Graphics:
10.0
Gameplay:
9.8
Sound:
10.0
Control:
9.5
Replay Value:
9.5
Online Gameplay:
9.5
Overall Rating:
9.8
Publisher:
SCEA
Developer:
Naughty Dog
Number Of Players:
1-10
Genre:
Action/Adventure
Release Date:
October 13, 2009


It's been a huge year for the PlayStation 3. Not only was there a price-drop, but there was also the all new PS3 Slim redesign. Most importantly, though, it's been the games for the PS3 that have swayed opinions left and right. It started off with Killzone 2 early in the year, then continued with inFamous, and of course an all new Ratchet game is set to launch shortly, as well. But it's been one PS3 game in particular that everybody's been talking about, as it has displayed simply the most jaw-dropping game design on any console ever seen. Of course I'm talking about Uncharted 2. With Gran Turismo 5 pushed back to early 2010, Uncharted 2 stands as the front-runner for 2009's game of the year. And it's simple to explain why…

The first thing you need to know about Uncharted 2 is that it isn't laden with a plethora of features and borderline confusing game mechanics. There are no intricate systems you're required to use in order to progress throughout the game. No combos, that you'll likely never use, to earn, upgrade, or purchase. Same goes for the weapons. There are no complicated menus to navigate through. There is simply no unnecessary clutter. This is a game that brings it back to the basics, and reminds us that action-adventure games don't have to be stuffed with tons and tons of worthless mechanics for them to be wholly enjoyable.

Instead, what Uncharted 2 does is offer an adventure that is free of such things by offering an epic experience where the story is constantly flowing and you are never once distracted by anything, allowing you to focus on nothing but the game and its story. But don't get me wrong, it's not that I dislike said mechanics, I just find them annoying when they interfere with the game, or you're forced to use them, games like Metal Gear Solif 4 have pulled this off perfectly in the past, I just want to be clear about that. Essentially, what Naughty Dog has done is created the modern-day Super Marios Bros. game, albeit on a much more epic scale. Think about it, the main principles are there: just like, say, Super Mario Bros. 3, Uncharted 2 focuses on the core adventure, by offering a compelling experience, with absolutely breathtaking level design, simplicity that is welcoming, yet with gameplay that is absolutely addictive. You may be hard pressed to call the similarities true, but ultimately, it is what makes both games so utterly amazing, and what has made one of them a classic for the past 20 years.

This is game design that rings true to gamers such as myself who have been craving for a proper action-adventure game that isn't riddled with useless mechanics, is presented on such an epic-scale, with production quality that isn't too far off from what we've seen come out of Hollywood's computer-animated films. Not since Metal Gear Solid 4 have I been so wrapped up in a game. It took me only two days to beat the game, because each time I sat down, I couldn't pull myself away from it for about five hours each session. And to be perfectly honest, it takes a really special game for me to devote so much of my time to in such a short time span.

Nathan Drake is back, as the game takes place just a few years after the first. This time around, an old friend approaches Drake about breaking into a Turkish museum, finding a hidden relic, and trying to discover the untold story of what happened to Marco Polo's crew of 600 men and 14 ships, of which only 18 men on one ship survived, during his voyage to Persia. The game is very spoiler sensitive, so I'll refrain from saying anything else about the story. But know this, it's quite a well written game, and it's one of those titles where you keep going just to find out what happens next without realizing how many hours you've already spent. I love it.

The basic mechanics in Uncharted 2 are very simple, but extremely effective. Drake's ability to explore has increased ten-fold, as the amount of climbing and jumping he'll do all throughout the game may give you some vertigo. The kinds of heights you'll reach during your expeditions will surely leave you with your jaw on the floor in complete awe, as the level design is nothing short of brilliant here, easily some of the very best I've ever seen. While most puzzles are fairly straightforward, they are, nevertheless, quite a lot of fun to take on and complete.

Action continues to the basic formula of carrying two guns, a pistol (or anything that can be shot with one hand), and a rifle. There's a great variety of guns to choose from, from an assortment of different hand-guns (uzis, pistols, revolvers, etc.), to an equally impressive assortment of rifles and heavy artillery (automatics, sniper rifles, minigun, shotguns, grenade launcher, rocket launcher, and so forth). Each and every gun is well balanced and has its unique advantages, as well as disadvantage. The balance of the weapons is surely brought to light when you're in multiplayer heat, seeing as how you'll have to choose what guns to pack depending on the stage. Stages that aren't as open and are more prone to closer quarters are better off with a shotgun, where as if you're in an environment that is a bit more open, you're better off with a proper rifle that'll allow for some zoom. Throughout the adventure, you'll get to even mount turrets and fight off swarms of enemies, which makes for some really fun times, in addition to picking up shields some enemies leave behind.

The hand-to-hand stuff works well, too. You'll put the Square and Triangle button to good use when you prefer to do a few stealthy attacks, or when you just feel like taking enemies out one by one with your bare hands. Square is your general attack button which you'll punch and kick with, but Triangle is the counter/parry button which you'll have to use when you see an enemy is about to counter and attack you. When the enemy begins his swing at you, a slow-mo segment occurs, and within that time frame you'll have to hit the Triangle button to perform a parry and then immediately attack some more to finish him off. It's simplistic, but, again, highly effective. Other actions you can perform with your bare hands is the ability to throw an unsuspecting enemy off a ledge. If, for example, you are climbing up a ledge and you see an enemy is standing right above you, you can grab his leg and throw him down. Likewise, if you sneak up behind an enemy who is near a ledge, you can push him to his death – this one you'll use often just past the middle of the game, and it's a ton of fun.

Enemy A.I. is pretty solid, perhaps even smarter than the first game. For starters, the A.I. is still smart enough to not stay in one place during a gun fight. You'll often see your enemies moving around finding new places to cover. Second, enemies don't require 6-8 bullets to kill anymore, three well placed bullets should do the trick, but one spot on bullet to the head will do it immediately. Speaking of head-shots, the game tracks your head-shot skills, and there in-game medallions, as well as trophies to earn by pulling off headshots. Next, the A.I. is pretty damn good with a grenade, so beware. And lastly, and this is what leads me to believe the A.I. is smarter than before, I've actually been snuck up on by an enemy a few times in the game, and it wasn't a scripted event, either. Instead of calling in for a swarm of backup, these little bastards just thought they'd be smart by attacking me from behind and knocking me out.

Now, the overall adventure is good for about 10-12 hours, including cut-scenes and all. But chances are you'll want to replay the game again just to experience the whole thing over again. It's one of those games you'll want to play over and over again. But when the adventure is over for you, there's the multiplayer, which is, quite honestly, much better than it should be. I mean, the actual core is already so amazing, that just a few table scraps of multiplayer goodies would've sufficed. But Naughty Dog went all out. First, we have a multiplayer mode that takes various segments and scenarios similar to that of the single-player mode, and allows up to three gamers to get in on the action, by playing as Drake, Sully, and Chloe. These scenarios will include gunfights, puzzle solving, aiding fallen partners, and much more. Another co-op mode includes Gold Rush, will requires the three players to collect the treasures spawning all over the map, all the while a horde of enemies try to stop you. Collecting as many as possible before dying is the obvious goal here.

Other multiplayer modes include Deathmatch, Plunder, Elimination, and Chain Reaction – with all modes capable of up to 10 players. Deathmatch is your standard affair that pits five heroes against five villains, last team standing wins. Plunder is a capture-the-flag mode where you have to steal treasure from a base and bring it back to yours. Elimination is similar to Deathmatch, except teams are not split into a classification, and there are numerous matches played, with the team who wins most declared the winner. And lastly, Chain Reaction is another capture-the-flag variant, albeit with a twist that requires the teams to pick up the flags in a specific order.

On the technical scale, Uncharted 2 is absurdly impressive. But it isn't perfect. There are a few camera issues, which can cause confusion as to how close you are to the next ledge you're trying to jump to. This also presents a few control issues, so you will occasionally experience a death here and there, usually from thinking you could jump down to a certain platform, only to find out it was a bit too far. Beyond that, during my play through, the game did exhibit a few bugs, one of which that froze the game. Another bug some may notice is the game severely lagging behind a cut-scene trigger. For example, in one of the chapters, I climbed up the roof of a house only to find myself wandering aimlessly trying to figure out what to do next. I spent five minutes viewing my surroundings, trying to find something to climb or slide down on, to no avail…thinking I went the wrong way, I dropped myself down realized there was nowhere else to go, turned back and climbed that same building again, and suddenly a cut-scene began as soon as I made it up. What the hell?

Aside from these two little quirks, I never again had a single problem with the single-player mode, and chances are if these issues become common, a patch will fix them up immediately. But it must be said that Uncharted 2 performs on a level never before seen in a console game to date. For starters, the framerate is smoother than the original game, which had a tendency to stutter often. Running at 30 frames per second without fail, Uncharted 2 also manages to run smooth, as well. But it's the overall quality of the visuals people will notice, especially during the absolutely jaw-dropping cut-scenes. Running in real time, these cut-scenes display character detail no other game has ever done before, with textures that have no equal. The same can be said for the graphics when you're actually playing the game. Not only are the environments massive in scale, but the draw-in distance goes on for miles, and the textures that are wrapped around the game world are extremely detailed.

Nearly everything about Uncharted 2's visuals are breathtaking, from the flawless lighting, to the animation, to the character detail, to the art, to the texture work, and especially the gorgeous cinematic cut-scenes. Uncharted 2 represents a level of aesthetic quality that sets the benchmark for all games this generation, achieving a look that rivals even the PC's Crysis – it's that gorgeous. The keen eyed gamer may notice a few minor visual quirks, such as shadows that smooth out as you approach them, or an occasional object popping up here and there, but again, considering the overall scope of things, these issues are truly minute.

Lastly, to go hand-in-hand with the almost flawless presentation is the audio, which is largely driven by the superb voice acting. The dialogue is extremely well done, as each and every voice actor performs their respective part without a hitch. Nathan Drake is still as quippy as ever, adding quite a bit of charm and humor to his character. The supporting cast, which includes both new and old characters also come off extremely strong with their acting. A motion picture-like soundtrack plays in the background usually when enemies are present, and does a great job of setting the tone of the moment. And enabling one of the various surround sound settings in the game further enhances the already surreal experience.

Uncharted 2 represents everything I've always wanted to see out of an action-adventure game such as this. It defines what videogames mean to me. It's designed in such a way that is completely the opposite of what most games in the genre have been doing, and yet, by taking a step back to a more traditional setup, it is without question the best game the genre has seen in a very long time. It is also without question the best looking console game I've ever seen, easily the best of the generation. And, it is also without question the very best game we've seen all year.

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JMO_INDY
JMO_INDY
11 years ago

So close huh? O well, still a buy. Thanks Naughty Dog, congradulations, Im anxious to see what Heavy Rain will get at it's time of release.

Troy Powers
Troy Powers
11 years ago

You know a game is good when you're disappointed that it didn't review a 10.

"Awww, man! 9.8? Guess I'll still pick it up anyway."

soli
soli
11 years ago

nice review 😉

BTNwarrior
BTNwarrior
11 years ago

And the voting community was wrong. Damn

Jackyl
Jackyl
11 years ago

Unless you voted, right!

Guessing the poll won't be closed down till the normal date so there is still plenty of time for people to cheat. :p

Buckeyestar
Buckeyestar
11 years ago

I voted correctly.

Dante399
Dante399
11 years ago

I voted right too…I should receive a copy of the game right? lol

Mr Bitey
Mr Bitey
11 years ago

Great review. It looks like Uncharted 2 has already pummeled the competition for GOTY.

slackernz
slackernz
11 years ago

As Barney puts it, LEGEN-DARY… Can't wait

phantomMenace
phantomMenace
11 years ago

Lol I love that show. Uncharted 2 is going to be amazing. The multiplayer is so addicting I have put about 40 hours into it. Wish my gamestop was having a midnight release but they don't think they will be.

Jiggy
Jiggy
11 years ago

Nice review! I'm glad they had just the multiplayer in the demo, so now when I get it I'll beat the crap out of the single player. And I'm sure those bugs could be fixed easily with an update.

Arnold do you know if the online rankings will reset to Zero when the game is out? I don't wanna lose mine haha.

johnld
johnld
11 years ago

beta or demo stats dont really stay after the game is released. They dont really want to give anyone advantages that other people can complain about.


Last edited by johnld on 10/7/2009 6:44:29 PM

Jiggy
Jiggy
11 years ago

…..They kept the beta rankings when the demo came out

Troy Powers
Troy Powers
11 years ago

But the demo is just an expanded version of the beta. Even when you run it, it says Uncharted 2 beta.

johnld
johnld
11 years ago

yeah but demoes and betas are just that, part of the game. So when the complete game comes out, everything is reset, rankings and levels.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
11 years ago

YEP!

i cant wait to play this game, ive waited o so long!

No more teases with these reiews and awesome scores please!

Although i thought they would have made this one much longer than the first, considering all the praise. obviously yes there is the multiplayer but i love a good long story much like the length and depth of mgs4, and even uncharted: drakes fortune had awesome depth, but I never timed how long Uncharted took me and never payed attn. to if it says how long your game time is. but i know it didnt take more than 12 hours nor less than 9 hours (including cut-scenes) and that was long enough no complaints. But maybe i thought that making a much more epic sequel would also include a significantly longer story!

Honestly for such an epic tale, and game i feel like 2 days, possibly even one to finish the game isnt quite enough. I want to experience this for atleast 3 days. well its a good thing i work i guess. I have a feeling ill be left with wanting more lol!

Alright, btw im not complaining im just saying lol!

I really want this game in my hands!


Last edited by bigrailer19 on 10/7/2009 5:16:09 PM

nickert0n
nickert0n
11 years ago

Tell me about it, I sent my roommate to Bestbuy to pre-order us each a copy and he comes back and is holding two Blu-Ray cases that say Uncharted 2 on them.

I sh** my pants and scream and say "How the F#[email protected] did you get it early!?!?!?"

Then he shows me that they were giving away pre-order bonus multiplayer golden guns for preorders and were putting them in Uncharted 2 game cases.

Assh0les….

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
11 years ago

::Looks up from playing Demon's Souls::

Ah yes, another 9.something for Uncharted2

::Back to Demon's Souls::

NightHawk17
NightHawk17
11 years ago

high-5, ive gotta finish demons souls and yakuza 2 in time for uncharted next week. and theres no school wednesday so im on uncharted all tuesday
XD

LegendaryWolfeh
LegendaryWolfeh
11 years ago

indeed, game is great, got 1 week till u2, lol

nickert0n
nickert0n
11 years ago

I really want to buy Demon Souls but there is no way that I will ever get remotely far enough by the time Uncharted 2 comes out. 🙁

So I wait.

IonHawk
IonHawk
11 years ago

Great review – although I still feel like yelling at you guys (and all the other gaming sites/mags) for keeping on reminding me how great it is, adding to my frustration that its not the 13th yet! 🙂
As far as GOTY goes, my heart says UC2 should get it, but my brain says that MW2 will end up getting it just coz it is multiplatform and will have a larger install base.

HANZ64
HANZ64
11 years ago

Sadly I think MW2 will win GOTY, mainly because of it's unmatched popularity. Yes MW2 is (or will be) an amazing game, but from a technical point of view Uncharted 2 truly deserves it a lot more.

johnld
johnld
11 years ago

Modern warfare 2 may be game of the year at some places but it wont be unanimous as some places like psxextreme, sales wont determine game of the year but the game itself will.

kevinater321
kevinater321
11 years ago

Yes I voted correct! boo yaa! great review, game looks sweet!


Last edited by kevinater321 on 10/7/2009 4:56:20 PM

Xra897
Xra897
11 years ago

OOh

HANZ64
HANZ64
11 years ago

Sold.

furbiesmustdie
furbiesmustdie
11 years ago

9.8?!!??!?? srsyly? pah i shall not buy it then good day!

nogoat23
nogoat23
11 years ago

lol

HAMCHUNKS
HAMCHUNKS
11 years ago

i thought u were surious at first
now its even more funnier lol thx for dat

furbiesmustdie
furbiesmustdie
11 years ago

relax i went down and got my preorder weeks ago. uncharted one remains to be my favorite single-player-shooter experience bar half life 2. uncharted 2 on the other hand: THIS GAME IS GOING TO RE-DEFINE GAMING AS A PLATFORM. IT WILL BE THE BIGGEST LEAP FORWARD SINCE HALF LIFE AND HALO COMBINED.


Last edited by furbiesmustdie on 10/9/2009 7:37:43 AM

Hexen
Hexen
11 years ago

I didn't really think KZ2(or MGS4)graphics would be surpass so soon, so kudos to the excellent team at Naughty Dog studios.Right now all I can do is wait patiently for October 13.

HAMCHUNKS
HAMCHUNKS
11 years ago

i had a massive problem with MGS4 (i luv it and im not xbot, im a mgs fanboy if anything) engine which offten screwed up the shadows of characters and elcetrical poll wires
but it was still amzaing
did anyone else notice it?

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Yea, I forgot how great MGS4 looks. Uncharted 2 looks fantastic. But MGS4 is titties.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

Wow! ALMOST ALMOST!

But tell you what, it got a lot of 10s in many of the categories!

WILL GET!

Possibly the best game this gen right next to Metal Gear Solid 4.

johnld
johnld
11 years ago

hahaha, and its only the beginning of this generation. I wanna see what happens a little later. if theres going to be a clear difference between the ps3 and xbox 360 but right now its clear to me that ps3 got 360 exclusives beat. Since they maxed out the ps3, i wanna see more optimization.

Danny007
Danny007
11 years ago

I thought for sure it would be a perfect 10. So close…

Sir Shak
Sir Shak
11 years ago

Low score . 🙂

Sir Shak
Sir Shak
11 years ago

Day one purchase .

Jackyl
Jackyl
11 years ago

Unless you were lucky enough to be one of those people who won an advanced copy in the last day or two! Or bought it from one of those people currently selling them on ebay.

Banky A
Banky A
11 years ago

Damn it's not a 10/10.
What a disappointment, I am not buying it 🙁

Jackyl
Jackyl
11 years ago

Yeah, totally only worth a rental!

Banky A
Banky A
11 years ago

Booo, who thumbed me down. This game obviously isn't that good coz' it didn't score 10/10 :/
…..

Jackyl
Jackyl
11 years ago

Don't like the head-shot mechanic for multiplayer though. At the sneak peak we all saw someone take 3 bullets to the head from an AK-47 and the guy did not die.

Hope there would be a patch for that.

HAMCHUNKS
HAMCHUNKS
11 years ago

yeah theres lot of times where i shot like 5 times in da head and they die from the pain not the headshot lol
i rather have KZ2 headshot mechanics where n00bs get lucky everyonce in a while or at least 2 shots in da head

Banky A
Banky A
11 years ago

That's because none of those bullets hit his head at all ^_^
Uncharted 2 headshots are instant death.

& KZ2 headshots rock!

If nobody dies from a headshot in KZ2 or U2 then you probably missed, hit their shoulder or neck/clavicle area.
The only other reason is coz' of mild LAGGGG.


Last edited by Banky A on 10/7/2009 9:03:10 PM

Jackyl
Jackyl
11 years ago

Normally I'd agree with you Banky but like I said this was at the cinema sneak peak. This was on a full sized cinema screen. Everyone in the theater was shouting out when that happened and even the host was like "I don't know how he survived that!"

I've heard enough comments about the head shots not always being instant kills to merit Naughty Dog looking into it to see if it might be remedied with a patch.

Fane1024
Fane1024
11 years ago

True story: there was a soldier who got shot in the head/neck three separate times on D-Day and kept going. So, a head shot isn't necessarily a kill. ; )

CH1N00K
CH1N00K
11 years ago

There's a joke in here somewhere about having a killer headache, I know there is!

BlinkBoy
BlinkBoy
11 years ago

my vote in the poll is correct then!

Well I am just waiting til next Wednesday (10.14) which when it release here.

Playing through Drake's Fortune again and will finish the playthrough this weekend.

Let the Gold Rush come.

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