"Uncharted 2: Among Thieves"
After giving the original game,
"Uncharted: Drake's Fortune", a run three weeks ago, I was
excited to play the sequel even though I thought that the game could
have easily taken 2-4 hours off the single-player running time by
cutting out some repetitive elements. The sequel did not learn
many lessons, and it somehow squeezes even more ridiculous,
over-the-top moments into its 10-hour single-player game. But,
it is just SO gorgeous graphically that the game should be played,
and the addition of online multiplayer is a great idea to help round
out the product and make it replayable for the few days I have
in-between "Call of Duty" releases.
In the game's story mode, our man Nathan Drake is back in another
triple-crossing, globetrotting scenario. Hundreds of soldiers
stand in the way of this quest, which is somehow tied to another
magical treasure (this time, in the form of a city and a tree of
life), and of course it is tied to Nathan's relationships with not
one, but two hot women who also know how to handle a firearm.
The dialogue writing and the voice acting in the "Uncharted" games
are quite good, so even walking around the game environments is funny
because there are mini-trigger points that drive conversations
between Nathan and whoever he's with at the time.
Like the last game, the story is broken into three areas:
- Action: like the last game, you will be shocked at how many
times you'll be walking around a plaza, 20 soldiers with body
armor will show up randomly, and you've got to smoke them all
out. Moving from cover point to cover point while taking
out guys is still satisfying, but the AI still does things like,
say, not hear you as you run towards them from an angle to bang
them over the head with the butt of a rifle. The addition
of some stealthy elements is not done that well; suffice it to
say, "Metal Gear Solid" shouldn't have anything to worry about
from an AI point of view.
- Puzzles: I thought the puzzles in the last game were
disappointing, and in the sequel, they are easier and there's
less of them. I like a good puzzle, so not having any
worth your time kind of blows. One wonders why the
developers even bothered here; in this game, they are easy and
they take longer to complete, so even when you see how to solve
a puzzle, it takes 10 minutes of game time to walk your
character around to pull all the switches/move all the
- Wall climbing: I'll say what I said last time about
this element of the "Uncharted" games: there are sequences
where you have to guide Drake through a series of "jump up to
that ledge, then jump to that vine, then swing to that pipe"
exercises that no sane human being would ever attempt, even
under duress. There were times that I was actually
laughing while this was going on; it just didn't feel right for
a guy to risk his life to get to an open window, but, there you
are. Now, in the sequel, I will give the developers
this--they acknowledge some of this ridiculosity when, late in
the game, both Drake and one of his female accomplices utters
lines like "If I have to jump onto one more ledge...", as if the
process ever made sense.
Multiplayer is fun, particularly the three-player arena and
objective co-op modes; I like working as a team to fend off bad
guys, and the teamwork process really does drive the need to work
together, something that team deathmatch game types never achieve.
There's a money system used to buy perks once you have been playing
through enough hours; this won't set any new benchmarks in online
play, and the PS3 online system still sucks at matchmaking, but
otherwise, this is good stuff.
I got a little too excited and paid full price for this game; it
probably would have been better as a rental, but it's still a great
addition to the PS3 library. Hopefully, the next game will
shorten its length and be a bit more varied in its delivery.
Feedback? Comments? Salma Hayek's digits?
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": Buy
this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why
that's a good move. A game experience that will almost
guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high
resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end.
after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly,
or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new
games. Usually, that's about $40. You'll feel good
getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite
run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box
for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.
game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from
either half.com or eBay. You also might let a friend buy this
game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make
them feel better. Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy
"Rental": Like my
cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about
first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something
worthwhile. For games in this category, this is the maximum
amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either
gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.
Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you
are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.
Games like this should have never been released. If you play
this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the
experience. Further, if you can get this game for free, don't
do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience