Well, it’s been a while since I did one of my little videogame reviews, so, what the hell, I’ll tell you what I think of…
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, a Playstation 3 exclusive (I believe the first one since the decidedly awesome game Infamous).
Uncharted 2 is a third-person action/adventure shooter, a sort of combination of Resident Evil andTombraider. You play the role of Nathaniel “Nate” Drake, a supposed descendant of Sir Frances Drake (the backstory of which was covered in the first Uncharted).
The game opens with a bang, and then proceeds to flash back to the events that led you to said bang, a good portion of the game being the flashback.
Uncharted 2 uses a massive amount of the Playstation 3’s potential — one of the few games around that actually does so, and it’s not hard to tell, as your Playstation 3 will kick out enough warmth while running the game to keep you warm even if you haven’t paid your heating bill and you’re freezing your nuts (or nips; far be it from me to discriminate against grrrl gamers) off.
That intensive use of the CPU pays off. The game looks, to put it mildly, spectacular. It, like its predecessor, is one of the best-looking games for the PS3 out there. And rest assured that the camera, while mainly computer-controlled, is utilized extremely extremely effectively; at no point playing this game did I become frustrated with the camera angle. No poking through walls, defying the laws of physics and solid matter. No “Dammit, if I could only look over here!” moments.
The Tombraider aspects of the game are truly, truly fun; you spend the majority of the game leaping, shimmying, and swinging your way across the beautifully-textured landscape. And there are a variety of different locales the game takes you to, from the wilds of Borneo to a war-torn urban landscape, to elaborate temples containing hidden treasure.
Speaking of treasure, one of the key side aspects of the game is treasure-hunting in general. Scattered throughout the game are various treasures hidden in often hard-to-reach places that you can collect for fun, trophies, and “cash” that allows you to unlock goodies like alternate costumes for the characters.
As for the characters themselves — this is a game with some depth. Those of you who played the first Uncharted will be glad to see some of the main characters of that game returning for another go-round in the second installment. The story is well-thought out and develops nicely; something decidedly lacking in many games that are released these days.
Now to the meat and potatoes — the action. It’s a nice step up from the first Uncharted. You have more weapons to choose from this time, including my personal favorite, a sniper rifle with a laser site that allows you to perform headshots galore. The environment has been made more interactive, with propane tanks lying around that you can toss at your enemies and explode in mid-air. And the cover has been drastically improved. You’ll find all sorts of nooks and crannies to hide from your enemies in Uncharted 2. You can run-and-gun, you can blind fire, and you can take precision shots. It’s all up to you.
Stealth has also been improved, allowing you to sneak up behind enemies and perform silent kills that will not alert other baddies to your presence. The melee system has been slightly overhauled and now requires a little bit more finesses than simple button-mashing.
I mentioned the story before, and I want to return to it for a moment before concluding, as it’s own of the best things about this game. It’s complex and it’s done damn well. I won’t give anything away, but basically it is, like the first game, a massive treasure hunt, a la Indiana Jones. I promise you, the twists and turns will keep you on your feet and wanting more. The character acting is splendid.
The basic rule of thumb you can use is this: If you liked the first Uncharted, you’ll love the second Uncharted. The changes that have been made to the game will pleasantly surprise you and address any problems you had with the first installment. If you didn’t like the first installment, though, chances are you won’t like this one, either. I happen to think the first was one of the best games I have ever played, and so, in turn, I love the second even more.
The one downside, in my considered opinion, to Uncharted 2 — and the first game suffered from this problem as well — is that it’s too short. You can finish the game in sixteen hours or so of gameplay. It’s a minor gripe, there you have it.
As for multiplayer, well, I haven’t had a chance to test it yet, but I’ve heard from others that the online modes are fantastic and well-done — you’ll have to take their words for it. Perhaps, once I’m all done with the single-player campaign, I’ll try out the multiplayer modes and post an update for you.
To sum up:
I couldn’t be happier with this game, frankly, but then again, I’m a PS3 fanboy, so take it with a grain of salt.
Over and out, amigos!