The first Uncharted game was a solid action adventure that introduced us to Nathan Drake. A competent game that had alot to improve upon for it to be considered a great. Sequels can go one of three ways. It continues the same quality, it falls behind the original game or it improves upon what came before. Enter Uncharted 2. A followup to the successful first game. Uncharted 2 goes above and beyond what is expected of a sequel and makes the first game look almost amateurish.
With a huge step up in graphics and sound, a better and more fleshed out story, interesting and better written characters, amazing set pieces even by today’s standards and on top of all that it is a great length. Uncharted 2 blows the first game out of the water and takes the gamer on a terrific adventure.
Naughty Dog took the positives from the first game and dialled everything up to eleven. I was constantly surprised with how great this game still looks and performs. From the great looking trail you leave in the snow to the shimmering heat haze in the hotter environments, everything looks great and really shows off how great the last generation consoles performed. Set pieces see buildings fall apart, cracking and toppling over from explosions with realistic debris breaking off everywhere. Character models have been enhanced and are animated better than previously. Facial expressions are great with fantastic detail on them as well as the clothing of the characters. Streets and environments are littered with detail so as to make these environments seem much more lived in and realistic. Huge statues adorn certain areas of the game which show off the amazing graphical work even more. In addition to that, as mentioned before, there are a few set pieces in Uncharted 2 that are wonderfully impressive and entertaining.
Sounds and music have also been improved with more diversity and more of it. Hearing the music kick in when a set piece is underway is something to savour. It suits the visuals incredibly well. Weapons sound meaty and environmental sounds all add to this atmosphere. All dialogue is believable with returning characters sounds even more convincing. Nolan North really does do an amazing job with this character.
I found the story much more interesting compared to the first game. Pacing was done very well and playing the game always felt like you were moving forward at a good speed. When I felt like I had had enough of a certain environment the game seemed to then move to a completely different environment making everything feel fresh again. Each environment or mission is just as immaculately detail as the one that came before. Seriously, some of these environments scale and depth are so impressive they rival more recent games. The story has introduced more interesting characters this time to with existing ones more fleshed out and new characters being more interesting and really adding to the overall story. The only disappointing issue I found was the small role that Sully played in the game. Being a fan of his and his relationship with Drake, it was a shame he wasn’t in the game much more.
Controls have also been improved this time as they feel more responsive and streamlined. The camera can still be an issue for me though when control is taken away but it is still an improvement. Ledges are sometimes hard to judge or you fall by accident but these are small issues in an otherwise great game.
In saying that, any real problems with this game are so trivial they are almost meaningless next to everything else it gets so very right. From the technical accomplishments through to the fun gameplay and diverse settings, Uncharted really found its feet with the sequel. Looking forward to the third game in the series to see if Naughty Dog can improve the formula even more but for now and for this sequel it is definitely…
Uncharted 2: Among The Greats