Let me begin by saying that I’m sorry for getting to this review so late. But thankfully our editor had a copy left over for me to review since we never got to this one earlier this year. And how lucky I am to be the one to snag the review duties. Uncharted 2 is a spectacular and amazing thrill ride throughout the entire experience. If you thought the first Uncharted was great, prepare to be blown away. The first thing I’d like to note is that this game has the best graphics that I’ve seen in a game to date. The amount of detail put into the level design is absolutely stunning. The voice acting is among the best in the industry. And the excellently rendered cut-scenes flow so seamlessly between storytelling and game play. The cinematic feel and storytelling shown in Uncharted 2 are definitely some of the best that has ever graced the video game industry. The characters really come alive and either make you love or hate them depending on their actions.
There really isn’t a whole lot of difference in the way the weapons feel or in Drake’s arsenal aside from a few new weapons, but in defense of this there wasn’t anything wrong with it in the first place. Taking aim is extremely smooth and intuitive. The blindfire system from cover works as a secure way of dispatching your enemies, though you give up a lot of accuracy in the attempt. The length of this campaign is just about perfect for an action adventure game. It generally takes about 12 to 15 hours to complete and every step of the way is filled with some of the biggest and awe inspiring action sets I have ever played through. Thankfully Naughty Dog didn’t succumb to the trend of games with campaign runtimes of less than 8 hours (ahem, MW2). After you’ve climbed, gunned and lived your way through this game you will immediately want to play it again.
Another new and fantastic addition to the Uncharted lineup is the inclusion of a multiplayer this time around. The online menus work smoothly and I never have a bit of trouble finding a game and jumping right in the fun. Most of the normal shooter play modes are here, such as deathmatch, king of the hill and so on. A new twist on an old classic that I really enjoyed is capture the treasure. It is essentially Uncharted’s version of capture the flag except that the two teams are hunting a single treasure; the difference is that you can toss the treasure ahead to yourself, or one of your teammates. This is so fun when it comes to some of the levels that have a multi-tiered design. The multiplayer comes with a system of perks not unlike those found in Call of Duty, but the improvement on this is that they never feel overpowered. I never find myself cursing and complaining because someone killed me with some add on or that they had some ridiculous perk that made them near invincible to those without the same.
The online community is for the most part fun and mature here—which is such a nice departure from the juvenile antics found in the online fields of Halo and COD. Naughty Dog periodically holds double cash weekends where you earn double the money for all your kills and game achievements. Also they pick two offbeat character skins that all the players must be; fat Drake made me laugh nearly the whole first game I played as him. Also noteworthy is that they released a new map already, free of charge. Unlike others who hunger for all your hard earned dollars, Naughty Dog seems to just generally care about their online community and they try to please them in every way that they can with this game.
Lastly I’ll touch on the co-op mode. This is a series of missions that you can fight alongside your buddies in and they’re usually tailored towards needing your whole crew to complete. You can’t play the entire game like this though, instead you’ll choose between a handful of selected missions that Naughty Dog reworked from the single player. This is a nice addition to the franchise as well and will keep you and your friends shooting a wealth of baddies for many hours to come. So in short, I want to say that this title is a rare gem in the vast mountains of video games. With industry defining graphics, ultimately engaging storytelling, and some of the best acting and game play mechanics ever put to a disc, Uncharted 2 should NOT be missed by anyone who calls themselves a gamer.