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Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Review

This is a discussion on Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Review within the Game Reviews forum, part of the Trophy Guides, Reviews & Articles; Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Review by transformer27 Basic Information: Developer: Naughty Dog Publisher: Sony Date of North American Release: 13th ...

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    Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Review


    Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Review
    by transformer27


    Basic Information:
    Developer: Naughty Dog
    Publisher: Sony
    Date of North American Release: 13th October 2009
    Date of European Release: 16th October 2009
    Trophies: Yes


    Overview:
    Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is a beautifully designed, enthralling and often masterful piece of video game entertainment, building on the original game to an extent even the most avid fan could not have imagined. Not just satisfied with a singleplayer experience, Naughty Dog have brought us a multiplayer option too, combining team play with the same great gameplay style of the singleplayer game.

    This time around Nathan Drake travels to Nepal in search of mysterious treasures attached to the voyage of Marco Polo. All the old faces from the original game make a comeback - and some new characters come along for the ride, including a new love interest for Drake.

    The trophies for this game are very similar to Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, consisting of 36 bronze, 8 silver, 3 gold and obviously a platinum trophy. You are looking at a time of between 15-25 hours to platinum this game, depending on your skill level. With 26 levels and 5 difficulty settings to tackle the there's enough to keep the fans happy.

    Gameplay:
    The gameplay and control system in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is very similar to the original game, which, of course, is not a bad thing. There are also a few important improvements to the way you can approach the game. For example, the player can now shoot or grab an enemy while hanging from a building or cliff face, the inclusion of the riot shield and some brilliant new weapons is a nice touch and the addition of an all-stealth 'robbery' level is a enjoyable change of pace.

    Being an adventure based game, you can expect a lot of climbing, running and jumping through the game, and the controls make doing this a pleasure. The easier difficulties also have an auto-aim feature which is a great addition if you aiming is a little off (like mine is).

    The graphic style is way ahead of most other games available at the moment and I doubt many will surpass it (until maybe the next game in the series hits the shelves). Naughty Dog have successfully created a game that you can't help but love, with each set-piece getting better and better as you progress through the game. For everyone who thought the first game was a little boring, you will find this title a lot more fast-paced, with tougher fire-fights; and bigger, stronger and cleverer AI enemies. The AI has improved so much that it is now a challenge to kill an enemy on the harder settings, as they never seem to stand still!

    There are a few new guns in the game - including the GAU-19 which is a huge machine gun. It's great fun to use in an area with lots of enemy targets, as long as you remember you can't take cover using the weapon (so its a no-no on crushing mode).


    The whole control system feels very slick and is pretty simple to use for newcomers to the franchise. The gameplay is immersive and highly addictive, keeping you playing for hours on end. From jumping across roof-tops to sliding down zip-lines, the game never lets up.

    Singleplayer:
    I have to be honest - even though this time around there is an option of Multiplayer, this game for me at least is all about the Singleplayer story mode experience. For anyone who doesn't know, you play as Nathan Drake, a witty adventurer through a total of 26 'chapters'. The gorgeous graphics and spectacular vistas are a pleasure to the eyes, and you will not be able to play the game without stopping a few times to check out the views offered.

    This time around, Nathan Drake travels to Nepal in search of great treasures and to find the lost city of Shambala. The game begins with Drake waking to find himself in a train carriage hanging over a snow-capped cliff edge, and the second the cutscene ends, you're thrown into the deep end and have to traverse the hanging carriage to the safety of the cliff top above. From this initial kick-ff, you get the feeling you're in for something great.

    There are five difficulty settings you can choose, ranging from very easy to crushing (which is only unlocked when you complete one of the other four difficulties first). There are also some great features available in the menu, like a list of the treasures you have collected. There's also a shop section where you can purchase such things as costumes, weapons and other extras. You buy the items with the dollars you make playing through the game both on singleplayer and multiplayer - and for anyone who has a completed game save from Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, you can look forward to a nice, plush $100,000 sitting in your shop account from the get-go.

    The 26 levels, or 'chapters', are varied in both gameplay and in visual content as the locations are varied enough not to get too repetitive. The adventure will take you from small settlements in the mountains of Nepal, to a torn-apart city destroyed by terrorists in search of the same treasures that Drake himself is after.


    There was talk at one stage in development that this time around the game would be more 'action-orientated', and us players naturally thought more gun fights and less adventure would be in store. In a way, that's true as the fighting this time around feels more intense and real. But the adventuring and puzzle filled levels are still present, which will please many fans. Too much action in my opinion would have taken away the essence of the Uncharted series.

    When you hit the last cutscene before the credits, you as the player will be treated to a feeling of pure satisfaction and will be raring to play through again on crushing mode. The characters old and new shine with the help of the excellent dialogue which we have come to expect from the boys at Naughty Dog. The only gripe I had with the singleplayer game is probably the fact it was a little too easy - even on Crushing mode it never felt as difficult as its predecessor was. Having said that, it is still my vote for Game of the Year.

    Multiplayer:
    What can I say, I've never been a huge fan of multiplayer gaming unless there are trophies linked to it like, say, Battlefield: Bad Company. It's an addition to the franchise that was ultimately inevitable, but in my opinion is not necessarily needed as this series of games will always be about the singleplayer experience. That being said, the multiplayer part of Uncharted 2 is a lot of fun and just as enjoyable to play as the best that other games have to offer.

    There are ten different Multiplayer modes to choose from including Team Deathmatch, Plunder, Elimination, Turf War, King of the Hill, Chain Reaction, Survival, Gold Rush, and Machinima. But myself, I enjoyed the 3 player co-op mode the most purely because it felt more like the Singleplayer game. The maps available are very detailed if a little on the small side.

    The Multiplayer main menu screen is very easy to use and understand with a choice of Quick Match and Custom Match on offer, there is also a difficulty setting for those gamers who want more of a challenge. Unfortunately, finding and entering a game may take some time. You can play as either a 'Hero' or a 'Villain', with a varied amount of characters to play with. The controls are pretty much the same as the Singleplayer but the visuals do look a little less impressive than that of the main story mode - not that they are poor quality at all!


    For most of the modes, the teams are split 5 vs 5 except for Co-op which can support just 3 players in a session. Some game modes are obviously going to be more popular than others, but all modes need to be experienced to get a real feel for the Multiplayer game. Elimination stood out to me as maybe the most pointless of the modes as killing a whole team of 5 once doesn't really take too long; in fact, the first time I played Elimination the 3 round game lasted no longer than 2-3 minutes.

    The option of having Multiplayer in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves definitely brings more re-playability to the title as you will only want to play through the Singleplayer a couple of times. But, as I expected, the Multiplayer just doesn't compare to anything the Singleplayer story mode has to offer.

    Technical:
    Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, being an A+ title and all, was obviously going to have a beautiful, polished finish to the game and it doesn't fall below perfect. The music, mostly orchestral, is excellent and works really well with the style and essence of the gameplay. The graphics and sound quality are exceptional and even CoD: Modern Warfare 2 will struggle to top them.

    Apart from one, maybe two instances of tearing, where I would get stuck and could not get Drake free, there are no real bugs or qualms to mention with the gameplay, and honestly, did we expect anything else?



    Gameplay: 9/10 Brilliant
    Singleplayer: 10/10 Flawless
    Multiplayer: 9/10 Brilliant
    Technical: 10/10 Flawless

    Overall: 9.5/10 Brilliant


    Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is by far the best release of the year and should sell a good few PS3s for Sony. The game as a whole has so much to offer, from the stunning visuals to the exciting storyline and one of the funniest scripts I've ever experienced in a game. It is rare to find a game that encapsulates everything that the PS3 is about, but this does it without breaking a sweat.

    This is a must-own title for anyone who loves adventure games and for those of you sitting on the fence, I promise you, you will not be disappointed. I predict this game to scoop the Game of the Year award away from the obvious choice of Modern Warfare 2.

    An absolute masterpiece!

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    Wow..that $100,000 for having a completed save file from Drake's Fortune..gives me a little incentive to finish it and then get my hands on a copy of this one!
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