Monday, February 1, 2010

Game Review: Uncharted 2

I absofuckinglutely love this game.  It opens with the protagonist, Nathan Drake, shot, bleeding, and freezing to death in a train car that is hanging off of the side of a cliff and only not falling because it is connected to the next train car.  He must then climb his way along the outside of the train car and run for his life to get onto safe land.  From there, the action never stops.  The game then flashes back and the story progresses until we see how Drake ended up on that train in that position and continues from that point to its conclusion.

The cover-based third-person shooting never becomes old because of how well it is implemented and because the levels are not only varied in location, but have differences in theme for the gunplay.  Some levels emphasize stealth.  Some levels emphasize explosive action.  In some areas you are just running for your life.  These, as well as many other scenarios kept me interested and happy.  My first playthrough clocked in at around 10 hours played, and there never was a dull moment.

Stealth, platforming, cover, melee, and gunplay are all designed and implemented excellently and kept me happy throughout the duration of the game

One of my complaints about the first game was that the platforming elements that were played up in previews of the game were not featured as heavily as expected in the final product, and appeared to disappear towards the end of the game.  Uncharted 2 keeps the varied gameplay elements omnipresent throughout the duration of the game.  Furthermore, the game is very flexible in how you approach each situation.  If you want to try to stealth kill all of your enemies, you can be successful with that, if you want to kill them all Rambo-style you can.  Each method has its challenges and rewards.

Furthermore, this game has realistic, non-cartoony graphics that also have color and style.  The character models are well done and respond to changes in environment.  Clothes become wet when you swim, and your boots gather snow as you plod through the mountains.  The script, acting, and animations were excellently done and portrayed an interesting story.

I'm almost done playing through the game a second time on the hardest difficulty, Crushing.  Afterward, I'm going to send it back to Gamefly and eagerly await for it to be released on Greatest Hits so I can buy it cheaply.

Great job, Naughty Dog!