Review by Galactus21
"Topnotch production values hampered by minor issues"
Nathan Drake, the amazing treasure hunter returns in Uncharted 2. Uncharted 2 Among Thieves is a sequel to a fairly well received title in Uncharted Drake's Fortune. The sequel is an improved version of the original in a different setting. Gamers familiar with the first can expect more of the same in this title. That's not to say there are not any improvements however. While much of the game play will feel similar, the high level production value and presentation, coupled with refinements definitely make this a very good sequel. Although Uncharted 2 is the owner of numerous games of the year awards, there are still flaws present. The controls during huge firefights and the platforming can become problematic at times. While these flaws kept the game from being an instant classic that critics claim it is, the title is still fun nonetheless.
Uncharted 2 Among Thieves starts off its story by showing an injured Nathan Drake in imminent danger. After several moments and CGI scenes, the game throws you back to the past to showcase the development of the story. Drake is after an artifact dating back to the Marco Polo days. With this artifact comes danger of course. People with evil intentions are always looking for these treasures. This time is no different. The way the story is set up in the beginning brings about a nice mystery on what is going on, where eventually it comes full circle later in this game. This added to the game's fantastic production value and overall presentation.
Much like the first title, Uncharted 2 will require Drake to climb, jump, and scale different environments such as buildings or ancient ruins. Additionally, players will engage in third person fire fights against numerous enemies. A cover system has been implemented in this case to help ease the pain against a ton of enemies. Unfortunately however, during intense combat, the controls for moving from cover to cover isn't always so smooth. When enemies are close and you try to quickly take cover or get out of cover to run doesn't always respond so well either. Unfortunately problems do not end there. There are instances during Drake's many jumps that can be problematic, which at times render it as trial and error. One such instance is during the train chapter. Albeit a fantastic chapter, there are instances where jumping between the trains are problematic. Although these issues were noticeable, they did not hamper the overall experience to a large extent.
Aside from the few issues, Uncharted 2 is a great experience.The game is still a fun experience. The firefights overall were intense and quite exhilarating. Much can also be said about the platforming. Even with some of the issues outlined above, the platforming act as a nice change of pace to the game as well. Using these environments added some nice elements as well. Drake can hang from a ledge and then grab and pull an enemy over. One thing that Uncharted 2 does exceptionally well is its puzzles. For instance, the puzzle requiring multiple mirrors is one great example of the time and effort that the developer showed.
During your adventure in Uncharted 2 there is plenty of intense action. The developers of this game threw plenty of enemies at you. The result is non-stop action. The enemy variety, coupled with different environments force players to play differently a lot of the time as well. Many of these situations obviously require you to take cover and let it rip against these enemies. With that said though, there are also different scenarios that help mix things up a bit. For example, certain situations will require Drake to run while shooting.
Compared to the first, Uncharted 2 Among Thieves is definitely a more refined experience. While not without its issues, the game for the most part had stronger third person shooting elements and platforming. The most important aspect however, is the fantastic production values and presentation. This helped enhance and improve the overall experience. In my situations, the way the game was presented made the adventure much more satisfying.
While the graphics aren't the best on the PS3, it is still a beautifully crafted game. Keep in mind however, that I played this game years later and much better looking games have come out. If I were to judge this game when it first came out, my opinion would surely have changed. With that said, the environments in Uncharted 2 definitely look fantastic. Take for example, the chapter where Drake is in a snow environment; it was gorgeous. Character models also look fantastic. The game also ran exceptionally smooth despite all the action that was going on. The voice acting and soundtrack was also superb. The voiceovers for Drake and some of the antagonists immediately come to mind on how well acted it was.
Uncharted 2 is a fairly lengthy game. Throughout this adventure there were plenty of action, platforming, and epic moments. While the game was hampered by some control issues during intense firefights, the overall experience was still a great and enjoyable one. Uncharted 2 is definitely an improvement over its predecessor. At this point in time, the game should be fairly cheap and definitely worth checking out. With the improvements done to the sequel, the developers turned a solid experience into a great one. I look forward to Uncharted 3 and more refinements so the series can be even better.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 07/14/11, Updated 10/31/11
Game Release: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (US, 10/13/09)
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