Thoughts on Uncharted 2 - From HDD members (or at least me) - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 10-18-2009, 01:24 PM
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Default Thoughts on Uncharted 2 - From HDD members (or at least me)

Don't worry, there won't be any spoilers...


Uncharted 2: Among Thieves has been hyped. The developer, Naughty Dog, has been holding themselves with quite a bit of pride, but then again, every developer does this after finishing a high profile title. However, what's shocking is that as of this post there are 69 reviews on metacritic, there are 25 scores of 100 (which really doesn't mean perfect, it's akin to a 4 star movie or whatever the top number on the scale is). Even more impressive is of those 69 reviews.... Not one of them below 90. Instinctively, I kind of have doubts about games being that good, because afterall, lots of games get overrated and we know that there are problems with the review system to some degree. Nonetheless, after playing in the beta over the summer, I knew I wanted this game. And I got my chance to play it since my roommate picked it up on day one.


One of the big additions to the gameplay for the franchise is stealth gameplay. For what it is, it's quite good. Now you really can't play the entire game stealthy, that much needs to be clear, so it's not open-ended gameplay like Metal Gear Solid 4 was, where you could choose how to attack each and every situation in the entire game. Uncharted 2, though, has a segment at the beginning of the game that is stealth only, has plenty of gun-fight only segments, but also has a fair share of segments where it is entirely up to you how to handle it, be it stealthily or going rambo. It's actually quite nice because there was one point in the game where my roommate slogged through a gun battle, but at that same point, I was able to finish half of it with just stealth. Your puzzle solving and platforming elements are back (with much more emphasis on platforming in this installment over the last one), and for the most part it works quite well.

The gameplay itself works rather well. Essentially, it continues the mixture of Gears of War and Tomb Raider, and adds some Splinter Cell style stealth. None of it is perfect, but aside from the stealth, Uncharted 2 does what it does better than Gears of War and Tomb Raider. The camera does get strange at times, but I never found myself making leaps of faith, a common complaint of Tomb Raider. The ability to switch shoulders while aiming and better cover controls give it the edge over Gears of War.

I did notice something, and while it's definitely not a complaint, it is something interesting. Uncharted 2 takes some pages (not a whole lot, but enough to be noticed) from the first installment and improves upon them all... Including a lot of the situations you find yourself in. This is NOT a bad thing, though. Not at all. It does take away a little from being unpredictable, but at the same time, it was so good in the first game that I didn't mind seeing something similar in this edition. I won't spoil the game any but lets say that if you've played the first one, you'll definitely see what I'm talking about. Uncharted 2 does not follow Uncharted 1's formula 100%. I'd actually put it more at around being 20% or less.

One thing that I'm glad Uncharted 2 improved upon is the grapics. Not only was the first one a great looking game (and still is), this sequel pushes the visuals even further. The snow looks great, the water still looks great, the character models are amazing, and best of all, the levels are absolutely gorgeous. Its not hard to imagine that I'm not the only one who thinks Uncharted 2 looks even better than KillZone 2, a phenomenal looking game in it's own right. Fine, there are minor imperfections. The hair is a tad jaggy, Drake's hair is stiff, and the enemy designs are kind of generic, but the modelling itself is still quite good. We're looking at minor quibbles at best, though. Best part is that as good looking as the game is, it's framerate holds like a champ.

I would like to switch gears and talk about the writing of this game. The reason is actually quite simple. The writing is amazing. It's funny, it's engaging, it keeps you wanting to play so you can see what happens next. But really, it makes you believe that the characters on screen are human. They act human, they talk human, they move human. The only thing not human is the extraordinary situation that they find themselves in.

The multiplayer aspect of the game is what made me want Uncharted 2. Though ultimately, I came away from the single player experience thrilled and excited, the multiplayer is compelling. It's incredibly simple to use, the party system is simple but effective, and there's a large number of options at your disposal as far as what to play. The co-op mode should have had more maps but considering how long they are, I think it'll be just fine. During the beta and the demo, I found myself not being bored of Nepal at all. But playing with friends will do that. You unlock things by earning money, which can come from the single player or multiplayer (competitive and co-op). Like Call of Duty, you can equip perks (called boosters, which are bought with money obtained from single player or multiplayer after reaching the requisite rank). It's stable, it's not buggy, and it's fun.

In the end, we have a great game, a storyline that keeps you engaged to the point where you just want to keep playing to see what happens next. With great visuals, utterly solid gameplay, and backed by superb writing, this is easily a game of the year contender.

And it has Odo from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Instant brownie points.


After the experience I had with Uncharted 2, it'd be hard for me to disagree with the experiences all the reviewers had. Though not perfect, it is simply the greatest game I've played this year, and perhaps even best game I've played this console generation. And I'm warming up to the idea of placing it in my top 10 games of all time, even.

10/10. Not to say it's perfect, though. But it is an accomplishment in being a testament to the fact that games can truly be an artform in a way so few titles do. In spite of Activision and Nintendo treating the medium as if it were disposable products to be exploited, Uncharted 2 looks at those publishers and says "screw you".
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Old 10-18-2009, 01:28 PM
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Should have given it a 0/10 for not enough little boys.
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Old 10-18-2009, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onslaught X View Post
Should have given it a 0/10 for not enough little boys.
Yeah, that was why he gave Fallout 3 11/10. Little Lamplight was like an orgy of possibilities. Though, the upcoming MS patch might ruin his chances of getting a Gingerbread House mod installed.
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Old 10-18-2009, 02:43 PM
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OMG LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I don't get the BBM jokes, but they usually lock Uncharted 2 threads, no matter how well intending.
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Old 10-18-2009, 02:47 PM
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Thanks for sharing, but we have several Uncharted 2 threads already.

Not sure why this personal review couldn't have gone one we already have.
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Old 10-18-2009, 02:49 PM
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I posted a Gears of War 2 review thread not too long after I got it while we still had several active Gears 2 threads at the time, so I guess there's precedent for it being fine. >_>
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Old 10-18-2009, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBM128 View Post
I posted a Gears of War 2 review thread not too long after I got it while we still had several active Gears 2 threads at the time, so I guess there's precedent for it being fine. >_>

Hmmm, if I was an omnipotent being, I would have shut you down...
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Old 10-18-2009, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
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Hmmm, if I was an omnipotent being, I would have shut you down...
I feel so loved.
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Old 10-18-2009, 03:00 PM
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One star thread.
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twonunpackmule View Post
Yeah, that was why he gave Fallout 3 11/10. Little Lamplight was like an orgy of possibilities. Though, the upcoming MS patch might ruin his chances of getting a Gingerbread House mod installed.
"Child at Heart" perk? I wonder what the unique dialogue choices were...

On topic, I'm on chapter 14 on Uncharted 2, I saved last night right after the train. Fantastic game so far but I will comment when I'm done with the SP.
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