Review: Uncharted 2 Among Thieves

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was originally released in 2009 for the PS3, but was re-released as a remastered edition in 2015. I never played the original version in 2009, but after playing the remastered version, I really wish I had. A slave to the Xbox console, I never knew what I was missing until I played Uncharted 2. Never had a game wowed me as much as this one- at least not a game that isn’t an open world sandbox game- in just about every aspect of gameplay. I loved Drake’s Fortune, but it was very straightforward and very simple- I had fun, but all of my struggles were easily overcome. This game was extremely challenging and frustrating at times, and I debated with myself whether I wanted to give this a gold or a green rating- and I realized that I would be ashamed of myself if I gave this a green rating, because the reason would be that the game was too “difficult” at times, but what’s a game that doesn’t get you stuck now and then?…

I hear a lot about people wanting an Uncharted movie, and while it might be cool, I think it would be disappointing no matter what; there’s no way any movie that a studio puts out would be better than the experience one gets when playing this game. The set pieces, cut scenes, sequences, and characters are already cinematic and gorgeous, and any adaptation that these aspects would have to film would be nothing besides a let down. There were many times in this game where my jaw dropped and I was just flat-out amazed by what I was seeing: I knew nothing going in about what to expect so I’m going to say nothing here, but just know that if you play this game, you will be awe-struck by the scenes and set pieces. Honestly, no game has wowed me as much as this game- and this game did that 10 times over.

The story was one thing that was very well-done. In the first mission, you get betrayed by somebody who leaves you for dead, and the was something I saw from a mile away. I thought I knew how the rest of the game would play out since I could get the first chapter’s ending… nope. This game is extremely unpredictable and it kept me on my toes, and kept me guessing until the very last scene- which made me tear up. Part of the reason why the story works so well is because the characters are astounding- I mean the way they’re animated, written and performed just drew me in immediately, and the way they play off of each other was beyond entertaining. I laughed out loud at Nathan’s quips at least a dozen times, and they were usually in response to Elena or Chloe, both of whom he works very well with as a jokester. The villain was one problem that I had with the first game, because you don’t even know who the villain is throughout, and then the villain switches to a new guy in the very last scene, which made them both extremely forgettable and weak as can be. This was not the case here. The first time we meet the bad guy in this game, I thought he was just a henchmen. In fact, I didn’t know who he really was until closer to the end, and while that’s a fault of the storytelling, his presence in the game is always a threat to our hero. Not only does he pose a physical threat to Nathan, but he is also after the “treasure” and often threatens, intimidates or stops us from progressing. He does a lot of damage, along with his army, and he is HARD to beat in the penultimate battle of the game. Talk about frustrating.

Another aspect of this game that was a vast improvement was the controls. Swift, fluid, and more natural, the shooting in this game was much easier to do- even if the opponents were much harder to kill with headshots than in the first game. In fact, the first game was much easier all around. Here, the firefights were very hard at times, and the puzzles actually took some thought as opposed to the straight-forward and obvious ones in the first game, in which I never got stuck once. In this game, I got stuck an embarrassing number of times and died so many more; this game made me look like a terrible gamer, which made playing very disheartening at times, but motivating to finish it without feeling like I sucked too much. Sometimes, the game would glitch or  I would run into problems with the cover/hanging mechanics, but never enough trouble to warrant an actual complaint; if you read my review of the first game, you’d know that my playstyle and the playstyle that the Uncharted games require vary slightly. This game, though, was a lot easier for me to play (although harder to beat) as the controls were much better- and I loved how stealth was a much more prominent aspect as I wasn’t a fan of how little it was in the first game.

There’s really nothing that I wouldn’t praise about the game: the characters were hilarious and interesting, the action and set pieces were unbelievable and awe-inspiring, the story was unpredictable and enthralling, and the graphics were mesmerizing and the gameplay a blast… I have to give Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (remastered edition) a gold recommendation, and a 9+/10 overall- the only game I have rated gold so far (out of two games…). I can’t wait to play the third and fourth, and maybe this one again because it was just so much fun. Like watching a movie, but with you at the controls, this game is going to be a classic- one for the ages.

Published by Blake Carson Schwarz

Indiana University graduate in Media and Creative Writing. I love to write my own stories as well as experience the work of others. On this site, I post reviews, essays, and other fun posts that I hope you have as much fun reading and I have writing. Please share any comments you have, I'd be happy to hear what you think! *Never a critic, always a fan*

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