jtb123's Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PlayStation 3) review

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Definitely one of the best action experiences gaming can offer.

 Uncharted 2 Among Thieves Review

To set the record straight, I don’t think Uncharted 2 (by any means) is bad. However, after playing through the game and going back to my favourite parts I just don’t think it deserved 9 game of the year awards. I mean come on, the last game that did that well was Resident Evil 4, and that was... well... Resident Evil 4 you know. Maybe you need to have played the first Uncharted in order to appreciate all the improvements here I don’t know...

Anyway, as I said, I definitely enjoyed my time with the game. It certainly marks the first game I’ve played where I was willing to forgive its gameplay shortcomings in favour of everything else.   Now I’m not saying the gameplay is horrible or anything, far from it. Granted it is has bad moments but for the most part it’s smooth and works the way it was intended. The comment before that is my way of complimenting everything else about the game. The environments, graphics and most notably the characters, every action movie archetype is present in the game but they’re so perfect in being what they’re required to be I found it hard not to like them.

The gameplay in Uncharted 2 a mixture of third person shooting, climbing and melee combat. All of them work on a basic level but none of them really do anything more than that. The climbing feels like an alternate way to traverse areas rather than walking, the shooting doesn’t have much impact behind it and the melee is great but it’s never expanded upon and it’s impossible to cancel out of it once you begin. My biggest problem is the climbing; it feels so mechanical I can’t bring myself to replay any section of it. You don’t really feel like you are the one doing it, it just feels like the game is doing everything for you. This is such a shame as you’ll spend a lot of your time play time climbing stuff and due to the mechanical feel it kills the desire to play about forty percent of the game again. Fortunately, you can use the level select to get to your favourite bits. Every game should have level select... every game.

The game is packed with over the top action set pieces, you’ll constantly be going from one insane situation to the next, somehow making it out alive against all odds. These sections are all the more enjoyable to play because of the way the game lets you play through them. The mechanics might be basic, but they are put to use in ways that make them feel a lot more substantial. The best example of this is a section where you’re climbing, shooting and punching your way along a speeding train, travelling through amazing locations as you do it. It’s very easy for a game to take away control at times like these and the fact that Uncharted 2 lets you experience it yourself makes it all the more enjoyable.

The single player experience will take most players anywhere between ten to thirteen hours to beat on the normal setting. It definitely feels like more than that though, you feel like you’ve covered a lot of ground by the time the final confrontation comes around. You never feel like you’re in the same spot for too long, the game does a fantastic job of making you feel as though you’re constantly pressing forward. The only real flaw with the single player experience are the boss fights. It’s very tough for a game like this to do them well, they usually just end up being a regular dude with a stupid amount of health and bullshit attacks; which sums up the ones in this game perfectly. Throughout the single player you’ll earn money for doing certain things, mainly unlocking trophies and fulfilling certain medal requirements. The latter offer more replay value than you might think, the money you earn can be used to unlock costumes, goodies for multiplayer and even cheats for chapters you’ve already beaten.

Uncharted 2 does enough things right to make it worth checking it out. However, I found it impossible not to expect a truly incredible package. At most, Uncharted 2 is just pretty damn good. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it feels like it’s capable of much more, the climbing is main thing I can’t get past. There’s a part of me that wants to replay it all over again, but every time I get to another lengthy climbing section I just can’t stomach it. However, that one aspect is not enough to detract from the experience, Uncharted 2 is a meticulously crafted experience of relentless over-the-top action sequences and it succeeds enough at that to make it worth playing.  

Other reviews for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PlayStation 3)

    Way Better than the the First Uncharted 0

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    HERE'S the great game they raved about. 0

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