted about 3-4, could be 5, but no more than 6 from what I recall,) were extremely easy, and I never found myself stuck. The game could've benefitted from more puzzles, to break up all of the shoot-outs.
Another thing that could've benefitted this excellent game, is more varied gameplay. This gamer found the game extremely satisfying while playing the segment where a helicopter is hunting you down, while you make your way across the rooftops of Nepal. Two more instances where this game really shined, were the entire train chapters, and the convoy chase. This game needed more of those, and puzzle solving to balance out the overabundance of shoot-outs spread throughout the game. As for the platforming aspect, it was about as frequent as the shoot-outs, which is good, but could've benefitted from more puzzle solving and standout moments like the ones I mentioned.
I did also feel like treasure hunting, could've been better. For a game about a treasure hunter, he doesn't really have to work so hard to find his treasure. I always had the idea that Drake could've solved puzzles, and be rewarded with treasure. This would allow for more puzzle solving aspects of the game, wether big or small. In the case of treasure hunting, smaller puzzles would've been awesome, so not to overshadow the bigger puzzles in the game, while still giving more puzzles to solve, and thus be rewarded.
Outside of the minor complaint of an overabundance of one type of gameplay over the other aspects, the game is still a fun ride.
The game is fantastic. I highly recommend any PS3 to get this and play it. If you are on the fence about owning a PS3, this game should quench that notion, holding you back. The game did drag on for this gamer, only because it felt like it had more of one aspect of its gameplay, than the other (frequent shoot-outs and platforming, less puzzle solving and standout moments.) The story is top-notch and I don't feel like it detracted from the gameplay and made it a shorter game, which is a good thing, as putting too much emphasis on story in this day and age, can cost the gamer precious gameplay time, and that's what gaming is all about to this gamer.
I am giving this game a 9/10, for raising the bar on gaming, in terms of story, gameplay, and presentation. This game shouldn't be missed.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 10/26/09
Game Release: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (US, 10/13/09)
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