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

Platform-hopping with helicopter in tow.

Platform-hopping with helicopter in tow.

One sequence (certainly not the most complex or protracted) saw Drake and co trading shots with irritable Rusky balaclavas in a hotel, fighting their way from floor to floor while an annoyingly persistent gunship tore out the foundations with missiles. After enduring this punishment for a few moments the entire building fell against a neighbouring one, toppling Drake, his friends, the goons and every loose object in the vicinity, including cover points sideways mid-battle. As an instance of cinematic and technical overload, it rivals even Killzone 2′s trademark aerial deployment intro.

For all that, Uncharted 2 is also a game which knows when to come off the boil. Immediately after the flashbacks reunite explosively with the frostbitten present tense, Drake is treated to a peaceful, purgative tour of an alpine village, a reprieve little spoiled by the well-founded suspicion that you’re being permitted to memorise a cover layout in advance. There are the expected gymnastic puzzles, old hat to players of Tomb Raider: Underworld or Prince of Persia but still a pleasant distraction, plus the option (and it’s rarely more than an option) to stealth it up where the levels are more open-ended.

One APC down. Time for a breather.

One APC down. Time for a breather.

Climbing and platforming are now both accessories and alternatives to gunplay, as the game’s BAFTA-worthy train-ride sequence illustrates, but you’ll need to take the fight online to experience this mechanical integration at its best. While the team, objective-driven and cooperative multiplayer modes take no giant strides beyond those of Gears of War 2, Among Thieves is faster, smoother and a lot less “block-built” in nature.

The maps, which range from zero-visibility snowscapes through bombed-out plazas to crumbling monasteries, put considerable play on switching elevation: objectives like treasure chests or capture zones are sprinkled across the vertical axis, and for every chokepoint or tight spot there’s generally a scalable wall or precarious shortcut. Knowing when to expose yourself atop a temple roof, when to open fire while dangling from the lip of a wall, when to attempt that daredevil leap, is as fundamental to survival as mastering the close-quarters grenade toss or proper blindfire etiquette.

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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