Uncharted 2 Really is That Good

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune came out of nowhere, completely captivated and engaged me with a beautiful setting, fantastic voice acting which made the characters believable and likable, and a story that I was wholeheartedly interested in. The fact that everything else was equally top notch, placed Uncharted on my top games of this generation list. Whenever a friend picked up a PS3, the first recommendation I made was Uncharted. So needless to say, its sequel is a game I’ve been looking forward to since I completed the original game, nearly two years ago. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves delivered the goods, and stepped everything up a notch or two, or three. In short, Uncharted 2 is exactly what a sequel should be, and is easily one of the best overall and most impressive games I’ve ever played.

Setting the Stage for Another Grand Adventure

It’s rare that I look forward to cut-scenes in games. Normally, I kick my feet up and sit back while the story unfolds on screen. Not so with the Uncharted games. The characters themselves, and the chemistry between the characters really is something special. Nathan Drake is a handsome dude who takes a beating at every turn. Then stumbles to his feet chuckling, only to deliver a terrific one-liner, each and every time. He’s tough as nails, yet sweet and sincere. He comes off as arrogant and self-fulfilling, but he’s always got his friend’s back when shit goes down. And when it comes to solving archaic riddles, there’s none better.

Uncharted 2

The main characters from the first game make a return in this sequel, and I for one was happy to see them. Also along for the ride are some new allies, and of course new threats. Chloe, an old friend of Nate’s is in the picture, and she’s a feisty one! It’s clear that there was a relationship between the two, which Drake walked out on at some point. Chloe is the complete opposite of Elena – the first game’s pseudo love interest. She’s tall, dark haired, and has an ass you just want to smack, but will likely break your damn fingers if you were to try it. With the two girls in the picture, Nate finds himself pulled in both directions and it’s entertaining seeing it all play out.

Uncharted 2

Once again, Drake is sucked into another big adventure spurred by the promise of a lost treasure. There are plenty of plot twists along the way, which send Drake and company all over the globe. The game starts out with Drake climbing out of a wrecked train, hanging over the edge of a cliff high in some snow covered mountains. A bit of back-story is shown in the form of cut-scenes during this intro chapter, and it isn’t until about 3/4 of the way through that you find out how Drake ended up there and why he’s there in the first place. The game takes a pretty unexpected turn shortly there after, followed by some of the most intense battles I’ve seen in recent years.

Part Shooter, Part Platformer, Part Stealth

As far as the gameplay is concerned, it’s as though the developers nit-picked every little detail of the first game, and tightened it up across the board. The character animations are a bit smoother and there’s more of them, while combat scenarios are far more fun due to the much improved cover system and hand-to-hand combat. You get your hands on many, many different weapons through-out the campaign, and you are given plenty of time and ammo to use each of them. Like most modern action games and shooters, you can only carry two weapons at a time – one heavy, one sidearm. And ammo can be sparse in times. Thankfully, you have other means of taking out armed enemies.

Uncharted 2

I was surprised at the amount of stealth gameplay, especially early on. The second mission is played almost entirely without a weapon. But it’s a great setup for later on, when you can use stealth tactics in situations where it would be quicker to simply shoot your enemy, but more beneficial in the long run if you can proceed undetected for as long as possible.

Like its predecessor, Among Thieves has almost equal parts shooting and exploring/climbing. There are a few decent sized puzzles to solve, that are larger than life and have you jumping, swinging, shimmying, and falling to and from great heights. There are vehicle sequences that are all sorts of fun, and some high action scenes that are straight out of a Bond movie. Fighting off a helicopter from a moving train through the mountains of Tibet? Come ON!

Uncharted 2

Definitely a Challenge

By the end of the game, your skills are well tested. Even on normal difficulty, Uncharted 2 can be a pretty tough and punishing game. Especially when ammo is low – that seems to be when the heavily armoured dudes wielding automatic shotguns come out to play. At the end of my first play-through, I had logged nearly 10 hours of play time.

Treasure Hunting Online?

Uncharted 2 comes stocked with a fully featured multiplayer mode, which doesn’t stray too far from all of the things that make the single player experience so great. There are a couple of three player co-op modes that are set in variations of chapters from the story. The one mode has you working together, going from checkpoint-to-checkpoint until you reach a final stand-off in front of a large chest of treasure. It’s really a lot of fun, and lasts a good 15-20 minutes per round.

There’s of course the typical deathmatch and objective based modes that we have would come to expect in multiplayer games. Unlocks-a-plenty! You earn cash from playing online, and even during the story. Each Trophy you unlock nets you some cash, along with completing the game on various difficulties. You can then spend your cash on unlockables, in the form of weapon upgrades, character skins, and perks. There are two sets of perks, and you can activate any one perk from each set at a time. Having enough cash is only part of the battle, though. There are level requirements for unlocking each unlockable as well. At this point, it’s hard to say if I’ll stick with the multiplayer end for long. I tend to move onto something else pretty quick, but I am having a lot of fun playing online currently.

Uncharted 2

Yes, it Really is That Good

Going into this holiday season, Uncharted 2 was one of the few games I planned to purchase immediately. It’s one of those games that I feel everyone who’s into gaming needs to experience. It covers a lot of ground, and takes its many inspirations and influences and one-ups them. Uncharted 2 should not be missed.

Rating: 5/5

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

11 Responses to “Uncharted 2 Really is That Good”

  1. I want Uncharted2 but I have a lot of unfinished games, also CODMW2 is coming soon and I don't know which one I should get first

  2. I agree whole-heartedly. I'm was also happy to hear straight from Amy Hennig via Giant Bomb that there's little question as to whether or not they'll be working on a third one. It's extremely impressive that they've managed to slap this thing together in 18 months and have it be such an incredible improvement over the first game.

  3. This is a really great game. I seriously enjoyed the first one and was a bit worried that they wouldn't be able to capture the "wow" factor, as we've seen this all before. I couldn't have been more wrong.

    In addition, I hate online gaming. I just never seem to get involved in it. After a few co-op rounds, I'm hooked. I really didn't believe multiplayer was something this game needed but I've really eaten my words here.

  4. I'll be asking for Uncharted in my stocking come Christmas. One thing that irritated me about the first, albeit being not solely restricted to Uncharted, and instead games in general, were the enemies requiring a ridiculous amount of bullets to take them down. For example, you'd blatantly hit a dude and he'd fall to the ground, only for him to come charging at you when you'd come out of cover. I found that happening all too often, but obviously not enough to really ruin the game.

    • While I agree….I also like my video games to have a sense of unreal-ability (I know, it's not a word) to them.

      Sure, it's great to have games like COD that are pretty realistic, but Uncharted has the fun factor of an old school game that seems to be larger than life.

      Let's face it, if we can believe Drake can go through all the crap he does and still survive, then we can probably accept that baddies take a few extra bullets.

    • If anything, I think Uncharted 2 is worse for this. All's I can say is: go for headshots, practice really does make perfect, and if at first you don't succeed, just die and die again… till you do. Fortunately death in Uncharted isn't as punishing as most other games.

  5. The game is incomparable to the last game, it's amazing. I tried the multiplayer-mode today, it worked great. Though there might have been some slight lag, but still playable. When I went through the singleplayer story I didn't get annoyed too much about the bullet damage, it's really annoying online though.

    I like my games more hardcore, 1-2 bullets placed in the chest and you go down. Better stick to hardcore mode of CoD /ArmA 2/Operation Flashpoint instead.

  6. As expected Uncharted 2 was excellent. I've played through the single player twice already and I am seriously loving the multiplayer too.

    I was looking forward to your review of this Matt but I was wondering how you were going to manage to fit it all in. When I thought about writing a review for this game there was too many thoughts and memories floating around in my head but you managed to sum it up rather succinctly, impressive!

    I'm going to continue putting some time into Uncharted's multiplayer but I want to finish Brutal Legend this week in time for COD. After that I don't know in what order I'm going to do Demon's Soul's (have you looked into that?) Assassins Creed 2, Ratchet & Clank and Left 4 Dead 2 — there's way too many good games coming out.

  7. This is one of those games that will be placed among the best games of all times as a game that revolutionized the gaming "experience." As you said, Uncharted 2 shouldn't be missed by any gamer out there, it has a little something something for everyone!

    Once again, we agree with each other!