Review: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (by Scooby Mad)

Uncharted: Drakes Fortune was my favourite game on the Playstation 3. Not because it was necessarily the best, but because it felt different. The graphics were bright & colourful (most games tend to go with a drab brown and grey theme) and while the gameplay was tried and tested from many other games the whole package stood up very well and the action made you feel like you were in a summer blockbuster. It wasn’t the longest game out, coming in at around six hours. But it had quality on its side. Now we have Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, can it continue the path that the first game set? Oh HELL YEH!

The story of Uncharted 2 picks up sometime after the original game, I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone so let me just say this is one of the greatest adventure tales in gaming. The story twists and turns along to a globe trotting adventure, it really could be a movie. The voice acting is superb, I mean REALLY great. Every character is voiced to perfection and you really like/dislike the character’s because of it. The graphics have to be seen on a HD screen! This is the best looking game ive ever played, it looks even better than the first Uncharted which is praise indeed. The detail is amazing, the scale immense. This game has the same pace and humour you’d find in one of Indiana’s greatest adventures!

The gameplay hasn’t really changed from the first game, they’ve just built upon what was already there. You can now swing on poles, play with monkey bars and generally climb around a lot more. This means the world has much more vertical scope, the point you’ve got to get to is always very obvious but the way in which you engage the enemies in fire fights is totally up to you. If you go up on the roof, enemies are easier to see but you can get pinned down rather easily. Or you could stay low, but don’t think the enemy wont climb around the area to get a better angle on you. The AI is, for the most part pretty good. There is the odd time it won’t react accordingly but most of the time its very solid. They use cover, flank, regroup all very convincingly. Weapons are varid and your never holding the same gun for very long, they all have there uses and feel very meaty through the pad. The biggest addition ive noticed to the way this game plays is the stealth element. You could take enemies down from behind in the first Uncharted (ooo err missus) but it often required you running up behind the nearest guy and hoping he didn’t turn round before you alerted him. Uncharted 2 has a much improved stealth mechanic, there’s only one section at the start of the game where you cannot be detected but its pretty easy and not very long. Most of the time stealth is a choice, generally to be used to thin the ranks down before everything kicks off! OH MY GOD does this game do action well, Uncharted 2 never really lets up from the moment you put the disk in your system to the moment the end credits play. It actually gets your heart beating that little bit faster at times its that good. You know those set pieces in Call of Duty that make you go WOW, but you never really have much involvement with them? Well Uncharted takes those and lets you play them. From escaping a train carriage dangling above a icy cliff, avoiding a gunship high above the city streets, running away from a jeep that’s trying to mow you down. To fighting you way through a village in Tibet while being hunted by a tank or rescuing a beautiful girl from a speeding train while another gunship try’s to turn you into swiss cheese. This game is AWESOME! In fact its very rare your stood still in Uncharted 2. When you are however, you can still explore a little to find all the hidden treasures and you will want to do this, because the game world looks that good. You also still have puzzles to solve, I don’t think they have as many in this game as they did the first but they are a lot bigger in scale and I think that makes them more enjoyable. Drake still has his Journal telling you how to solve the puzzles and the game does give you hints if your still too dense to work it out yourself, so don’t worry about having a Tomb Raider moment getting stuck and never playing the game again! The single player should take you somewhere between 8-10 hours to complete, longer than the first game and a very decent length for a single player element these days. Lots of replay value is to be had in finding all the hidden treasures and conquering the harder difficulties. You will want to play it again because the game has that many cool bits you will not possibly be able to take them all in on the first play through.

£39.99 for the best Single Player experience of this generation not enough for you? Well thankfully those lovely Naughty Dogs have thrown a bone just for you. Uncharted 2 has both a competitive multiplayer AND co op multiplayer. Both of these are fantastic fun, well balanced and the moves you learn offline on your single player adventure carry over into the multiplayer. So you have to be on your toes, “there’s nobody down here”… BOOM! “Ooops, didn’t see that guy hanging five meters in the air from a pole”. Co Op is great too and I can see some DLC on the horizon to enrich lifespan.

Problems? Very few to be honest. The targeting system can go a little squiffy indoors, its only a little camera issue but if im to be picky then I suppose its worth a mention. Also Drake could be a little better at taking damage, there are that many enemies after his blood this time around that its very easy to find yourself blown apart while moving between cover. Finally the cover system is not quite perfect, its got the same issue as Gears of War had online. You’d go for one bit of cover and the game would put you on another one nearby or even at the wrong side. It’s a small issue and im sure its something that could (as Epic did) be put right with a update.

All in all then Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is the greatest game on the PS3 and should remain that way for a while, even Kratos will have trouble toppling this God of gaming!

I hear Naughty Dog are already hard at work on Uncharted 3, lord please let it be true. For the moment though, enjoy the greatness of this masterpice and look forward to God of War 3. Thank you Playstation, I remember now why I love you so…


1 comment to Review: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (by Scooby Mad)

  • Xantiriad

    The game is basically “Gears of Tomb Raider”. Essentially a series of climbing puzzles followed by cover based kill rooms.

    What makes the mash-up work so well, and what I like in video games more than any shiny graphics and action, is the quality of the narrative and writing.

    At no point do you think: What I am doing here? What’s this widget for again? Who’s this guy? Plus the cuts scenes and incidental dialog are so well written: sharp, never verbose and always witty.

    Compared to the first game, the combat is a lot more enjoyable. I must use the stealth or melee attack on 50% of the foes; so much more rewarding than poxy guns. It reminds me of the great combat in The Bourne Supremacy.

    My only criticism, and it’s small, is that some things do take you out of the world and remind you it’s just a “Gears of Tomb Raider” game: namely the item collecting (there must of been a very careless antique dealer walking around), and some of the enemy types/combat events. Other than that. Awesome.