2009, while having a lot of great games, wasn’t as big as 2007, with releases like Super Mario Galaxy and Bioshock to name a few that defined 2007. However, we did get a lot of A-list titles like Infamous, Prototype, Punch Out!!, Ratchet and Clank Future: a Crack in Time, Muramasa: the Demon Blade, New Super Mario Brothers Wii, Left 4 Dead 2, Brutal Legend, Assassin’s Creed 2, and of course, Batman Arkham Asylum. While those are all great games in their respective genre, one game kind of took over the spotlight for the title for Game of the Year. What is this game that took the world and critics by storm as the best game of 2009? Well, this title is just simply known as Sonic and the Black Knight. No, I’m kidding. That game sucked. The actual name of the game is called Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. I have never seen such critical acclaim for a third person shooter. I mean, I enjoyed the first Uncharted even with its small faults that held it back, but check these awards out that this game has won. Best PS3 game of E3 2009 by 1UP.com, Best Third Person Shooter, Best Graphics, Best Story, and Best Single Player Campaign by Gametrailers.com, and multiple Game of the Year awards from other sites and magazines. Gosh dang, this game better be as amazing as everyone says it is. Let’s dive right into what people consider one of the single best PS3 games of all time.
The story takes place with Nathan Drake waking up in a train car, hanging off the side of a mountain in Nepal. It then turns to flashbacks to show what happened to Nathan Drake to get to where he is now. It turns out that he has teamed up with two old companions to find the lost treasure of Marco Polo. However, during this adventure Nathan encounters betrayal, and has to get the treasure while trying not to get killed by a psychopath named Zoran Lazarevic. It then turns into a race to the treasure, kind of like how the Indiana Jones films are set up, except I think I prefer this story to the Indiana Jones films though. While not an original idea, since like I said, it’s like Romancing the Stone or the Indiana Jones franchise, but it works and it is executed really well. Now, I am going to go in-depth with the story of a minute so I don’t care if I spoil it for people who haven’t played this game. The thing with the first game was that it was a good story, but in the end, the twist was, I think, not that good. Don’t get me wrong. Nathan realizing that people who touch the El Dorado statue turn into zombie vampire things is an interesting twist, but I didn’t like it. The same kind of twist happens here in Among Thieves. Nathan is actually trying to find this giant gemstone that Marco Polo found, but then he realizes that the gemstone isn’t really a stone. It turns out that the gemstone is actually blue amber from the tree of life. What happens this time is people who eat the amber turn into these buff blue warriors who guard the tree of life. Now, what I like about this is that it’s a little more reasonable twist than the twist in Uncharted, where it turned the crew of Nathan’s ancestor into creatures. I was expecting something more like the Aztec Indians that were still alive in the final area of the game. It just made me feel like I was playing Resident Evil 4 or 5. In Uncharted 2 however, I think its handled more, since the blue warriors are still strong, but don’t overwhelm you in numbers like in the last game. The story is also longer which means the game is longer, which is always a bonus. Give me a long story over multiplayer any day.
The gameplay featured in Uncharted is more of the same stuff that you would do in the first game. You go around solving environmental puzzles, collecting treasure, platforming, and shooting enemies. The shooting is, of course, done in Gears of War-style third person shooting. It’s basic, but it works well, unlike Dark Void. Another interesting gimmick that the game has added is stealth, but it’s not all perfect, and I will explain later. The fist-to-fist combat has also been fixed better, and it works really well. The multiplayer is nothing that I have ever seen in a game. I have played some Modern Warfare online, but I think Uncharted 2 blows Modern Warfare’s multiplayer out of the water. You get a lot of variety in online modes like a 3 person co-op campaign mode, variations of capture the flag, Horde, and other multiplayer modes that you can find on other shooters. Recently, like a few months back, they have come out with more maps and a new siege mode, but I haven’t been able to play that, so I can’t talk much about it.
The graphics in the game are just amazing. It’s definitely right up there with games like God of War 3 and Heavy Rain, which happens to be two of my favorite games of all time. It is amazing to see all the details, like Drake’s legs getting covered in snow, or when his whole body goes in the water. They put a lot of hard work in this sequel and it shows. The only thing that would be more amazing is after beating each chapter or for each amazing graphical detail you can spot, you would get 100 dollars. The voice acting is also very well done with, of course, Nolan North, Emily Rose, and Richard McGonagle returning in their respective roles, and new actors like Claudia Black, Steve Valentine, and Graham McTavish doing, in order, Chloe Frazer, Harry Flynn, and Zoran Lazerevic. The humor in the game is good, but sometimes it is downright hilarious. Another great thing about the acting is that the script is written so well that you get enlightened by everyone’s past relationship with each other without it being shoved in your face like other games. Overall, the presentation is one of the best I have ever seen on a single game. The music is once again amazing, and I just love it. Composer Greg Edmonson who is famous for the soundtrack for Firefly once again does an amazing job with this game’s soundtrack.
However, there are some chinks in this game’s strong defense that kind of bothers me. The intelligence in the enemies is really questionable. During the stealth segments, it seems like the enemies are just stupid not to notice you’re right there next to them. Granted, the blue Avatar buff enemies are smarter and will come at you with force, but it doesn’t make up for the rest of the enemies in the game. That is basically the only thing I think is wrong with this game, though it makes up for it with enemies who will outnumber you if you stay in one place too long. It makes you push forward and go through the fight.
Uncharted 2 was just amazing to play. This has to be one of the best experiences that I have ever had playing a video game. This is definitely an unexpected addition to some of my favorite games of all time. If you own a Playstation 3 and don’t have this game, there is something wrong with you. I would buy this game on the spot if I saw a copy of it. It’s fun, intense, filled with action, and is all around wonderful to play. Don’t just take my word for it, go check it out yourself
This game gets a 9.8 out of 10