- Platform: PlayStation 3
- ESRB Rating: Teen
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - PlayStation 3 Standard Edition
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Fortune hunter Nathan Drake returns in UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves, a pulse-pounding third-person action-adventure/shooter created by award-winning developer Naughty Dog. Down on his luck, Drake is lured back into the treacherous world of thieves and mercenary treasure-seekers he had sought to leave behind. When a mysterious artifact propels Drake on an expedition to find the legendary Himalayan valley of Shambhala, he finds himself embroiled in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse against a fugitive war criminal who’s after more than just the fabled riches of the lost city. Caught in a web of deception and plunged into an increasingly deadly pursuit that tests the limits of his endurance, Drake will be forced to risk everything – but has his luck finally run out?
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The only problem if there is one to be found with the game is that it is quite short - about ten hours, which is at least slightly longer than the first Uncharted (Drake's Fortune) which was about eight hours. It's not surprising that these games are quite short, however, since everything in the game is highly polished - the graphics are truly amazing, even more pristine, crisp, and detailed than the first game. The story, and especially the characterization are excellent for an adventure title, bearing in mind of course that it isn't an RPG. Drake is back along with old faces and new characters, so if you liked the characters of the first, you will really like the second which further expands them, but more so takes them on another, slightly more epic ride than the first. The action is also a bit more worked out and polished than the first game; even if you don't notice the improved gameplay at first, you will tell the difference as you play the game - the controls are more smooth and less clunky. So all things considered, an excellent game.
- Long Playability
- Single & Multi Player
- Rare game freeze
- Multi Player can be difficult for casual players
- Amazon pre-order bonus wasn't useful (Treasure Map for chapter 1 only)
While I know that this is just me putting my opinion forth, I would place this game among the top 5 games I have played in my lifetime, and I am glad to say I hold it even higher then the original.
I hope that everyone who goes out and gets this game gets as much joy out of it as I have.
How Does the Sequel Compare?
Uncharted 2 has many similarities to the original game. We still have the same cover and shoot system that worked well in the original. There are still many different guns you encounter over the campaign to keep things interesting as well as provide strategy options. The game forces you to choose between short range, long range and clip capacity and you can only hold two guns at once (a hand gun and a large gun). Thankfully the game removed the six-axis controls for grenades making them easier to use.
There are a few improvements to the game from the first one. First, the graphics and locations look great. You can be fighting in the jungle, a burning city or find yourself in the middle of a snow storm. Each environment feels unique, looks great and often has different objectives. The original Uncharted seemed to bog down a little near the halfway point due to excessive fighting in the jungle. The sequel does a better job of mixing up the locations and it keeps the game feeling fresh throughout rather than repetitive.
Second, stealth is now a true option and occasionally a necessary one in gameplay. You can sneak up on a bad guy and take him down without causing a scene. This certainly helps level the playing field when facing numerous enemies. You can still choose to shoot first and ask questions later but it's a subtle improvement to the game. I personally like throwing a guy off a ledge without using my gun.
Third, the hand to hand combat got a bit of an upgrade. While still using only a single attack button (square), you do have a counter move button (triangle) that can make hand to hand combat more fun. While the game still centers on gun play, hand to hand combat is used a little more than the original which rarely required it.
Parts of this game were simply too restrictive for my tastes, particularly the first half which I found slightly disappointing. The original Uncharted was linear but not to this extent in my opinion. While I praised the new locations as being more varied and less repetitive, they are also smaller and more restrictive in design for the first half of the game. There is always a burning bus or a closed gate preventing you from checking other areas out. The original game also restricted access but you could usually backtrack to where you came from after a gun fight to fully explore for treasures. The sequel pushes you forward constantly. Often times a leap from a building results in the platform falling down preventing you from jumping back. Many times a door gets closed, the floor caves in or the previous path seems to get cut off somehow. Keep it moving is what the game is screaming at me! You have to get to the next cut scene to advance the story! The first game certainly had elements of this but not to this degree. There is a more frantic pace in this game than the original. Some may like that while others may not.
Furthermore, the smaller environments of the first half lead to more cramped fighting areas. We get a bunch of quick gun battles in tiny spaces that don't require a lot of strategy simply because you can't move anywhere. The second half of the game was much better for my gaming habits. The environments were bigger, we got some epic gun battles over large areas and the pacing seemed to be a little less hectic. I just wish they would have spread these areas out over the entire game a little better.
Treasure hunting is frustrating in this game. Normally I am not much of a trophy or treasure hunting nerd. But I found myself searching like crazy for them in the original. I would spend all kinds of time looking for them and got 38 out of 60 in the original (41 the second time). It was fun. The sequel made it frustrating as they were too hard to find. I felt like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football. Uncharted 2 has 100 treasures but I was only able to find 34 on my initial play through. And that was mainly due to a few chapters leaving out some easy treasures to pad the stats.
Uncharted 2 is a very good game that every PS3 owner should experience. It's similar to the first one and the story and development of the characters is second to none. If you loved the first game you will probably love the second game. The graphics are outstanding and the varied locations add to the overall enjoyment. However, the first half of the game was just too linear and scripted for my tastes to consider one of the greatest PS3 games ever made. The original Uncharted still has a special place in my heart as my favourite PS3 game of all time.
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