Review by Ahmad_basic
"Snow.....just look at that snow!!!!"
After playing this games single player six times as well as putting in many hours into the multiplayer I can honestly say that this is the reason why I play videogames. The intricate detail to the environments, fluid character animations, charming and well fleshed out characters and some of the best delivered lines of dialogue found in a videogame, this is one game you would do well to play and enjoy over the Christmas holiday.
Let me make one thing clear, this is a sequel to Uncharted Drakes Fortune however you do not need to have played the original game to understand what's happening in this game. That being said the first game still holds up very well and is most definitely still worth playing, however this is Uncharted 2 Among Thieves and it improves upon the first games story in every way. The story has more twists and turns than the original, improved character development and has even more humour between all of the fantastic characters. I wont go into too much detail into the story as I don't want to spoil too much, but its much like an action blockbuster movie and sees you travelling across the world exploring tombs running like crazy away from helicopters and lets just say that the ten plus hours it takes to finish the single player are very satisfying.
Metal Gear solid 4 and Resident Evil 5 set the level for graphics in a game for me and Uncharted 2 is now up there with it. The detail in the environments are extremely impressive, all the textures in the game look ridiculously good especially objects made from wood and stone, also the characters fabrics on there clothes are extremely impressive the opening scene also showcased the snow which made my draw drop, snow sticks to the characters clothes, covers there hair and just looks beautiful, it looked so real that you will find yourself wishing you could just grab your coat and jump into the game to roll around in the snow and have a snow ball fight with drake. There are some technical issues though that you will see such as the shadows in the game appear pixelated, even though this is a problem seen in many games of this current generation like Killzone and Gear of War, it is a shame that everything else appears so good-looking until you get up close on the characters and see pixilated shadows pasted all over them. Also when you are having fun in the snow you will notice that your footprints will disappear very quickly behind you unlike in Metal Gear Solid 4, and some of the characters hair look slightly odd, in particular Eleanor Fishers. These are minor gripes however and make no mistake you are playing one of the best looking games of the generation. The game runs at 30fps and at 720p.
Naughty Dog the developer does what it does best and copies but improves upon gameplay features found in other games. For instance Resident Evil 4 set the standard for third person shooters then came along gears of war, which improved it and then came Uncharted. Gears of War and Rainbow Six Vegas made the cover system commonplace in third person shooters but once again then came along Uncharted's cover system, which is even more fluid and easy to use. Uncharted 2 now implements a new stealth mechanic, which greatly improves upon the gameplay of the original game and adds much more depth. Where before the only way to take on a battle was to go head on into a fire fight you can now enter a room and take out the majority of the enemies stealthily and then pick off the remaining bad guys with your AK-47. Whereas Uncharted's other mechanics were improved mechanics from other games as mentioned earlier the stealth mechanic falls slightly short. Its fun to use but it can be awkward at first. It's sort of a double-edged sword, its fun to use these stealth moves but the reason they are fun and easy to pull off is because the enemy A.I is very dumb. However it's a nice improvement over the first game and I found myself wishing I could stealthy take out enemies while playing the original. The climbing mechanics are the same as found in the original game, which basically means they are very good. You move at a fast pace similar to Infamous however you are not able to climb and cling onto every object in the game, but when you are climbing it looks very impressive and fluid and its hard to see when one animation ends and the next one starts.
It was the final cut scene in the game that made me truly appreciate how good the voice acting was, throughout the whole game the characters dialogue were done very well but the final scene with drake and Eleanor talking felt so natural and so incredibly believable, that I have to say withought doubt this game has the best voice acting I have ever heard in videogame. The musical score is also very well done and the Uncharted theme from the first game is back as well as featuring music that is well suited to the regions the games story is based from. Sound effects are very believable guns sounds are powerful making them satisfying to use and it was also satisfying listening to the snow crunching below your feet as you explore an impressive ice cave near the end of the game
In short you need to play this game, its extremely well polished has huge production values and is just plain fun. The multiplayer features a ranking system similar to Call of Duty Modern Warfare's and gives more length to an already great game that you will spend many hours on. This is why I play videogames.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 12/04/09
Game Release: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (EU, 10/16/09)
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