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Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

There’s surface warmth to the game that helps disguise a range of familiar gameplay mechanics we’ve seen many times before. Indeed, Naughty Dog’s central driving ethic was to make the sequel even more like an immersive blockbuster movie than before, and to push what had previously been thought to have been pushed to its limits.

That means more graphical trickery and shaders and a more dynamic camera, but also locations that feature multiple routes as well as the ability to pull out your gun whenever you want. Since you’ll be combat-ready whether you’re balancing on a beam or hanging from a crack in a wall, that means engagements can happen anywhere. There are more choices, more stealth moves with which to cripple smarter enemies and a greater sense of “being there,” plus more subtle tricks to keep the player involved without punishing them.

On entering a cavern in Tibet accompanied by a local guide who goes by the snappy name of Tensin, the camera automatically frames where you want to be going while Nate explains that he believes it to be the right direction, leaving you to work out how.

Throughout the game, as you explore deeper into Borneo, Tibet, Nepal and Turkey, if you become lost and are in danger of becoming frustrated, less subtle hints will automatically engage to make sure that you’re rarely disconnected from the experience, and are bathing in it near constantly. Interestingly, you don’t get flashes of hints as much as you get clips of internal dialogue guiding your actions.

Tensin, along with other NPC characters, will aid Nate in pulling levers as well as suggesting routes. Most importantly, he’s an expert at catching the shabby hero should he miss a jump. There will be no brick-walling in Uncharted 2. It’s not out to hurt you by being overly vague, and you’ll never be confused regarding what you should be doing. Like the movies it emulates, it’s meant to be fun, but that doesn’t mean the game is going to be dumb. Nate’s diary will still be filled with hints for puzzles, but they won’t be highlighted for you – you’ll have to carefully thumb through the book to find what you need for yourself.

With 90 minutes of cutscenes, around enough to create a movie in itself, and no loading times to disjoint the flow of the drama, Among Thieves will likely be the movie event of the year. It is vastly more fun to watch in action than Transformers 2 and G.I. Joe and certainly less chaotic on the eye. Delivering their lines with hand-crafted facial animations tweaked to perfection, there’s a genuine heart-warming emotional connection to the characters of Uncharted – new and old – which you don’t get with Shia LeBeouf and Marlon Wayans versus a wall of twinkly CGI. The game, its story and the people who inhabit it all hang together so gracefully and believably that it’s impossible not to feel part of something that’s sitting on the next evolutionary branch to popcorn flicks. But that doesn’t mean we’re free of all doubts.

Hopefully, the end of Drake’s Fortune was such an artificially drawn out gunfight because of time restraints rather than design. It could have out-shot the climax of Rambo 4, there were so many people to shoot.  Luckily, we still have enough faith to erect an imaginary temple in honor of the series’ second coming, and hopefully this temple isn’t going to be built like a giant mousetrap.

Aug 24, 2009

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27 comments

  • meg127 - September 14, 2009 3:34 p.m.

    i preordered the game yesterday, can't wait!
  • RaIdEn - August 28, 2009 7:32 p.m.

    this is almost too exiting, i need a paper bag! also, xbox and ps3 graphics are pretty much the same. certain games look better on certain systems but not all of them
  • thuyget - August 26, 2009 7:42 a.m.

    gay. Y on ps3? not xbox360?
  • DawnOfWar2 - August 25, 2009 9:53 p.m.

    @xboxrulez did you put your text through a translator? looking forward to this game though, i'll finally have a reason to play my ps3 obsessively!
  • derbyt - August 25, 2009 7:37 p.m.

    I know this may sound bad, but my eyes watered at the E3 demo. I will walk the 3 miles to the nearest new-game store just to get this game. (Theres a game store closer but it only has 1 month old games)The U.S. gov should make these types of games to make up for deficit. Oh, and the PS3 will always surpass the XBox360 in graphics and fluidity from my experience.
  • loonyman978 - August 25, 2009 5:27 p.m.

    @xboxrulez do you really have nothing better to do than create accounts on any games website you can find, just so you can spam any page not mentioning your prefered console. i feel sorry for you
  • FreekinIdiot - August 25, 2009 3:25 p.m.

    @ xboxrulez It's great you're such a super dooper, mega fan of the xbox but is your spelling really that bad? I just have this vision that you're so excited to get your view across you don't even look at the keyboard while you furiously mash the buttons like an epileptic gibbon? I hope it's the latter, I really do, otherwise your education makes me want to cry. Or am i just being a massive grammar nazi? I just don't know anymore
  • Conman93 - August 25, 2009 10:42 a.m.

    Looks great but in a choice between this and the new ratchet, I would pick ratchet because I have been playing that series forever WOOOOOO!! A sly cooper reference
  • iKOemos - August 25, 2009 4:16 a.m.

    My gut is wrenched in anticipation. I am getting this day 1. Hopefully Uncharted 3 will come along in the next 2 years...
  • gutlessVADER - August 25, 2009 2:06 a.m.

    it does that EVERY time and please no triple posting. this game should be ridiculously awesome and make every other explosion ever look like a plastic lighter at walmart
  • barrage7667 - August 25, 2009 1:41 a.m.

    oh they just fixed i nvm
  • barrage7667 - August 25, 2009 1:41 a.m.

    wtf i wrote tht 30 seconds ago but i says 11 months 30 days ago??? LOL!!
  • neek95 - August 24, 2009 8:02 p.m.

    oh never mind i thought i was first.
  • barrage7667 - August 24, 2009 7:26 p.m.

    im so excited for this game to come out it looks so freaking good first btw
  • adadadad - August 27, 2009 5:56 p.m.

    helo, baby, may back. got the temporeriy restriction from the mood :( sadface. may felt so cold and alone. but broothers, sisters, do no /cry for may. may learnt the leasson. may not use caps. may not cuss ps-3 (although, fingre aches!). may drinkee the phyenix down, and may ok. may love yous. ax
  • 2muchGuitarHero - August 25, 2009 11:13 p.m.

    the wait for this game is unbearable >< Hopefully they won't ruin the story like the first one with that 'zombie' twist
  • CH3BURASHKA - August 25, 2009 6:13 p.m.

    Lol, way to break down the fall of many a society with the explanation of Easter Island. Can't wait to see this one, you know, after I get a PS3.
  • FreekinIdiot - August 25, 2009 1:53 p.m.

    Mucho jealous of ps3 owners. I wish I had one to play this game :(
  • CoD_22 - August 25, 2009 11:25 a.m.

    my favourite quote so far: chloe: " ok, sensing some tension here" elena: "elena fisher, last year's model."
  • barrage7667 - August 25, 2009 1:39 a.m.

    lol neek u werent first by over an hour and by aying not going to say first you are saying first

Showing 1-20 of 27 comments

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