Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - what a treat of a game, what a grand adventure! It's packed with explosive Hollywood action and visuals that never stop to amaze. At the moment, I find it hard to think of another game that looks as gorgeous.
It's not all action and glitter though, Uncharted 2 features a captivating story and, probably, the most interesting female character in the history of gaming. Nah, I'm not talking of Elena, the main character's unfortunate choice for a love object (the second time around). She looks and sounds very generic and is so dull, I would rather not see her included in Drake's story at all. I was referring to Chloe. Not only this girl has very distinctive looks, she also has the sexiest and most memorable voice I've heard in a while. Not only that, her character is the most realistic of the lead trio. She is neither too good or evil, she is very practical when appraising a situation, unlike Drake and Elena who, way too often, appear as if characters from a fairy tale - brave to a point when it looks plain dumb.
Even a highly captivating adventure, Among Thieves has way too many flaws to be perfect. I'll mention a few of them.
The greatest downside of the whole Uncharted series might be its unoriginality. I can't think of a single thing found in the game that I haven't already seen some place before. The game consists of two parts - performing an array of acrobatic moves in order to travel from point A to point B and shooting your enemies. The acrobatics bit is clearly inspired by Lara Croft's adventures. Drake imitates almost every move Lara has ever done. Sadly, he is not that good at his imitations. When I look at Drake making one jump after another, I don't see the same fluidity that Lara can boast. He looks rather clumsy in comparison. I'll talk more on that subject. There are several video interviews included with the original Uncharted. On one of them, some person from the development team speaks in great length about how they wanted to make the main character appear as a regular guy, not a Rambo-type fella who does everything perfectly. To show that Drake is not your typical action hero, he is animated in such a way that not all of his moves are executed to the A. For instance, sometimes he can have a rough landing after a long jump. That sort of thing. The matter of fact is, no one in their right mind would mistake Drake for your every day sort of guy. Even though we constantly see him screw up a bit, in the end he makes every jump and catches every ledge. He also single-handedly kill, what, several hundred heavily armed professionals. In the end, he comes off as bad-ass as Commando. If not even more unbelievable. Oh yeah, and the way Uncharted's protagonist looks every time he goes for another leap, he should have fallen to the death most of the time. I prefer Lara Croft approach more - she doesn't pretend to be a typical girl and she looks incredible while doing her acrobatics. Looking her mount a a cliff is a big part of the game experience.
Also, to make things casual, the developers decided to minimize the possibility of their hero to screw up - it's impossible to make a wrong jump. If Drake can't leap in the direction you are pointing him at without grabbing an edge or landing safely, he'll simply refuse to move.
to be continued