Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Uncharted 2 uses 100% of PS3’s processing power, claim the devs somewhat ambitiously, which means that although the visuals are similar to the original, there’ll be layers of subtle intricacies. Naughty Dog aim to blur the lines between the stop/start transitions of the first game, delivering a seamless experience. Rather than Nathan leaping across rooftops unchallenged, enemies will pile in from all angles and give chase across obstacles – a perk from said processing power. You can try to outrun the fleet-footed assailants or engage in a running gunfight. You’ll also be able to create cover this time around, by kicking over tables and ducking behind them, or even picking up an enemy’s shield and shooting from behind it.

Nathan doesn’t get it all his own way, however – desperate AI blokes will also scramble for the shields, so you’ll have to work out a way get past their protection. Or you could just sneak past unnoticed since Among Thieves has a stealth system, which allows you to stay out of harm’s way and perform silent kills, such as reaching up from a ledge and dragging an unsuspecting man to his death. It’s completely up to you.

On a visual point, Uncharted 2 attempts to create a far different environment to the jungles of before (although concept art of heavily-wooded areas exists) by dropping Drake into residential areas and more. But the snowy areas in the Himalayas seem to be posing some difficulties. “Ice and snow are hard to render,” Uncharted 2 artist Robh Ruppel confirms “but we’ve finally got it to the point in-game where it works the way we like it”. Apparently, these arctic conditions will play as much a part in the gameplay as the various water sequences did in the original.

We’re unsure about the murkier plot as Drake’s Fortune had a wonderful flow – bar a samey central section – but we’re confident the devs know what they’re doing. The melding of action and platforming should make for more of a roller-coaster ride and we’d put money on it being one of the most lavishly produced games of 2009. Like Naughty Dog, we’re itching to see what makes Nathan Drake tick.

Jan 23, 2009