Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Review

Developer:

Naughty Dog

Publisher:

Sony Computer Entertainment

Console:

PlayStation 3

Player(s):

1 (Online Multiplayer only)

Release Date:

October 13, 2009 

Rating:

T

Genre:

Action-adventure, Third-person shooter

-Jovan St. Lawrence

Storytelling has met its match with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. We now live in a generation of video games where compelling narratives and complex but riveting stories make 50% of the complete package that we’re spending our $60 on. Naughty Dog has done just that. Naughty Dog has certainly bested 2007’s Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune with a brand new story to follow, returning characters that we’ve grown to love, new characters with interesting twists to them, beautiful new areas and landscapes to traverse through in the campaign, and even more better gameplay. With numerous Game of the Year awards under its belt, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is fantastic.

The plot revolves around the doomed voyage of Marco Polo as he sailed home from China in 1292. Marco Polo departed from Mongol emperor, Kublai Khan with fourteen ships loaded with treasure. A year later, he arrives in Persia with only one ship and only eighteen passengers due to being overrun by a tsunami in Borneo. Polo never recorded or revealed what happened to those lost ships or passengers. Now we fast forward to present day when our main character, Nathan Drake, is waking up only to find himself in a train, hanging off a cliff with a gunshot wound to the stomach. Through various flashbacks, it is revealed that an old associate Harry Flynn and old girlfriend Chloe Frazer came to Drake with a job to steal and old Mongolian lamp from an Istanbul museum. During the heist, Drake & Flynn find the lamp which contains a map showing the lost fleet of Marco Polo as well as what the fleet was carrying, The Cintamani Stone from the mythical city of Shambala (also known as Shangri-La). Flynn soon after double-crosses Drake leaving him to be imprisoned in a Turkish prison for three months while he and his client and war criminal, Zoran Lazarevic, find the lost fleet and are now searching for the whereabouts of the Cintamani Stone. Chloe, along with Drake’s long time friend, Victor “Sully” Sullivan bail Drake out and they set out to Borneo to trace Marco Polo’s fleet’s last known location. From there Drake is on one of the most well told epic tales of gaming, exploring temples, caverns, and mountainous regions throughout various locations in Borneo, Tibet, & Nepal. Gamers are in for quite the adventure with Among Thieves.

The gameplay in Uncharted 2 is incredibly immersible and just amazing to look at. Drake, being the Olympian that he is can scale narrow ledges, climb and jump wall faces to get from point A to B the quickest way possible. With up to two firearms and a limited supply of four grenades, gunplay in firefights (in third person view) are very engaging and easy to grasp. Drake’s fighting skills are not to be hindered either. Melee attacks are incredibly seamless. There’s a neat dodging mechanic which allows you to evade an incoming attack and with proper timing, strike your enemy back almost immediately. The hunt for 100 treasures is back from Drake’s Fortune as well. Throughout the game, various treasures are carefully scattered in unknown locations in the levels. Finding these treasures will grant you trophies as well as in-game cash to unlock extra content in the disc, concept art, game movies, and even cheats such as infinite ammunition.

Multiplayer is a new addition to Uncharted 2 and to Naughty Dog’s credit, they did an amazing job with it. There is competitive and co-op multiplayer in the game. Co-Op features a team of three taking on the role of Drake and two other “hero” companions as you go through various missions involving firefights, platforming, and other team based objectives. Competitive multiplayer consists of six modes: Deathmatch, Plunder, King of the Hill, Elimination, Turf War, & Chain Reaction. Each of these modes are incredibly diverse and multiplayer DLC really raises the replayability and experience.

Simply stating Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is immersive is a huge understatement. This game literally has one of the best single player experiences. The rich story and well written characters make you fall in love with them almost immediately. It is also a beautiful looking game. The voice acting and motion capture work tie in perfectly. The multiplayer is surprisingly well done, especially since Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune didn’t have any. It’s almost as if Naughty Dog gave us another game. Uncharted 2 is one of the greatest achievements in gaming.

The Pros:

  • Stunning visuals
  • Satisfying gunplay
  • Perfectly written story
  • Multiplayer is diverse and long lasting
  • Brilliant voice and motion capture acting
  • Fantastic and appropriate original score
  • Intense puzzle solving throughout the campaign

The Cons:

  • Somewhat loose and finicky controls 

Verdict: 95% 

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Trailer

What was your favorite moment of Uncharted 2?