Nathan Drake in Uncharted 2 can be very well compared to George Clooney’s character in Oceans Eleven. Since the first game Nate has taken up breaking into high security fortresses and stealing rare and valuable items. But one Item will reveal a special mystery that will send Nathan Drake into a frenzy of nonstop, gun blazing, and rapidly moving action sequences. When it comes to treasure hunting, life just isn’t easy.
In Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Nate is lured into one heck of an adventure by his good old friend Harry Flynn. Nate becomes aware of a secret treasure which a rugged warlord has his eyes on which will grant him undeniable powers. In a nutshell it sounds like a cheesy Hollywood synopsis, but Naughty Dog crafted the story elements of this game so well that you will be thrilled and entertained every step of the way. Story wise there is nothing bad to say about the game; the story does what it needs to, and the new characters introduced into the game are nothing short of excellent.
Getting into the gameplay elements, Naughty Dog fixed many annoyances that were found in the first game. Such as how you use grenades, you no longer need to select grenades as your main weapon. Instead you can either just tap R2 and Nate will throw one in the direction your facing, or you can hold down R2, aim your grenade and then let go to throw it. Another great improvement is how close combat works. It is a lot more complex this time around, first of all you can sneak up on enemies from behind and snap their necks, which is very satisfying might I add. Secondly if an enemy has gotten a bit too close for comfort, hitting square will initiate a close range battle. The beauty of it this time however, is that the enemies will actually counter and fight back, meaning you have to be quick to counteract to finally finish them.
Speaking of the enemies, the AI in this game will have you dying a whole lot. The type of person to play Uncharted 2 should be someone who loves a challenge and will not put the controller down until they have succeeded. The AI is so advanced in this game that you may feel as though you are playing real people. They will hunt you down in any way possible, and they use their numbers to their advantage. After completing this game you should feel like you can react a hell of a lot more quickly, even in real life. Quick reactions and thinking is what will get you through Uncharted 2, but for those who aren’t up for a challenge there are two easy modes to choose from. The cover system is a vital tool which will save your life in many cases, however in small spaces the cover system can get sticky, which may just lead to your death.
Naughty Dog have created a technical masterpiece with Uncharted 2; not only does the whole environment look absolutely stunning, but the way Nate interacts with the elements that make up the world is literally breathe taking. Take a stroll through the snow and you will see Nate and his friends make footprints and partings through the snow, and their clothes will become full of snow. The way this happens seems so fluid and so natural. There are levels where buildings break into one another and all the contents of the buildings will fly around exactly as you would expect in real life.
Even the way the characters react to the current occurrences on screen is amazing, the way drake will pant and groan when climbing a rope, the way they react when a grenade exploded close by and the way the game transitions from cut scene to in game action is so breathe taking that you will not believe this is a game anymore.
Going into the online aspects, the multiplayer addition to the Uncharted franchise is in every way a success. The multiplayer does what it is supposed to do, but doesn’t go beyond that however. For example; you will have much fun playing death matches, co-op, capture the treasure and every entertaining multiplayer variation on offer. However for those who are very competitive online players, it doesn’t offer much longevity. For one you cannot see your own or other online player’s stats which is disappointing seeing as the game is appealing to competitive players. Also there are no clan features which allow you to create a group with your friends and attempt to dominate the online. These may not seem like important features, but as for as keeping hardcore competitors playing the game, they are necessary.
Aside from those missing features, the multiplayer does hold it’s own and I am sure there will be some DLC for it down the line. You can rank up, join parties with your friends, and earn money. This money can be used to purchase new perks called “Boosters”, which will give you certain advantages. As well as that you can shop for new character models and new gun upgrades for co-operative games.
Aside from the very few negative aspects I have listed, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is nothing short of a perfect game. From the dialog, to the action, to the graphics to the multiplayer, this game does not disappoint. It’s hard for me to tell you to buy this game, but very easy to tell you that if you own a Playstation 3 then you should not be without this game. Everybody needs to support and applaud Naughty Dogs work here, for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is nothing short of a classic.
This review was based on a retail copy of the game for the PlayStation 3 provided by Sony.