Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - hands-on

Elena’s back. That’s really all you need to know. The feisty heroine had a love/hate affair with fans of the first game, but Uncharted minus Elena somehow wouldn’t be the same. She’s the undeniable Lois to Drake’s unkempt Clark. It would be a gloomy world without these two together.

The reason Elena is back on Drake’s case is quite a clever bit of storytelling. She’s not with hero Nathan Drake - the pair parted company before the action of Among Thieves begins. But they do share a common interest. Drake is searching for the priceless and somewhat mystical Cintamani Stone and so is a war criminal called Lazarevic. Elena is following Lazarevic with a cameraman named Jeff to get the scoop on the villain’s story, as he’s supposed to be dead. The Cintamani Stone, for Elena, is neither here nor there. Go figure.

The narrative ensures the pair crosses paths more than once and there’s sure to be tension between Drake’s past and his future, as Elena and new Aussie girl Chloe meet up. Drake and Chloe are searching for Shangri-La, the final resting place of the Cintamani Stone. They find a clue in a temple in Nepal, just outside the city as seen in a few previous demos.

The atmosphere had changed from the sun-soaked streets of the Nepalese city we previously scurried around, to a darker, rain-soaked tone. As Drake made his way out of the temple, his flashlight cast real-time shadows as he shot enemies out of his path – this was more the Uncharted we’d come to love from the first game. The greenery of the original has been replaced by a more real-look jungle setting – it’s dark and brown and muddy. 

As Drake emerged from the temple, Chloe in tow, Elena and her cameraman were under fire. It’s here that the new post-processing took hold. We needed to clear the area of Lazarevic’s henchmen, using coverfire and zooming over Drake’s shoulder as in Uncharted. However, the depth of field has been improved. There are multiple enemies, but the game zooms in on the one you’re targeting, blurring the others out and enabling you to focus your fire.

Once we reached the trapped Elena, the pace of the level shifted from all-out gunplay to an escort mission of sorts. Jeff, the cameraman, had been shot and Drake refused to leave him behind, instead throwing an arm over his shoulder and dragging Jeff to safety. Interestingly, Chloe wanted to leave the wounded man behind, suggesting a split in motives – is there another Sully-styled plot-twist in the making?

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  • montyburns - October 9, 2009 7:03 p.m.

    @wrapdump I smell an upset xbox fanboy around. Seriously dude, I really doubt you even played the first uncharted. Go and play your Halo 3 ODST.
  • CoD_22 - July 28, 2009 11:57 p.m.

    @loonyman978, yeah pretty sure he's in 1 of the screenshots in the article. @norid, did you really ever doubt a 3rd game? omg i dont want uncharted 2 anymore, i wanna skip ahead to 2011 for uncharted 3! @uncharted in general, i hope they have some dlc for this game, like a couple of extra chapters or co-op minigames and maybe some more multiplayer maps or game modes, having just deathmatch and plunder wont last long. @crumbdunky, the recaptcha says it all: gory times. lol!
  • gprime17 - July 26, 2009 6:12 p.m.

    I hope they fix the gunplay. Kill enimies seemed too un-natural.
  • norid - July 26, 2009 2:18 p.m.

    @ mertor3190 soicety today is in dark times nodody wants to play a light hearted sequal (except me) they want the hero to go through pain so they can connect. that or there gonna set it up fo a 3rd game
  • mertor3190 - July 26, 2009 8:17 a.m.

    Its true. a lot of sequels these days have been trying to pull of the dark tone look. Why?
  • Defguru7777 - July 24, 2009 9:50 p.m.

    I'm with crumbdunky. You guys didn't seem even remotely worried about Mass Effect 2 pulling an Empire Strikes Back. BIAS!!!! Just kidding. I don't even have a PS3 (but this kind of makes me want one.
  • Ninjamatt5 - July 24, 2009 12:39 p.m.

    Really REALLY looking forward to this. REALLY. Seventh! Or eighth!
  • loonyman978 - July 23, 2009 10:36 p.m.

    please tell me Sully's back, the mans a legend. He was saved but a migit book for goodness sake!
  • Jordo141 - July 23, 2009 8:58 p.m.

    God. I need this. NOW.
  • - July 27, 2009 5:11 p.m.

    AHA so after reading norids post I have reasoned that I didn't read norids post before putting my own and I am an idiot :)
  • - July 27, 2009 5:10 p.m.

    That is a good question: Why do sequels pull an Empire Strikes Back? We should do some research!!!
  • wrapdump - July 27, 2009 12:33 a.m.

    If this is as good as the first'll still be mediocre. The first was some nice graphics and some average over-the-shoulder gameplay. Also the characters faces -especially their eyes- in the first game's cutscenes were freaky as hell
  • wkdtkd - July 25, 2009 11:44 a.m.

    Curse you GR!! Seeing Elena in the actual game wud have been a brilliant WTF!??! just had to spoil it... :P
  • MW3M - July 24, 2009 11:50 p.m.

    I lost interest the moment you said Escort Mission tbph..
  • EmmaXII - July 24, 2009 8:38 p.m.

    I agree
  • Conman93 - July 24, 2009 5:05 p.m.

    those graphics are AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • crumbdunky - July 24, 2009 3:30 p.m.

    Why the doubts about the darker tone GR? I'm sure there's be hell to pay if they left everything the same wouldn't there? I thought progression and innovation were meant to be filed under "stuff we like" and repetitive game looks and gameplay meant to be hated in a sequels(see reaction to SMG2 for relevant GR position)? Do NOT pee on ND's chips over this one or we might fall out, K? BTW, doesn't anyone else start to get the feeling that we've been shown almost too much of this game already? I'm gonna have to start avoiding articles and esp vids from now on or there won't be much left to find out! Seems, recently, that Uni are trying the same over exposure with SCC and I don't want either of these great looking games to fail just because they feel stale after seeing so much pre release footage.
  • smallberry - July 24, 2009 4:33 a.m.

    One thing bugged me about the original. It looked fantastic but the cutscenes always looked slightly creepy. Its better in stills than it is during the actual cutscene. @Tochy: I was thinking Gerard Butler
  • Tochy - July 24, 2009 3:27 a.m.

    lol on the last pic,drake looks like micheal showalter ahahahaha ReCaptcha: strong buns
  • norid - July 23, 2009 9:09 p.m.

    * drooling uncontrollably * oh my goodnees i'm in love

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