David Klein On November 16, 2009 at 7:59 am

One of the year’s most anticipated titles, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves has finally arrived. The original game was one of the best titles that was released in 2007 and ever since the sequel has been highly awaited. Now the question to ask is whether this game is yet another flash in the pan or does it deliver one the best gaming experiences of the year?

The first thing that you’ll notice while playing Uncharted 2 is that the graphics are some of the most stunning if not best graphics you’ll find on a console today. Most characters can almost seem real if you look at them the right way. The environments are very fleshed out and you can see the care the developers took to make them feel as organic as possible. You don’t have to go too far into a level before you find examples of the environments coming alive, from bridges you’re on suddenly collapsing to run away trucks nearly mowing you down, the presentation is top notch. The game doesn’t really have much when it comes to music. You’ll only be hearing any either at the intro, during cut-scenes or when you die. The sound effects don’t intrude on the game and generally fade into the background neither hampering nor being seen as spectacular.

Uncharted 2 picks up the story about 2 years after the finish of the first game, where this time Nathan Drake is trying to find the secret treasure of Marco Polo. The simplest way to describe the game’s story is by citing Murphy’s law. Murphy’s Law explains that anything that can go wrong, does go wrong which is easily a running theme in the game. The whole experience has this action movie feel but you’re also right in the action yourself since you’re playing the game as well. This is not to say it’s like Metal Gear Solid since in this case this quality compliments the gameplay instead of overshadowing it. The cut-scenes are well acted and the usually move the plot along in an interesting way. While you’re not going to get some sort of deep masterpiece, the story its definitely on par with some the best summer blockbuster movies and better than most games you’ll find out there.

The controls have a few tweaks from the original game, for example by default every SIXAXIS controlled feature like the grenade aiming has been disabled by default. Putting that aside though they’ve stayed mostly the same, which is generally a good thing. The game controls most of the time how you’d expect it to. I’ve run into a few circumstances where either I’d end up dying because I’m taking cover in plain sight when I didn’t mean to or that I jump the wrong way off a ledge which would mean falling to my death. Putting those odd moments aside though, most of the time none of this is a major issue and you usually end doing exactly what you want to. There’s no assisted targeting save while run and gunning unless you’re playing on the lowest difficulty. This is a good thing, you don’t have the game automatically trying to annoyingly pull your reticle in the right direction it’s left up to you whether you make your shot or you don’t.

The multiplayer portion of Uncharted 2 finally gives you something to do once you’ve finished the lengthy single player campaign. This is the something the original game didn’t give you and is a welcome addition. You’ve got ten different multiplayer game types to sink your teeth into from King of the Hill to three player co-op. Before I say anything else I’ll get this out of the way, the multiplayer while good still isn’t as good Modern Warfare 2 and so if you value multiplayer over single player than you should look at the game for your fix. Now with that said you’ll getting a solid addition to an already amazing game. The unique controls from Uncharted make for a slightly different experience you’d find in another game. One good example I got while playing of what makes it different from other games was a time where I found myself hanging off a ledge and then when I saw somebody nearby coming, I got back up and blasted my unsuspecting prey with a barrage of bullets. Moments like that made the multplayer experience for me. The game had no noticeable lag online and every multiplayer mode seems to have it’s own charm even if a few seemed a little too similar to each other. Though the game left me wishing that it’d let me have more than ten players on a single map. In my opinion the game would have gained by having a more hectic atmosphere with a few more players. I also didn’t notice any sort of team balancing in the game, usually the teams seemed pretty random and had no thought put into whether they were fair teams or not. The co-op was fun but it’s nothing like the actual game, you’ve got two modes one is a survival type mode where you’ll face wave after wave of enemies à la Halo 3: ODST or Left 4 Dead 2 or a mode where the point is basically to get from point A of a map to point B shooting everyone who happens to be standing in your way. While they’re both fun they’re nothing special and it’d would have been a lot cooler if you could play co-op in the actual single player of the game.

The game has some interesting side stuff, for instance you’ll find different little treasures scattered around the levels of the game to collect. For the completists out there you’ll find yourself going through levels again after you’ve beaten the game to try and collect them all. Luckily though the game makes this a little easy on you by letting you pick the level you want to do again and telling you how many treasures you have left to collect in said level. The game also for whatever reason has included a built in twittering feature for it to post the progress you’re making in the game and what you’re up to at the moment. From my experience with the latest update for the game is that it’ll twitter conservatively what you’re doing even with all the actions you can select for twittering enabled. The twitter feature will appeal to those who would find themselves doing the same manually anyway and ignored by those who don’t.

Uncharted 2 is without a doubt one the best games I’ve played all year. The narrative in the game is enticing, you’ll speed through the game to see how it all ends. The graphics are stunning and are clear showcase of what the PS3 is capable of. With a lot of the fall 2009 line up having been moved to 2010 this easily stands out as one the best purchases you can make this holiday season. If what you’re looking is a non stop thrill ride that also gives you some good fun after you’ve finished the single player then this definitely your one stop shop. When you’re looking on the shelves for what game you should buy then you can’t go wrong buying Uncharted 2.


The few hitches I’ve experienced are nothing compared to when the controls do work and they usually work really well.


Truly spectacular, after playing this game you’ll be spoiled when you see other games don’t look like this.


The sound in this game usually fads into the background but there really isn’t much to fault about it.


I can’t think of a much better use of your entertainment dollars, if you don’t have this game already what are you waiting for?

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