Uncharted 2: Among Thieves ReviewWill Stiles
Like most people I opted not to have a PS3 the first year it was out as a result I never played the first Uncharted. Over the years I had heard that it was a great game but never took the time to play it because so many other games hit the market that had greater appeal to me. So this is my first time playing Uncharted and the sequel wasn't on my must buy list but that would have been a huge mistake.
Uncharted 2 Among Thieves is a large game with many options such as the average length single player that clocks in at around 12 hours, multiplayer with modes such as deathmatch, objective, co-op objective and co-op arena. The one thing that shocked me was that they had a way to post you progress on twitter so I had to try that out. I was a little disappointed with the lack of level completion posts but it seems that Naughty Dog disabled it because the short levels had been causing problems with the update frequency. It'll still inform the people how many trophies you've earned and when you enter multiplayer.
The single player while being a somewhat generic and linear game it really pulls you in and makes you feel more like you're taking part in a movie than playing a video game. You take on the role of Nathan Drake looking for the lost fleet of Marco Polo. Yes I know that's on the back of the box but I didn't want to end up with the spoiler finger pointed at me so we'll leave it at that. The graphics and sound are topnotch. I was trying to decide if this game finally topped Killzone 2 in graphics but after a lot of game changing I decided to call it a tie.
The controls are very responsive and easy to get the hang of and I only had one problem with them. While dodging on the train it seemed like it was way to easy to fling Nathan right off resulting on many deaths. Another problem I ran into was early on while watching a long cut scene it started to seem like the sound was going out so I turned up my sound but a few minutes later I couldn't hear a thing. Luckily I had turned on subtitles and hopefully this is fixed with some kind of patch but just word of warning keep the subs on or you might miss part of the story. One thing I have seen many people complain about is the parts of the game that don't give you any direction but I didn't feel that was really a valid compliant. I played the game on normal difficulty and if you leave the hints on you'll never be stuck. I'm one of the people that will get frustrated and just quit playing if I can't figure out what the game wants me to to do but with hints on it'll just tell you how to complete the puzzle after failing so many times. For you true puzzle finders out there keep that in mind. Uncharted 2 also adjusts the difficulty when you're struggling on the boss. Any you hardcore gamers should keep in mind but really that shouldn't effect you anyways so not a big deal.
On to the multiplayer that I hope you have all gave a try during the past month. It comes with the basic deathmatch that strangely was the most popular with the reviewers because selecting that was the only way to find a match. My personal favorite the Objective mode keeping things changing from a capture the treasure to holding the most ground. Then you have co-op objective where you and 2 friends can finish stages that had been made just for this mode and not out of the game. Finally you have the co-op arena mode where you and some friends hold back waves of computer players. The last mode I would say is the hardest and I'm still trying to improve. It seems to be the real test of a great player.
While the multiplayer is great and easily in my top 3 on PS3 it did have a few problems. With the final version it took a long time to find a match and seeing at the time only 100 people had been logged in I went over to the demo and even with thousands of people logged in it still took a long time to find a match. Good luck finding anyone playing the co-op assault because only once after letting it sit at the searching screen for 10 minutes did I find one other person to play with. I also was concerned with the way the computer splits up the teams. The first game I joined on the final version was deathmatch and was shocked to find my team was made up of 4 people on level 1 and the other team was all level 10+. It seemed a little unfair and as a result was over quickly.
I have seen people call Uncharted 2 game of the year and while I can't say that for all systems I can say its hands down going to be the PS3 game of the year if not this generation so far. I know that the MGS fans might be upset about that but I have played all the big PS3 exclusives and feel confident about making that statement. You really owe it to your self to give this game a shot and while I really wanted another game coming out this week to do well if you only have money for one get Uncharted 2.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.