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Review - Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)

i finally decided to stop putting off playing Uncharted 2, and picked it up. to my surprise it was a whole lot better than Uncharted 1 which i didn't care much for. it was a fun, wild adventure.

PRESENTATION

This game looks great. some of the best graphics on seen on the PS3, even to date right along with God of War III. you don't fully notice it until you come across an expanse of amazement. for me it was towards the earlier levels when i running through the forest and i come to a clearing overlook a cliff. i literally stopped my Drake from moving on to absorb what i saw. you really have to see it for your self. other parts like while running along a moving train in real time. this means despite what you do, you're always going to pass a specific section, say a bridge at a certain time. so if you're taking forever to make your way up the train, it's still going to cross that bridge whenever it does, it won't wait up for you, and this makes for a really nice experience.

As far as sound goes, it's nice to hear familiar sounds from the first Uncharted. adds a nice touch that let's you know you're playing the Uncharted series. The sound track is another thing. though it didn't stand out enough to get stuck in my head or anything, it does have a sense of belonging to the game.

The voice acting is top notch. i think it's the best voice acting in a game i've ever played. not only in cutscenes, but in gameplay the characters will make comments and remarks toward eachother that is excellently written, and quite hilarious at times. it's really something else.

Playing this game is like being in control of a character in a movie. i'm serious. If this game were solely based off of presentation, it'd have already recieved a shining 10.

STORY

The story isn't bad either. it has some minor twist and turns, but i wasn't at the edge of my seat so much. some parts of the story didn't make sense, such as why the main antagonist Larzarovich has over 1,000 men working for him and risking their lives all the same. but hey, you're not really supposed to think about that stuff. i do like how the game (as with the first one) initially seems very realistic (in most cases) based, and then as it progresses it introduces a more non-fiction way about it. it's quite like Indiana Jones actually.

however it's the characters that really make the story what it is. They are magnificently designed and they automatically build an emotional connection with the player that most games have a hard time doing, if at all. however, i have to say that Drake seems a bit too lucky. like realistically lucky to the point of it being annoying to me. it's not enough that there are more people shooting at Drake then there are Helghast fight the ISA (Killzone reference), but he kills them all unscratched. i mean 25 vs. 1 in real life is a VERY slim chance. however on top of that luck, he narrowly escapes death constantly by mere inches. literally. in the beginning sequence of the game there are at least 10 times where he nearly dies. it looks really cool, but this happens all the time. constantly. it's just a bit much. 

but apart from that, the characters are all fantastic and really make the story what it is.

GAMEPLAY

for the most part, Uncharted 2 plays out the same way as the first did. some solid platforming followed by a shootout, vise-versa, and so forth. however the system works. for whatever reason it's not as boring as it was for me in Uncharted 1, and i think that's due to the change of environments, as i don't feel like i'm shooting in the same area.

Not much has changed of the shooting. it works the same way and the same, yet great, cover-system returns. one thing that's bee highly improved here is the ammo. in Uncharted 1, i constantly ran out of ammo for my second gun forcing me to go back and resort to my pistol. the problem though still present at times, is far less often and i feel like i'm putting these other guns to better use. and if the gun you're using runs low, there's almost always another gun to pick up close by. an excellent improvement.

Platforming is probably what is best here. the first game had it, and it was cool, and worked great, but now they've really bumped things up to the next level. the platforming is quite creative, and it's not hard to figure out a path to travel. Big improvement here is that you're less likely to jump to your death when mis-aiming a certain handhold. there's definitely a stronger grace area here than in Uncharted 1 and it does save your skin (and frustration) while still putting out a fun yet complex platforming sequence.

Melee combat is back as well. in Uncharted 1, melee required precise timing that was hard to master. and not mastering the timing resulted death. Now you can actually run up and kick someones ass easily (so long as others aren't shooting at you). it's also a really cool system that results in some interesting take downs. also integrated with the melee is the stealth feature. though present before, i never really used it until now. it works great and allows me to run in and kill off a few dudes before a gun fight. so there's definitely a ton of ways to approach a section, and it's good to choose as you will though some choices may be better choices.

certain "sequence sections" as i call it, really do make you feel like you're in a movie. such as running away from a car trying to run you over while shooting backwards at it, or that train part i mentioned earlier. there's just a ton of awesome memorable moments in this game. 

VERDICT

Uncharted 2 presents incredible graphics, voice acting, and game scenarios. The games campaign is a fun one, a though clocking in at around 9 hours for me, will keep you playing for quite some time. Uncharted 2 has definitely changed my opinion on the series, and i look forward to playing the third. if you played uncharted 1 you have to pick this one up. wether you liked it or not, give Uncharted 2 a shot. and if you haven;t played any of the games, though i hate paying sequels without playing the original first, i think this one would be alright, though i think the first game should be played before cause Uncahrted 2 may ruin it. definitely a great game to be checked out. duh, it got game of the year award, and people still haven't shut up about it.

(i still have yet to check out the multiplayer, but when i do i'll post a breif review on it if i deem it worthy)

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