Review by SnakeGeneral
"An immersive experience, but realizing you are repeating yourself can sometimes rip the veil away."
I never got into Uncharted 1... I played the demo, but the experience did not make me wish to go buy the game (a process though I've flirted with over the years as my friends tell me it is awesome). So when the multiplayer demo for Uncharted 2 hits, I decided to give it a whirl and had a blast so compelling that I ran out and pre-ordered and subsequently purchased Uncharted 2.
I'm not a stickler for graphics in video games, but I agree the graphics in Uncharted 2 are quite beautiful and detailed. I don't really need to comment further than that as you can gladly see for yourself in videos and pictures.
I'm going to a bit harsh in this section as I quickly realized the monotony of sequences in the game. Every few minutes you are presented with a cutscene of some sort and I found it quite enthralling and even excited the first few times Drake's life fell into peril until it became very apparent that was the only method of instilling "dread" was Drake falling, timed climbs, catch me jumps, bricks, rocks, signs, poles crumbling and breaking as you hold on for dear life or jump away just in time. I mean there were multiple "falling bridge" sequences. I truly felt that these were initially awesome, but it just happened over and over again.
Another gripe comes from an animation (and hit detection) point of view. I felt very dissatisfied with shooting enemies as there responses were very repetitive and scripted (and since you can spend a lot of time unloading on a single enemy it is glowingly apparent). I want to watch the enemy flail about based on where a shot them in the violent movement that accompanies being shot (even if you are wearing a vest).
One more flaw that needs attention is the unfathomably linear environments that leave no thought to the imagination on how to progress. Even the very few puzzles you come across are amazingly simple and "linear" and require zero out of the box thinking.
The controls are quite solid and intuitive and provide a solid variance for your downing of foes from scripted brawls and assassinations, to run and gun, aiming, and lobbing via both "bullet pass" reticule and "fly ball" arc grenades. However the weapon selection is limited but adequate, each weapon shining in its own ways.
The cover system works well enough, but the dodge roll and cover button being the same has been the death of me quite a few times when trying to roll away from a grenade only to go into cover right on top of it.
Due to the games linear nature and limited (but well balanced, although the Guardians and bosses take a ridiculous amount of punishment before they go down) set of enemies, you'll find yourself repeating yourself quite often which is typically a negative, but the experience is enjoyable enough that you won't mind too much.
The voice acting is quite solid, and a chuckled a number of times to the witty one-liners. The music is good and atmospheric and you might hum along while playing, but you won't remember it later.
The story was decent in a very straight forward kind of way of "saving the world" although you don't actually realize you are doing that until the final hour. I also felt Schafer had too little screen time for Drake to be so adamant about his beliefs in the end (I didn't cash in on those feelings), but his relationships with Sully, Chloe, Elena, and Flynn are dynamic and believable. I also felt that the main villain was so far in the backdrop of the story once again until the final hour that I didn't feel satisfied with the "epic" final battle.
Exceedingly simple, but plenty of awesome. Like COD4, you get perks (2 here), many of which are too situational. There are a limited amount of stages (I think there is only 7) and they are relatively small, but perfect for 10 players. I like how everyone starts out with the same weaponry, but there isn't a lot of different weaponry to acquire on the stage (and not all the stages have all the guns) that you get the feeling that you have to master the AK and the FAL as you'll be toting little else. There is plenty of modes, but you have seen them all before, but playing a specific mode when you want to outside of Deathmatch is not going to happen.
Co-op is pretty fun as well (have only done Arena so far, which uses the same maps as multiplayer) and I only wish more people played it as it's the best way to earn in game cash for online.
A key PS3 experience I think everyone should get, but it isn't without its flaws. Plus, I worry that multiplayer will be quite drab when MW2 comes out (I've seen about 12,000 people online tops currently, often play with the same players continuously already, and finding a co-op match can take forever).
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/19/09
Game Release: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (US, 10/13/09)
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