Review by Exodist
"A sequel which merely builds upon the success of the original, rather than offering much new."
I'm sure that most people will have a game that they've played, and whilst enjoyed, feel is slightly overrated. I visit a few gaming forums here and there, and I couldn't believe the positive things people were saying about Uncharted 2. People were basically saying how it was the best game they've ever played or the best PS3 game at least. I got it around Christmas time, and I was actually kind of looking forward to it (surprise present), since I quite enjoyed the original. Uncharted 2 is definitely better, but to me it was better only in one way.
The story line is a bit better than the original Uncharted, however the game is made with a sort of action blockbuster film edge to it, in that the game is all about action with the story being a sort of back thought. Nathan Drake returns (have you played a game recently without Nolan North in it now?) along with a new female, Chloe, who you're meant to find attractive (I don't think she is), along with her sexual activities toward Nathan. Nathan meets up with some guy he used to work with (not in the first game though), they pull a heist and obviously he betrays Nathan, leaving him after revenge. Basically some stuff happens; Nathan is running around some places shooting people with some females (it's no secret that Elena returns), they discover some supernatural elements like the first game surrounds their adventure, and some evil military type is trying to obtain this power. It's there, and it's not great, but it does the job well, giving you a reason to be where you are, and the characters aren't too bad either, it gives you something to follow whilst playing the game.
From memory, basically nothing has changed from the previous game. The changes to the game are actually small gameplay mechanic changes which do make the experience more enjoyable, however never really changes how the game plays. For starters, you get a lot more ammo, something there was a lack of in the original game considering it was an action game (no, it wasn't challenging, it was just annoying). There is also an emphasis on melee combat, complete with a few stealth sections. They aren't terrible but they're not fun either. A little later in the game you're given the opportunity to stealth kill some enemies without getting found out, but it's more fun to just blow them all up. That said, the melee does work better and provides you with some nice finishing moves. Apart from that, I don't really remember much different. The game controlled and played basically the same, with even less and incredibly easy puzzles thrown in here and there to break up the action.
Rather, the game shines through its design. The game is made pretty well, and whilst playing a few sections over is a little annoying (i.e., the game starts with the wreck of a train, and I swear you play this section a few times through the game), but I found the general level design to be solid. I enjoyed a lot of the action sections, and the platforming parts. Maybe I just wasn't as good anymore but I also found the game more challenging than the original, providing a few tough fights, although never too difficult, on the normal setting. The game also has plenty of memorable set-pieces, and that is pretty much all I can say for Uncharted 2. It's an action game, its third person, you get guns, you shoot people, and jump around a bit and that is pretty much it. There isn't really anything different and whilst there are a few tweaks here and there, it's generally the same experience, albeit a little more enjoyable.
The graphics were amazing, however something you'd come to expect from a PS3 exclusive. They really out-did the first game and there were some impressive sequences along with animation and the like, the graphics are really something I can't fault. The voice acting was decent, if not forgettable since I don't really remember much, although Nathan will probably get on your nerves since he is everywhere now. As for music, I don't remember it. Well, they had the main theme from the original on the title screen again but apart from that you probably won't take notice.
Uncharted 2 also has an online mode however I never actually bothered. I'd expect that it has a fairly basic setup: game modes, players, ranks, weapons and just people generally playing. I doubt it has the depth to keep many people coming back for ages; however at the same time I've heard it's not bad either. However, I cannot review this section, but I doubt you'll get the game for multiplayer: see it as an extra instead.
Uncharted 2 is a tough one for me. On one side, I enjoyed the game I was playing. However at the same time it was merely an enjoyable experience, nothing outstanding. There are quite a few great set-pieces, and the design is pretty solid, but other than that I didn't feel like I was having loads of fun for the entire 10 or so hour game. I certainly didn't enjoy it enough to hail it as one of the best games ever as so many have, however I guess I wasn't all that impressed by its grand scale and the graphics.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/06/10
Game Release: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (EU, 10/16/09)
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