Review by unBanOurTheTP

"after the hype: an unbiased look at Uncharted 2"

I finally got around to finishing a game hailed as GOTY by many, and I must say I am not impressed.

Let's start with the beginning. The climbing mechanics make platforming very easy, so easy in fact that it is impossible to die while doing it, unless you cannot see the next ledge. Also, has anyone noticed how inconsistent Drake's jumping is? If it's to a designated ledge, he can fly half way across a map. If it's to somewhere you'd like to be, he jumps like George Costanza in Seinfeld. We get to climb a large train, and it's very mundane to do so. This could be the worst opening level of all time. Luckily, it's so incredibly easy, you won't have to die and do it again. Then a bunch of stuff happens that will likely be important later.

Next we play Ocean's Eleven. Drake insists on using tranquilizers, because he doesn't want to kill any of the guards. He then proceeds to throw them off a building from several hundred feet above jagged cliffs, so clearly his morals are short-term.

OMG - heel turn! Nobody saw this coming! Oh wait...I did, from a mile away. Thieves like those two will not stick together.

Now we have the main bad guy for our little tale. We can tell he's a bad guy because he's not a space marine and he has a ton of scars. A hero will usually have just one scar, across one of his eyes.

Oh look, the girl has to make it look like she's on their side, but totally didn't turn. Now she's being taken to a train.

Now I didn't realize this train was the polar express, running all the way from the amazon to the north pole. This game reminds me of Ninja Gaiden 3, in that the level sequencing is clearly just to show off "let's design a kick ass snow level!" (irony: the snow level was very uninspired...nothing standout about it, other than snow physics) and the sequence does not make sense.

Oh goody, I get to do that terrible level a second time. Once wasn't enough. For some reason, immediately after I kill all the bad guys (despite not being shot) I am now selling an injury. Why did I no-sell while I was being attacked? Am I Hulk Hogan here?

The treasures are hanging on walls now? I have to look up and down if I want to find them all? Wonderful.

Hey, you know what sucked about the first game? When you had to fight those zombies. Nobody liked them, they added a stupid twist to the story and nobody liked them. If they change one thing in the sequel (I have not noticed any differences other than treasures hanging on walls now) I hope it's getting rid of the stupid enemies that make no sense.

*goes to Tibet* Nope. In this section, Drake continually asks his non-English-speaking guide questions. He then proceeds to have stupid remarks, such as "yeah, exactly what I was thinking" and "I still don't understand you."

...he's definitely not bright, at all

Oh look, what kids across the street built earlier today with snow are attacking me. I guess there will be vampires in the inevitable third game. By the way, by this point they got tired of trying to remember the exact same dynamic between Drake and Elena is actually between Drake and Chloe, so they reintroduced Elena. She's one of those reporter-nurses you see so often.

Some nice backgrounds here...if you didn't like the pacing from the first game, it's wave-after-wave of enemies for the last 10 chapters or so, just like in the first game.

Now we follow those snowmen and scar-sy into Shambhala. It looks like a paradise, if paradise were infested with both idiots and abominable snowmen. Here we obtain the crossbow for the first time (where I picked it up)...making this the first new gun in the game that I have seen. That's pretty weak.

Shambhala follows the predictable path: wave after wave of shootan'. I just finished it and can't think of anything memorable here.

Oh noes, Elena will die! I totally bet she will!

I will give them credit here: at least the end boss is not a giant QTE like in the first game. Sure, he's boring and no fun, but it's a step up from Heavy Uncharted.

improvements from the first game: tacked-on multiplayer, one (1) new gun, pain in the ass system of hiding treasures, that incredibly irritating "run towards the screen" gimmick several times

things that should have been improved upon, but were either ignored or amplified: taking ten steps and triggering a cutscene, terrible pacing, awful headshot detection (I know I did one where it didn't count must be the PS3's fault), platforming is still essentially automatic and some ledges are even harder to see here since parts of it are so dark

On a side note, did anyone else wish the puzzles were a little difficult? They were all too easy, especially with the "watch the puzzle solve itself" button (up on the d-pad) that most trolls criticized NSMBWii for having.

The game was alright for a once through, but I am not sure I'll go back to play it on Crushing. I give it a solid 6.0/10 - 6.5/10, which is 1.5 lower than the first game gets. The first game gets the benefit of being a new IP, and the second one is hurt by not improving so many lacking problems in the first. The BGM in the first game is also hands down the best BGM in music (off the top of my head), whereas the second one does not have anything memorable for music.

Pros: amazing visuals, high production values
Cons: pretty well everything else

Buy Uncharted 1 instead. It's cheaper and better.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 03/08/10

Game Release: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (US, 10/13/09)

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