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PS3 Review – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

October 12, 2009 Written by Anthony Severino

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When Nathan Drake first graced the still new PS3 back in 2007 with Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, we were all in for a pleasant surprise. Part shooter, part platformer, Uncharted was a fantastic game which demanded a sequel. Little did we know, 2 years later, Naughty Dog would create the killer app that would truly show off the power of the PlayStation 3. That game is Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves starts off in the stickiest of situations. You’re inside a train car, hanging off the side of the cliff. Worst of all you are bleeding… heavily. Nathan Drake is forced to climb the exterior of the train car, scrambling for his life as the train begins to slip down the side of the mountain. You take a leap of faith…and just make it by your fingertips. This scene sets the entire tone for the game, which is a non-stop action-packed adventure, with one cliffhanger after another.

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Naughty Dog has created a truly cinematic experience with Nathan Drake’s latest adventure. From the character relationships, to the cinema-quality action sequences, and the impeccable voice acting performances, Uncharted 2 at times feels like a summer blockbuster movie as much as it feels like a game. Throughout the entirety of the game there is never once a dull moment, whether it’s climbing over treacherous terrain, or if you’re in a shootout with a squad of soldiers, you’ll be left with your heart pounding, eagerly anticipating the next “wow” moment.

The dialog and character interaction is some of the best that I’ve witnessed. A subtle facial expression, or a simple sigh, will let you know how the character is really feeling. The conversations between characters are very real and full of emotion; it doesn’t feel scripted at all. The cinematics are as good, if not better, than Metal Gear Solid 4′s, but with a much easier to follow storyline. Ultimately, this will help Uncharted 2 appeal to a more mainstream audience.

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Elena Fisher and Victor Sullivan (“Sully”) reprise their roles from Drake’s Fortune (Unfortunately Sully only has a very short appearance). New characters include the cunning Australian Harry Flynn, the insane and villainous Zoren Lazarevic, and your love interest, the reckless and stunning Chloe Frazer. Nathan Drake and friends put on a spectacular show. Throughout the game there is very little time you will spend alone. Most of the time you are teamed up with one other character. At one point, you are carrying an injured camera-man, while you, Chloe, and Elena are trying to escape from an onslaught of soldiers and military vehicles while you defend yourself with your free arm and a pistol.

With that scene and many others, you get a sense of urgency, which translates into a feeling that this really is life or death. It’s this type of immersion that makes Uncharted 2: Among Thieves special. You get to know the characters, and you’ll find yourself rooting for them until the very end. Even the game’s villains have a believable personality.

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