PS3 Review – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Lazarevic takes the role of the lead villain this time around, hell-bent on becoming the next power-hungry, evil dictator akin to Genghis Khan. Through his thirst for power, Lazarevic finds himself looking for the Cintamani Stone. The mythical stone is said to grant great power. Over the course of the game Drake learns exactly the extent of evil power which this stone can lend, and decides he needs to stop Lazarevic to save the world. Drake’s quest to beat Lazerovic to the stone will take you to various locations across the globe.
Like Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, the game environments are gorgeous, but this time around range from the lush jungle of Borneo, to barren snowy mountainsides of Tibet. Each environment fits the game’s theme perfectly, and is more stunning than the last. The sheer detail put into each seen is something to be marveled. In fact there was many times I stopped throughout my journey, just to appreciate the breathtaking vistas located throughout.
The game offers a perfect balance between climbing, platforming and shoot-em-up action. You never feel as though you are doing too much of either; there are even a few moments when you are doing both at the same time. The game controls are extremely responsive and smooth. They’ll feel immediately familiar as the game controls pretty much identically to Drake’s Fortune, although Drake does have a few new tricks up his sleeve. The near perfect cover system has returned, but now you can perform stealth moves from behind cover. Stealth plays a huge role in Uncharted 2; you’ll find entire areas which need to be cleared without you being seen, or some areas where it’s optional. I came across one particularly difficult area, mainly due to the odd layout of the environment, which I was able to overcome easily using only stealth moves to take down the patrolling soldiers. This type of variety means the gameplay never gets stale, not for a second.
Uncharted 2 features some of the best graphics and animations available on the PlayStation 3, if not the very best. Characters look life-like, everything from their hair, eyes, and their expressions. The animations are as smooth as can be, and they vary greatly. Every time Nathan Drake lands from a jump or runs up a hill, you rarely see the same animation twice. Trudging through the snow is incredibly realistic looking; even Drake’s feet get covered in snow, slowing him down. Tiny details really bring the game to life. One such example is watching Drake’s 5 o’clock shadow grow in as the game progresses. The game is filled with these subtleties, and IS even used to develop character personality traits. Nathan Drake’s playful side is revealed as he kicks a soccer ball back to playing children.
The game is chock full of twists that keep you on the edge of your seat. Double-crossing foes get double crossed themselves. The line is constantly being blended between friend and foe. All of this makes for an enthralling plot which is set into motion over 26 chapters which make up the single player experience. Once the game ends (sadly the game has to end) there is still plenty for you to do. There are a ton of unlockables such as character skins and weapons, as well as medals (and subsequently, trophies) to achieve. Even though the single-player campaign is the game’s focus, multiplayer certainly isn’t a tacked-on feature. Featuring both competitive and co-op modes, along with a cash reward system, which unlocks attributes to be used in combat. The multiplayer maps are designed after the areas you’ll come across in single player, but with a different layout better suited for multiple players.
There is nothing bad to say about Uncharted 2, other than maybe the ending didn’t live up to the excitement which the game itself builds. The game takes storytelling and immersion to new heights, and has become a benchmark for graphical quality moving forward. Gun-fighting and platforming are well balanced, and take place over masterfully designed landscapes. Heart-pounding action will leave you in awe, as the game is brimming with memorable moments. Uncharted 2, as an entire single player and multiplayer experience, is hands down the best experience the PlayStation 3 has to offer. Not only is it easily the game of the year, but it quite possibly is one of the best games of all time.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
Endless hours of co-op or competitive multiplayer fun
Best visuals the PS3 has to offer with blockbuster cinematics
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