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By Thomas McKinnon 6 November 2009

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Games are perhaps the only entertainment media in which sequels are routinely superior to the original, with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves a prime example. While the first received critical acclaim, Among Thieves betters it in every way possible.

The witty but daring Nathan Drake is back as the main protagonist. Along with the other characters in the game, like Flynn the smarmy Brit, sexy Chloe with a hidden agenda and “a spade is a spade” Sully, he adds life to the game. The voice acting is second to none and the game’s cut scenes get you caught up in the narrative in a way we’ve rarely experienced.

The fact that the storyline is solid ‘treasure hunting’ goodness- part history lesson, part fantasy adds further to its appeal. The look of the whole game brings the presentation together superbly with some of the best graphics we’ve seen on the platform, the snow and foliage for instance are outstanding.

Gameplay


There’s little point to a game that has a good storyline and looks good if the gameplay doesn’t match. Uncharted 2 delivers on this front as well. You get to face goons of every sort, and take them down with stealth; engage in a little hand-to-hand combat; or shoot ‘em up with everything from a tranquiliser to a mini-gun. The game even features a decent cover system with Drake able to manoeuvre round corners while keeping cover or flip over tables to create his own.

Beyond the combat there are the environmental challenges of scaling walls, climbing trains and crawling sewers to contend with. Moving through numerous and varied environment from snow capped mountains to urban jungles is great fun, with the environments often offering a number of ways to go about completing your objectives.

The game is also loaded with puzzles of the more challenging kind. Clues to solving puzzles are accessed via Drake’s notebook, often spanning a number of doodle covered pages. We found the puzzles to be some of the best we’ve come across.

Conclusion

Uncharted 2 is the PS3 game to watch in coming months. Beyond the rather full story mode there’s a three-player cooperative mode and a multiplayer offering which together could have been a standalone release. These modes feature chapters and environments that are modelled on the story mode and are a serious amount of fun to keep you busy once you’re through with the story mode. All told Uncharted 2 is fun to play, has a solid storyline and offers a variety of action and adventure. It’s a serious contender for the next PS3 game of the year title.

PROS
The Graphics, voice acting, storyline and multiplayer mode are all superb.
CONS
The cover system was a little dodge at times and the game is very linear.
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