Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Review

Off the charts, off the scale. Naughty Dog’s latest PS3 action-adventure is one to treasure.

By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, October 22, 2009

I smell a puzzle.

I smell a puzzle. That's Chloe on the right.

Beginning with the theft of an oil lamp from a museum, and waltzing its way through unlikely alliances, double-crosses (never trust a geezer, people), escapes and pursuits, infiltrations and pitched battles, the story is darker than that of the original without skimping on wisecracks, cinematic nostalgia or explosions. Drake himself is one of gaming’s great protagonists, a halfway house between the headstrong heroism of Jak and the self-serving cheek of Daxter, and the developer pursues his quest for fame and fortune to its logical end without descending into sentimentality.

New characters include femme fatale Chloe, voiced by Farscape‘s Claudia Black, and Robin Atkin Downes’s no-bullshit Tenzin, whose gentle non-English asides are a great antidote to the sarky banter which prevails elsewhere. Graham Tavish puts in an underwhelming but sufficiently villainous turn as rogue general Lazarević, ER‘s Emily Rose returns as straight-and-narrow love interest Elena, and Richard McGonagle carries on chomping cigars as Nate’s mentor Sullivan.

Visually, Uncharted 2 is now the one to beat.

Visually, Uncharted 2 is now the one to beat.

The visuals defy description, but I’ll do my best. Suffice to say this is the best-looking console game ever made, whether you use the mo-capped procedural animations or tactile skin maps as yardsticks or the immaculate, lethal outlines of the mountainsides, the incandescent splendour of those tumble-down temples and the stained-glass opulence of the jungles. Uncharted’s chief wrinkles – copious tearing and a weird jagged haze around character’s heads – have been steamed out, detail level is through the roof and the lighting wondrously multi-levelled (Among Thieves is one of a few games to feature ambient occlusion, or “sky light”, in real time).

Numerous set pieces give Naughty Dog’s engine plenty of opportunity to strut its stuff. Each is constructed from fairly homely components, like helicopters, explosive barrels and train rides, but you can’t argue with the grandiosity of it all, nor with the silky-smooth way these flashpoints fold into the routine business of shooting, ducking and scrambling. It’s a varied, but not a fragmented thrill-ride.

7 Responses to “Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Review”

  1. JP says:

    Good review, but for me it’s never a 10. A 10 indicates perfection, and Uncharted 2, although a great game is never a 10.

    Personally, i’d give it an 8.

    • theegyptianone says:

      that is stupid from u because 10 in gaming doesnt mean perfect but it means that gaming doesent get any much beter with todays technology and in terms of the whol experiance but nothing is perfect so ur saying we shouldent score anything in the world 10? that is realy retarded

  2. join says:

    what a great game , what a great review , uncharted 2 is not a normal game it is a super game has made ever i dont love any game sush as uncharted 2 it is amazing every thing in the game is superior .
    shortly it is the game of the year 2009 .

  3. JP says:

    sorry for my stupid comment, uncharted 2 deserves an 11 and i’m an idiot for giving it an 8, i meant to give ODST the 8

    • theegyptianone says:

      lol i dint read ur last comment their but yea odst gets nothing from me because its more of the same as any halo game why would i play more of the same when i can go get my xbox 1 from my garage and play halo2?

  4. [...] 3D have compromised the past two decades’ worth of game-related writing. I gave Uncharted 2 a 10/10 in 2009. In hindsight, I should have rated it a 5 for making false pretenses to the title of a 3D [...]


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