The lights are on
Uncharted is arguably the most popular exclusive series on the PS3. Does the second installment steal the hearts of gamers or does it get caught in the act?
Uncharted 2 plays pretty much like Uncharted did. there might have been some minor tweaks here and there to tighten up the controls but overall if you like how the first one played you will enjoy this one as well.
The AI is sharp and has seen some adjustments since the first title. They flank more and tend to keep the high ground if they have it and use cover a little better than in UC. I still ran into plenty of stupid AI however, ones that didn't use cover of followed each other in a straight line coming right at me. Also the sneaking parts, while fun, again proved that the AI isn't all that bright. You are making noise when you walk and they don't notice or you kill one and no one cares even if they walk right past his portal area.
This game is another one famous for the "only aim at the player" syndrome. Even if you have allies the AI puts everything they have into killing you and you alone. Your allies can't die or be downed so that might play a part.
The flow was a little too predictable also. It went from jumping puzzles to firefights to jumping puzzles the whole game. The jumping segments were very easy because most of the jumps are highlighted in yellow or Drake would reach his hand in the direction of the jump. the camera got me a lot because it didn't shift quite right or I missed jumps to ledges that look you can grab them so a clear path isn't always marked, not a bad thing.
I encountered some minor bugs, glitched through a wall once and Elena at one point so I had to restart so she could kick the next scene. Nothing major just small hindrances.
My problem is that this game doesn't feel different than the first. It isn't a big problem but it almost feels like nothing was improved upon. Still has solid gameplay none the less.
One of the cool things about the story in the UC series is that they take real myths and make them real, so much so in fact that the players might even think they can go find some of these places or relics. UC2 doesn't stray from the path as you are set to look for Marco Polo's most legendary myth, Shambhala or Shangri-la. The reason they are looking for it the Cintamani Stone, supposedly a massive sapphire worth more than anyone can imagine.
Well it hits the fan pretty early with betrayals and meeting up with some old friends from the first title. A man named Lazarevic wants to stone because he thinks it hold power of some kind. You find out through the story that many infamous leaders had just a silver of the stone with them and things finally unwrap toward the end.
The story feels like a movie and you can tell that Naughty Dog wanted it to be that way. the voice acting is top notch and the story, while pretty predicable, is paced well. It is the mood and tone of the game that seems to be thrown off by the writing.
What I mean is the writing is poor most of the time. Too many forced jokes or sexual comments and a very bland enemy. I understand Drake is witty but when you are getting shot at by 5 guys and a helicopter they is no time for a joke. The best part about his jokes is that when he tells them, no laugh laughs on screen, maybe that is a sign to stop them.
The story is worth playing but honestly is started to fall flat toward the end, including when they added in more strange creatures. I understood how they came to be but it just got a little ridiculous.
UC2 has four game modes and allows for 5v5 matches. All the modes are fun and basically variants on modes from other games but in the UC universe.
You can earn cash in SP or MP to buy things for your class. The perks, of which you get to use three at a time, all seem useful and most people seemed to use different ones meaning there was no set three perks people used.
Weapons are laid out on the map instead of having you spawn with different ones. Your starting weapons will get the job done but just like games like Halo or Gears getting a power weapon can change the tide of the game.
I did feel that this game was a little to run and gun for my taste in the genre. I like to use the cover to my advantage but I often found myself getting smoked. This doesn't make the game bad it just means it not my play style.
There was no lag when I played and the following was still decent, about 70,000 people were online when I got on last. You will have to get DLC for it to play however, just a warning.
The MP is a great addition. Maybe not one to get you playing long after but it is fun to play.
The music gives this title and epic feel. Again it feels like a movie score and really adds to the overall presentation of the game. While not all of it is fantastic it all plays a role in what is happening on screen at that moment. In a time where many games forget about music Uncharted 2 really proves how important it can be if used well.
The sounds are a little iffy. While in the Nepal stage it sounds like a war is going on the weapons sound like peashooters, every one of them. the sounds of crashes and breaking buildings and trains is cool, the swishing through water or the crunch of snow really adds to the effect. Just sometimes some things don't have quite the right sounds but overall it is pretty good.
If I hadn't recently played Killzone 3 I would say this game has the best graphics on console this generation. Instead I will say it has some of the best graphics and easily the most cinematic game I have played.
The snow and water effects are great, the detail of it showing up on Drake is stunning. The cut scenes also look extremely pretty and aren't really a far cry from what the game looks like. Each area you go to in the campaign has a completely different look and feel and you can tell that the development team did their homework when making some of the locations.
If I have one small gripe it is the guns lack detail. They just appearing boring when you are holding them. they look different and all that but they just weren't anything special. when compared to the rest of the game it is like they were tossed in last minute.
Took me 12 hours to beat on hard. While there are collectables in the SP the main reason to come back is the MP. The MP is good and fun but with UC3 around the corner I don't think it is worth going out just for the MP on this one. The SP might be worth a few plays but honestly there isn't much to come back for now that UC3 is coming.
UC2 is fun and really wants to feel like a movie that you are playing. The writing needs to get better and it will achieve that goal. Drop the stupid forced jokes, no one is laughing at them. Focus on a story that will blow people away then you can add in the jokes later.
(My review is not an average of my numbers but what I feel the game as a whole should get. The numbers under each category are based on what I think those categories are in general when compared to most games on the market today.)
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