Saturday, March 20, 2010

Uncharted 2 Review: 10 Years of Gaming in 1 Game

Yeah, I know it`s been out for like 5 months now but I think it deserves a review because I think it is that good and I want to write about it as well as me wanting to get back into writing game reviews. I loved this game and I just sad that with an amazing game like this the sales didn't match up so if you haven't played this game and own a PS3 believe me when I say that YOU SHOULD OWN THIS GAME to support the developers. This game has been out for the PS3 in North America since October 17, 2009 and the game was developed by Naughty Dog. Hit the jump for the full review.

Once again you play as Nathan Drake, whose job is to seek out long lost treasures and artefacts. What started out as a simple task as a favour for old friend Flynn and old spark Chloe, lead into an adventure and race for the Cintamani stone and Shambhala against a crazy Russian guy, Lazarevic who wanted to take over the world, so ultimately your goal was to save the world. While bringing back old cast members Elena and Sully back into the game the game introduces a love triangle between Drake, Elena and Chloe.

Since we didn't do a review of the first Uncharted I guess I should fill in that gap. The gameplay for Uncharted is basically a Tomb Raider meshed with Gears of Wars. It is a combination of platform hoping and killing hordes of various different types of enemies while doing random quick time events as well. So I'm going to split this section into those 3 sections.

As like any platform jumping game, there is always a door or level you just can't reach where you, the main character, has to climb and hope up to (or climb down) so that you and/or your party can continue onto with the story. This part is usually the most interesting parts of the game as climbing into new places reveals some excellent sceneries of the environment you are in and with Uncharted 2's visuals they are worth the effort. Of course once you are finished with it you'll wish to never have to have to backtrack and redo it again, which the game does an excellent job at keeping to a minimum, unlike some other games (Prince of Persia).

Similar to its predecessor, the combat is fairly the same as you would expect in games like Gears of War, there is a working cover system and a simple combat system. The places that you wouldn`t expect a full level out of is something that has been new for me. One very memorable moment in the game is where you have to fight on a train where the environment almost forces you to time your shot as the train bends around corners, as well there`s a part of the game where you do a lot of truck hoping which was a mix of platforming, combat and vehicle combat. Another thing that was added was destructible covers. The enemies will blow up your over by throwing grenades or shooting rockets at you. This will force you to keep moving around and pressing forward in a battle instead of camping in one stop for 20 minutes until the enemies all die. What is also nice is that the game gives you various things to kills your enemies with, such as a heavy gatling gun.

The first Uncharted was considered one of the best visually looking games on the next generation consoles. The second Uncharted only tops it, with better graphics, richer environments and an amazing bunch of actors/actresses; once again the guys from Naughty Dogs have once again pushed the power of the PS3 to another level.

The first game it was all about water. How amazing the lakes and ponds looked when Drake jumps into them and how his cloths change colour and draw off. This game has that as well of course but easily a feature that tops that is snow and how Drake's character deals with the heat and cold around him. The way the snow just moves around your feet when you run around when how Drake will cover and react to hot spots like fire.

Echoing what I said about the graphics for this game, it is the same in the sound department, from the cracks you hear from fires, to the sound of packing snow from your footsteps, this game has a very rich library of sound effects from everything around you and interact with.

I spend most of my cash from the achievements to unlock all the behind-the-scenes stuff in for the game. I did not expect them to do all the motion capture and voice acting all before actually doing the game. Of course it's not as extreme as Avatar but for a game to be produced like this is probably a first. With all that together to get fluid movement in all the characters and an amazing voice acting performance. I think the parts that I enjoyed the most were the some chit chat conversations that the characters had between themselves when you are playing.

Usually for games that focus so much on the single player experience, only have a tacked on multiplayer component. Instead Uncharted 2 has a very interesting multiplayer side to it. Players can choose from a few modes. There's coop, where players can replay certain sections of the games with friends. There's a Deathmatch and a capture-the-flag spin-off game. As well as a horde mode where similar to Gears of War where you and a couple of buddies defeat a point while fighting off waves and waves of enemies. These game modes we`ve all seen in other games so it isn`t anything special or new about them. What is surprising is that it actually very fun to play and the mode a surprising balances and polished. This is something that most would not expect for a game that has such an emphasis on their single player side.

Hopefully I did a good enough job into describing to you one of the best games on the PS3 console that has been released and although the game doesn't really introduce anything new to the video game industry, it is a very polished game and borrows elements from other games from the past decade or so. This is probably the only downside to this game. There isn't anything we haven't seen from other games but once you start playing it, you'll find that it will be very very hard to put down. It's just that good.

- Everything about its presentation is amazing and spot on from its jaw dropping environments to some of its amazing acting work.
- Gameplay is something most players have seen or experience so based on that the game performs how you want and is very polished.
- Multiplayer is surprisingly quite fun and is on par with a lot of multiplayer focused games.

- Doesn't really have a single element that the game can call it its own.

- Story wasn`t anything special if you`ve watch any Indiana Jones film (not the latest one)

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