PS3 Review: Uncharted 2 – Among Thieves

Nathan Drake returns for the PS3’s best game of 2009…

I have a confession to make before I start this review. I somehow let the first Uncharted pass me by, I knew it was a good game but all I heard was that the campaign was short, so I decided to leave it and never got the chance to play it. 10 minutes into Uncharted 2 and I wish I had…it’s clear that this is the PS3’s biggest title to date and it definitely shows.
Among Thieves places you into the role of Nathan Drake once again as he sets to pick up on Marco Polo’s trail. It’s a great story full of love and betrayal. It may not be the most original story, but Uncharted 2 presents it in a way that is unique and simply charming. This is what Tomb Raider should have become, but somewhere that series has lost its way. Uncharted 2 is perhaps the most action-packed adventure game I’ve come across on any platform.

The pacing of the story is quite interesting, I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t played it yet…but suffice to say, it doesn’t start in the way you would expect. It does serve as a good tutorial to newcomers like me and it’s really impressive. The game can switch between combat and exploring seamlessly. There’s also a small emphasis on stealth in some areas which changes the gameplay considerably.
Uncharted 2 looks and feels like a big blockbuster film. It has everything you would need…plenty of action, a love interest, a love triangle, gripping story and great acting. The voice-cast has done a brilliant job with this game and each character is truly believable in what they say. The most impressive thing about the game has to be the physics engine which is truly remarkable, almost on par with Crysis in terms of perfection.

Weapons pack a punch, but the annoying thing is that you do need to manually pick up ammo for each weapon by tapping the triangle button. I know this is how it works with most third-person shooters including Gears, but I was hoping we could move past that and just pick up ammo by walking over it. It can be awkward to do that and concentrate on shooting enemies at the same time. It’s perhaps my only quibble with the game…it doesn’t stop it being fun in any regard; it just makes it a bit more challenging.

The biggest complaint about the original was how short it was and fans demanded more. Uncharted 2 should hold your attention for quite a while…the campaign is longer than the first and after that is the great multiplayer which is split into a co-op mode and full online experience including variations of deathmatch, CTF and King of the Hill. There’s also a mode which is similar to the Horde mode in Gears 2 where wave after wave of enemies will come for you and your friends.

It seems that Uncharted 2 improves upon its predecessor in every conceivable way. I could go on and on about just how good the game is, how great it looks and how you won’t see anything else like it for a long time, but it’s one of those games that you simply have to see for yourself just to see how good it really is. Mere words cannot do it justice, it is a collection of gameplay types that have defined the industry and Naughty Dog has improved upon all of them this time around. It seems they learned their lessons from the first game and focused on making the best game ever…and they came damn close.
I didn’t put down Uncharted 2 till I finished it, which is rare for me to do with any game. I usually play a good game for a while but then go and play something else, but Among Thieves had a hold of me until I completed it. The same will happen to you, you will play it and you won’t play anything else until you are done. It may not be the most original game, but it’s a formula that works far better than anything else on the market.

The strongest point of Uncharted 2 is its visuals and presentation. It looks simply amazing and is without a doubt the best looking game on any console. The music is also fantastic and matches the great atmosphere of the game almost flawlessly. It’s hard to find any negative about the game as a whole which just shows what a good job the team did.

The Verdict

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is the best PS3 game to date and a definite contender for Game of the Year. It looks and plays the part of the biggest action-adventuring third person shooter on the market. Simply put, every PS3 owner must own this amazing game.