in Review

Off the Charts

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

I sure am glad that this is the year I decided to get a PS3.  Last spring I got my hands on the PlayStation exclusive that looked best to me, Uncharted (what can I say, Metal Gear Solid 4 intimidated me).  That was a great game, a fun story with competent gameplay and top-notch graphics.  Now its sequel is here and it blows its competent predecessor, along with pretty much every other game, away.

The first few hours of Among Thieves are about is good as video gaming can be right now.  I’ll tell you why.  On one level, the graphics are spectacular.  This might be the best looking game that a person can buy right now.  On another, the story is really good for a game.  It’s kind of an Indiana Jones-esque story about the quest for Shambhala (Shangri-la) complete with a love triangle, nazis and supernatural monsters.  It’s a lot of fun, especially thanks to some really enjoyable writing and top-notch voice acting and mo-cap.

The playing of Uncharted 2 is a vastly improved experience as well.  Enemies are fun to fight and need a much more reasonable number of bullets to take down.  Hand-to-hand combat is a lot better.  The puzzle levels are fewer and easier, and the climbing is somehow more enjoyable too.  Naughty Dog took everything that didn’t work about the original and made it work.

Obviously, the game is not perfect.  It couldn’t be.  The latter part is not up to the quality of the beginning of the game.  It’s a little frustrating that you cannot run out of melee combat whenever you want.  There are maybe a couple instances where what you need to do is a little vague.  But when an experience is this good, you just don’t care.

Playing through the single player is a good enough time to justify this purchase.  When you’ve done that, there are plenty of unlockables to invest in to keep you coming back.  Furthermore, Naughty Dog has added in a complete multiplayer suite, with all the co-op and competitive modes you’d expect from a modern game.

Seriously, if you have access to a PlayStation 3, you need to get this game.  If you don’t have one, start saving.