Review by Zylo the wolf
Reviewed: 06/07/12 | Updated: 06/11/12
A perfect example how a sequel should be.
Naughty Dog managed to create a mascot for Sony Playstation, and even if Crash Bandicoot isn't as loved as Mario or Sonic nowadays he still managed to make many buy Sony's first system. Then Naughty Dog went on with another character called Jak, who was one of Playstation 2's biggest icon. The Playstation 3 got Nathan Drake, a treasure hunter with a mouth full of witty comments and who is never afraid to climb a mountain or a really tall cliff. Even if the Playstation 3 had a couple of popular before Uncharted is was one the games that made people interested in it since the game had a rough start. Since I played and enjoyed the first game, I thought I might as well give the sequel a try since it's one of the best rated games of all time.
The game begins with that Drake wakes up in a train which is just about to fall off from a cliff. The wagon Drake is in is just about to fall, so Drake manages to climb up through the wagon and escape a certain death. But he's wounded and faints in a snowstorm. The game then takes the player back 4 months ago where Nathan Drake meets his old friend Harry Flynn. After a couple of beers Flynn tells Drake that he got a job for him. A crazy collector wants them to break into a museum in Istanbul and steal a mongolian lamp. Since Drake thinks that the lamp will help him find one of Marco Polo's lost fleets. Along with Flynn's friend Chloe they break into the museum and steals the lamp, but then Flynn betrays Drake and leaves him trapped in the museum, which leads to that Drake gets thrown in prison.
3 months later we see that Nathan Drake is still in prison, but thankfully his best friend Victor Sullivan bails him out so he's now a free man. It turns out that it was Chloe who asked Sullivan to get Drake out because that crazy collector wasn't a collector at all but a war hungry terrorist called Zoran Lazarevic, and he knew just like Drake that Marco Polo had a couple of secrets that was lost somewhere, and all clues now seems to point to Borneo. Now a race between Drake's team and the terrorist Lazarevic begins for this lost treasure. Prepare to experience one of the most interesting adventures your Playstation 3 will offer.
Not that much have changed in game play from the previous game in the series. The most entertaining thing in the game is still the cut-scenes since this series takes gaming even one step closer to become like movies. I really hate to keep saying this, but it's impossible to not compare these games to the Indiana Jones movies. Both heroes goals is to find lost treasures, and in order to do so they must travel to exotic places, and then try to solve different riddles in order to get the treasure. Drake can also handle any type of weapon, which will come in handy because he will have to fight and kill a lot of bad guys on the way.
The thing you will spend most time with is the battles, which hasn't changed much from the last game. Drake can carry two weapons at once, one heavy weapon like a shotgun or AK-47 and light hand gun. Each enemy can take a couple of hits before he dies, but most enemies will die with just one hit if you manages to hit them in the head. Since you can only carry two weapons at once, you have to pick up weapons and ammo from the dead enemies since sometimes you need a shotgun which best when the enemy close, other times you need a sniper rifle to kill those annoying enemies with long range weapons that can kill you if they manages to aim at your head.
You can't take many hits before you die and have to start over from the beginning of the battle, so the most important thing is that you find some shelter that you can hide behind, and then quickly aim at the enemies and shoot them in the head. The screen will lose color every time you get hit, and then turn completely white when you are dead. If you find a safe place, the screen will slowly gain back it's colors and your health will be back to normal. Just like in the last game it's also possible to sneak of from behind the enemy and then kill them with your hands, but to take out enemies with your bare fists seems to not be as useful in this game. One thing that Naughty Dog have improved is that grenades are much more useful now, since you use a separate button both to aim and to throw them.
Another thing that you will do a lot in this game is to climb different things. Nathan Drake might be the world's greatest climber since he can hold his body on an edge for as long as he wants to, and he never losses his grip when is climbing either to the left or to the right. Not only that but he's also an excellent jumper and almost feels like a cat when he jumps from one edge to another. He can even hold his body with one hand and aim with his pistol with the other at the same time, something I don't think I've seen Solid Snake do.
Sadly the problems I had with the first game when it comes to the climbing hasn't been as much improved in this game as I hoped. You can still jump much further if you are supposed to be able to jump that far but if you aren't then you won't reach that edge or brick that you thought you could grab and then you will die. It can also be difficult to see where you are supposed to go sometimes during these events, but it's still an improvement from the first game.
Once again I wish that there was a healthbar that showed you how much life you had left. It tough to know if you got enough health to kill one more enemy or not when the screen starts to look a little pale. You roll with the same button that you take cover with, so you will sometimes hide in front of an enemy by mistake when you are actually trying to escape from them. But to be fair this game got plenty of checkpoints so it's no big deal if you die.
So what makes Uncharted 2: Among Thieves so much better than the original game? First of all you get to see much more than just different jungles. Cities, Himalaya, a train are just a couple of other terrains that Drake have to go through this time. It also managed to have a more interesting story that made me want to finish the game. It also, as said before, fixes most of the things that I found annoying in the original, for example you never have to drive a boat. There are also a couple of multiplayer modes that you can play online, but I never bothered with these features in my adventure games. While the game is not as fantastic as I hoped for, it's without a doubt one of the best the Playstation 3 has to offer.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Limited Edition Collector's Box) (EU, 10/16/09)
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