Developer: Naughty Dog
Release Date: 10/13/2009
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The Good: Beautiful rich visuals, great soundtrack, superb dialog, story, and voice acting, punchy gun play, astounding level design, fun multi player
The Bad: Some minor control issues, very difficult towards the end
Ever since the first God of War the action/adventure genre has been all about cinematic set pieces, pounding soundtracks, and adrenaline inducing combat, and Uncharted 2 pulls out all the stops. You play as Nathan Drake, once again, and this time you are trying to find the Cintamani Stone that Marco Polo died trying to find. Along the way you meet old friends, and make new enemies, but the story is as human and satisfying as ever, with amazing, snappy, and witty dialog and voice acting.
The best part about Uncharted 2 are the cinematic set pieces. These completely 1-up the original game when it comes to this. The game starts out with Drake hanging from a train, but to add extra tension the train is slowly falling apart as you climb it. This method of getting your blood flowing is done through out the game, and really helps add to the excitement. The game is made like a Hollywood blockbuster movie with tons of explosions, and guns galore.
The gun play is also a step up from the last game along with a more balanced and better scaled difficulty. Before the game was a pain from the start, but now the game slowly gets harder. With a ton of weapons at your disposal, and with each packing a good punch mowing down baddies has never been so fun. Along with the gun play are on rail shooting sections that are pulse increasing mayhem, and a ton of fun, but Uncharted isn’t just about the action.
The adventure part is well implemented and just as exciting thanks to clever level design, and the puzzles are a little easier to figure out this time around. You really feel like you can do the impossible thanks to the game making you feel like a tiny person in a small world scaling mountains, giant temples, and this is also in part with the camera angles. Naughty Dog learned what worked in the first game, and built tenfold on top of it, and it does show really well.
While the controls and animations feel smoother the game does have its issues still. Despite the difficulty being scaled better the game get’s overly difficult and unbalanced towards the end of the game. The engine just isn’t built for a ton of super tough enemies at once. Dying over and over again just isn’t fun, and this really detracts from the excitement of the story. There are some minor control issues that carried over such as Nate moving to cover when you direct him the wrong way if the camera is turned just the right way. He’ll get stuck on small ledges and this could lead to frustrating cheap deaths, but other than that the game is fine. The game seems to balance gun play and adventuring a little better now as well which makes the pacing spot on.
You can still collect treasures, and unlock new bonuses, and the multi player is pretty fun, but it’s no Modern Warfare in terms of depth and strategy. If you love cinematics and story at its finest picking up Uncharted 2, with its beautiful visuals, will keep you pleased.