Review by RT1O2
Game of the year? I say Game of the Decade !
Uncharted 2 - The game of the month. The game of the year. The game of the decade. (Well, We'll see in another year. what was the best of 2010) Uncharted 2, like it's predecessor, is a game based on a man named Nathan Drake, your average every-day , run-of-the -mill man with a knack for getting into messes involving pirates, treasures, and naturally, someone else who wants to get there first..
Well, maybe he's not your average run-of-the mill guy after all. Drake has experience with a gun that can pass for professional. Plus astonishing acrobatic skills. He can climb walls, hop from buildings, and even fall from 6,000 year old concrete that's dissolving before him and he still manage to save his ass. But he doesn't accomplish ALL of this himself, of course. Throughout sequences in this game, or "Chapters" as the Naughty Dog labels them,, Drake is accompanied by a partner to assist him. Either Chloe Frazer and Elena Fisher, depending on your place in the game.
Now that you know the basic storyline, let's review main aspects of Uncharted 2 that you want to know.
How is the Gameplay?
The gameplay for this title is addicting. It's fast-paced, easy to relate to, realistic, and very, very smooth. Unlike many other games in which animations are pre-rendered, limiting how your character moves, jumps, climbs etc. Uncharted 2 uses a "Blending" technique, in which it layers different movements with the environment and given controller command. (Example, the joystick.) This makes the overall experience amazing. Your choices are nearly limitless. (To an extent, that is. Like, You can't grab onto every single object for climbing, but preset bricks in the wall.) By "Limitless" I mean animations for moving, jumping, grappling, shimmying are not made like any other game. Because they are "Layered", you are given more choice as to how you want to move or take on an enemy or obstetrical. Etc. The weapon and attack method selection in this game is pretty good. You can go stealth in many areas, or run in guns blazing. It's all up to you.
Gameplay - 10/10
How is the partner-character's AI? (Artificial Intelligence)
Nathan's partner in this game is very useful. In tight situations, such as gun fights with several enemies in one area, they do their job. Unlike in other games, This AI doesn't do too much or too little work to help you out. (Que Sheva Alomar or L4D) They can hold their own, and also help keep the bad guys away. Although ammo is irrelevant because it's literally everywhere, the AI character doesn't waste it. He/She only tends to fire when they need to.
AI - 10/10
How are the graphics in this game?
The graphics in this game are extraordinary. Like... To give you a clear picture, They are even better than Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Yeah. I know. Crazy, right? The graphics in this game are better than any we've seen in any game so far. The lighting is spot on. In HD, You can even see the fragments of Chloe's hair being shadowed in the environment in bright areas. In Uncharted, according to the special features, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune used around 1 Million polygons to make up the characters. In Uncharted 2, they really opened up, using between 1.5 and 2 million polygons to make up a character's details. You can see the pores on the character's faces, slight flaws, individual facial hairs. Reflected light from eyes. Everything is there. This game, like the previous, used MoCap (Motion Capture Technologies) for it's cutscenes. This means put real actors into advanced mocap suits that computers can track with special cameras , and they implement that tracking information into the computer graphics. This makes the characters come to life more than almost anything. A character's gestures, movements, etc. are of Hollywood quality. But that's not the best part. What brings the most out of characters is how a character's face looks when he is scared, excited, happy, sad, relaxed, or angry. Every emotion is done EXTREMELY realistically, and they all transit to other emotion smoothly. These face expressions can be mistaken for a real person being filmed, and a filter added to make them look (Barely) like video game characters. You'd think this was the result of FaceCap technique. (Basically mocap, just with an individual face being recorded with the same basic gadgets) but no. This is all the developer's original art.
Graphics - 10/10
How is the sound? Music, Voice Acting?
This among the best voice acting you'll ever see in a video game to date. Little trivia for you--- The voice actors for Uncharted and Uncharted 2 are also the mocap actors. Naughty Dog had the MoCap actors do the voices and mocap simultaneously because when the character's MOCAP was angry, they wanted the voice to represent how the actor felt when they did the filming, so you would be getting basically a real movie shoot without a real movie set. The voice acting really helps with the character's development in this game. Because Drake's more of a smart-ass type of guy, his voice had to sound like he is really being sarcastic, and not artificially like many games today.The voice acting is genuine, and with the facial expressions gone with the voices, this is top notch.
The music of Uncharted 2 is an orchestral performance that will put you in awe. It can be compared with the music for Pirates of the Caribbean, Not only because it sounds amazing, but also because it goes SO well with the gameplay and cutscenes that it's put in with. It heightens the drama by a huge amount. I'm even going to buy the soundtrack and put it on my iPod. It's that good.
Voice Acting - 10/10
How's the online multiplayer?
Online is very fun. It's just as good as story in range of actual gameplay, with very little to criticize. There are a very high amount of players online at one time, The servers are very fast, no lag to worry about if your connection is optimal for online play. But if there's anything I hate, it's waiting. Every time a game ends, it brings you back to the match-finding screen, which can take up to 1-2 minutes to do. I prefer staying in one gane room, but perhaps to give the players a break from the screen they give you that wait time. But that is only a minor complaint, considering the matches can last up to 20 minutes long.
Online - 8.7/10
Finally, how's the storyline?
Talk about being original. Naughty Dog knows exactly how to mix elements from historic icons and events with that of modern fiction and make you really believe what is going on could happen. Uncharted 2 was written extremely well, filled with surprises and suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end. Not to say that other games' stories suck, because everybody has their own taste. but I used to hate the treasure and fantasy genre of movies and games until I played this series. They really get you hooked.
In conclusion, with superior graphics, amazing voice acting, wild gameplay, and a partner that doesn't stand in your way while you attempt to aim, I give this game a 10/10
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (US, 10/13/09)
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