Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Review

  • Posted October 23rd, 2009 at 11:18 EDT by Adam Dolge

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Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

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With Among Thieves, Naughty Dog has shattered the proverbial bar it created with the 2007 original. This is quite possibly the best game to have graced the PS3, and without a doubt one of the greatest titles ever conceived.

We like

  • The stunning visuals that draw you into the complex and engrossing story
  • The strategic, fast-paced combat and superb multiplayer component
  • The breathtaking experience that is created by a marriage of stellar gameplay, beautiful graphics, and exciting action

We dislike

  • The occasional hiccup with the controls
  • Having to wait for Uncharted 3!

See PSU's review on Metacritic & GameRankings

With the release of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Naughty Dog has created an epic game that rivals the storytelling of Hollywood’s finest feature films, with seamless gameplay that sets a new benchmark for future releases. The stunning graphics and fluent cut-scenes deliver the ultimate visual presentation, while the tight action, puzzle, and navigation mechanics ultimately cement Among Thieves as one of the greatest titles to grace any current generation platform to date. The world comes alive right from the opening sequence through the numerous chapters that take you from snowy cliff-side towns, dilapidated cities, and onboard speeding trains; the action is intense, yet manageable; and the story is strong enough to keep you on the edge of your seat through the entire single-player campaign. Without hesitation, Among Thieves has solidified its spot high atop the best games this year, and quite possibly one of the best games of all time.

Among Thieves has already received unanimous praise among reviewers and gamers alike, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that we love this game and have great admiration for Naughty Dog and the team that created this enormous spectacle. We gave Among Thieves a perfect score not because every aspect of the game was spot-on, but because the overall experience felt so far ahead of virtually anything else we've played this year that we were willing to forgive its minor flaws. After spending many hours playing through the single and multiplayer modes, we were left with our jaws dropped and our eyes open wide. Ironically enough, it’s the fact that Among Thieves proved such an enjoyable experience that it ultimately left us feeling slightly frustrated at the prospect of having to wait until the inevitable sequel turns up—still, there’s no doubt that the game will keep us busy for a long, long time.

Nathan Drake first strolled onto the PlayStation 3 with the release of 2007’s Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. This arrogant treasure hunter could do just about everything—he could solve complex puzzles, scale across rooftops, climb stone walls, take down a small army of foes single-handily, stealthily dispatch lone goons, and of course, charm the pants off of the opposite sex. In Among Thieves, everything we loved about the original game was back, but tweaked just enough to make the controls tighter, the story deeper, the world bigger, the scenery more lush, and the action faster and more intense. While many sequels seem to rest on the laurels of what the original game did right, without beefing up new elements, Among Thieves has the ideal balance of familiar gameplay with a healthy coat of polish.

Since many (if not all) of you have played the game, the multiplayer demo, or the original, we won’t get too technical with the actual gameplay mechanics. The basic duck and cover combat strategy returns in the sequel, along with numerous puzzles required to pass various obstacles, and vast environments for Drake to traverse. Among Thieves takes all of these core elements and ultimately makes them tighter and easier to use.

Combat in Among Thieves comes in different forms; it can be a fast-paced gun battle or a strategic affair where you use the game’s settings to your advantage—hiding behind partially blown up walls, high on rooftops, or clinging to the side of a building. The duck and cover mechanic usually works great, but it’s not without its problems. Occasionally you’ll get stuck covering behind the wrong side of an object, or carelessly jumping to your death as you try to climb down a ladder. Despite the mild frustration, these minor issues do little to hinder the overall experience.

The game picks up about a year or so after Drake’s Fortune. Without giving too much away, the basic story once again follows Nate, who this time around is searching for the remnants of Marco Polo’s expedition in search of Shangri La and the elusive Cintamani Stone. The game opens (sort of) with a British guy named Flynn, who, with the help of the seductive Chloe, tries to convince Drake to track down an old oil lamp from a Turkish museum. This lamp is believed to hold secrets to Polo’s lost expedition. Through a series of very unfortunate betrayals, Drake is set off to ... (continued on next page)

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