Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Review by Jeto1
"Uncharted 2: Movie or Game?"
What happens when a blockbuster movie and a video game are crossed?
Many have attempted but few have been successful. Now finally, an answer worth taking note of: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Naughty Dog have succeeded in providing that sought after game which endeavours to entail all the humour, storytelling and character development of a film, combined with gorgeous visuals, great platforming and epic gunfights of a video game. What is left is a highly polished, near perfect video game which most developers should aspire to create.
We rejoin our hero - fortune hunter - Nathan Drake on his newest adventure that will take him from the exotic environments of sunshine beaches to the cold peeks of the Himalayan mountains in search of Marco Polo's forgotten treasure, the Ciantamani Stone. The journey will be around 11 hours of an adrenaline ride. Containing betrayal, love triangles and most of all a James Bond cliche bad guy. All that into one game is not something found commonly nowadays in the game market, resulting in Uncharted 2 being a title well worth the money.
Uncharted 2 is quite possibly one of the best looking games to date. It is a showcase of what can be achieved when developers really get to grips with the Playstation 3's power. Stunning scenery, combined with flawless frame rates during battle is a concoction for success. All the other characters have been polished repeatedly, adding authenticity to the experience. Humour, wit and depth make all of the characters - including the one that can't even speak English - the most likeable ones in any game. Naughty Dog have left nothing out and the little details will make the player feeling as though they are watching a movie rather than a game. For example, when Drake decides to go for a roll in the snow, it will cover his jeans and remain there until it all falls away from vigourous running. So the visuals and story are established.
Uncharted seemlessly switches between cut scenes and actual playing time making it difficult to know whether you should be playing or watching. Cut-scenes are not overly long making the cinematic experience even more intense. Uncharted makes use of a combination of scripted and strictly linear moments along with trying to figure things out on your own make the experience a lot richer and personally rewarding.
Shooting mechanics work well and a cover system is used in the game, however, this leads to the first issue with this game. Using the same button to take cover and also to roll is not a good idea. Take note future game developers. Let me paint a scenario, Drake is shot at by a sniper. Press circle to take cover. To move to the next bit of cover by press circle again, however uselessly, Drake rolls out into the open making him easy pickings for the sniper. Back to the last checkpoint for me. Thankfully this is only a small issue as this will not happen every time but it does stand out as a flaw.
The rest of the game is made up mostly of; stealth, platforming and puzzles, as any good movie - sorry game - is. Climbing is one of the main foundations and could be compared to an Assassins Creed feel. Puzzles also return and help to break up the non-stop action. While they are no brain testers they do provide a different direction to go in. Stealth, well its a love or hate thing. The new stealth controls include one button take downs if players are as so bold to get close to the enemy. Pressing square will initiate a short animation in which the enemy is incapacitated. As great as it may sound certain points throughout the game will require you progress without alerting any alarms - cue the angry fits of rage as you are caught out far to easily.
Multiplayer is a welcomed addition. However its not merely tacked on to cheapen the game and take the focus away from the singleplayer. It has been brilliantly crafted to provide a genuine second experience. It is an addictive addition that contains hundreds of hours of multiplayer greatness. Each mode is unique and character movements port onto the online effortlessly without any hiccups or lag.
Uncharted 2 is undoubtedly one of the best games this generation is likely to see. It combines great narrative with stunning visuals making it the ideal game. Only one or two nitpicking flaws stop this game from being perfect, such as the clumsy double use of a button and the occasional cliche moment. Could Uncharted 2 be a movie? The answer is yes. Should it be a movie? Definitely not, because if it was, then you would not be able to experience the greatest game to date in your hands.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 02/02/10, Updated 02/26/10
Game Release: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (EU, 10/16/09)
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