Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Review

Developer: Naughty Dog / Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment / ESRB: Teen (Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence) / Played on: PS3 / Price: $49.99

Today on Pay, Rent, or Pass we are taking a look at the sequel to Naughty Dog’s 2007 smash hit Uncharted: Drakes Fortune…. It’s Uncharted 2: Among Thieves for the PlayStation 3.

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Game Play

Uncharted 2 once again puts players in control of Nathan Drake, this time around the lovable treasure hunter has a few new pals that start off the game looking for Marco Polo’s lost treasure fleet and needless to say things end up going off in a completely different direction. That’s all I can say without giving away anything from the games storyline. Normally I wouldn’t mind giving viewers a little more when it comes to story in games, but Uncharted 2’s story is executed so flawlessly and is so entertaining I don’t want to ruin anything for you. This is one of the first times I’ve played through a game where the story was a huge driving force behind me completely level after level. I wanted to know what happened next and it was actually a movie quality experience enjoying the story in the game. Firefights, puzzle solving, and platforming are all the norm in Uncharted 2 and all of these elements have been improved since the first game. The combat in the game is intense and action-packed, players have a cover system that they have to utilize if they want to survive. The action in Uncharted 2 is multi-leveled, which is a welcome change from the first game. This time around you can choose to fight and take cover on different heights within the game. It adds to the strategy players use as now, there are different choices as to where and how to take out foes. Uncharted 2 actually implements much more stealthy actions to dispatch enemies which is a nice option as well. The game wouldn’t be complete without some puzzle solving elements and while Uncharted 2 has puzzles there are less of them this time around. Its not that big of a deal because the pacing of the game is perfect. When I discovered a puzzle it was a nice change of pace from what had been going on previously in the game. Drake has a journal that he keeps in the game that players will have to reference to solve the puzzles throughout the game. The single player campaign in Uncharted 2 Among Thieves stretches out to around 10 hours at length and the game doesn’t drag at all and the best part is, that’s only the single player. This installment in the series unlike its predecessor has an extremely robust and addictive multi-player added into the mix. The game boasts a bevy of multi-player player modes and options and includes a separate co-op campaign. Within multi-player players can rank up, earn cash, and unlock more perks a la Modern Warfare. The multi-player component alone within Uncharted 2 could be sold as a separate game and is a strong enough component that people would probably pay for it on its own. Combine all the solid game play from the single-player with the robust multi-player and you have a recipe for success.

Graphics

People like to throw around the term “Jaw Dropping” when it comes to describing graphics, hell I’m guilty of it too. But this is truly a game that will have you scooping up your jaw from the floor. Its easily the best looking game for the PlayStation 3… period. Metal Gear Solid 4 is up there but the brown washed out palate in MGS4 pales in comparison to the rich, vibrant, color scheme that’s used in Uncharted 2. The game just looks phenomenal, from the environments you play in to the actual character design itself, everything is rendered flawlessly and is a real delight to look at. I’ve never been more drawn into a game’s world before. Every time the game would go to a cut scene I found myself putting down the controller and really sitting back and appreciating what was being presented to me. The graphics are easily some of the best I’ve ever seen in a video game.

Sound

Another solid component in Uncharted 2 is the sound. The voice acting in the game is movie quality and it really is a testament to the experienced voice actors that star in Uncharted 2. On top of some extremely solid voice acting, the games score is also something you would expect to find in a Hollywood film. It sets the mood of each of the levels you find yourself in and does it unexpectedly. I like when I play a game and suddenly realize part of the reason I’m so amped up is because of the score of the game and Uncharted 2 accomplishes this flawlessly. All of the sound effects in the game are perfect. From the guns to the environmental sounds everything is authentic. Solid sound in Uncharted 2.

Controls

The controls in the first Uncharted were extremely solid in my opinion. Somehow Naughty Dog has managed to improve the controls even more in the sequel. Controls in a game like this are extremely important. When you are hanging from ledges and leaping from cliff to cliff while trying to manage the group of enemies that are firing at you the last thing someone wants to be thinking about is whether or not the controls are going to respond the way you expect them to. Not once in the game did I experience any issues with controls. Absolutely flawless.

Bottom Line

Uncharted 2 Amongst Thieves is the type of game that people should go out and buy a PlayStation 3 for. Its a must play. The single player is so entertaining you can play through and have people watching you while you play and its still fun for them. The multi-player alone could be a full priced game and considering the single player clocks in at a solid 10 hours that’s an extremely attractive value. Anyone who is fan of great storytelling that rivals most Hollywood movies, solid game play, beautiful graphics and art direction and just overall fun should play Uncharted 2 Among Thieves. You have to go out and pick this one up, its a pay.

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10/10

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