Friday, June 11, 2010

Review: "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves"

I think I can type out a quick one for this. There isn't really that much to say about Uncharted 2. Imagine Prince of Persia with guns, and with guns, you will play in the third person shooter style that all console gamers are so familiar with (GTA4, Gears of War, Mass Effect, you get the idea). Actually, suddenly it sounds just like Tomb Raider. =/

Basically, you are Drake. Your friend finds clue to big treasure, you join in with hot chick, you got backstabbed, vows to stop him, meet another hot chick, and goes on to save the world. It's a pretty long story with 26 chapters in all. In these chapters, you violently mount trains, participate in mini-war zones, scale the Himalayas and placed under very f'ed up situations time and time again.

Great art and atm

Honestly, if I were to talk about gameplay, it would only discourage you from playing. It's less climb-ey compared to Assassin's Creed and some of the obstacles are a lot less obvious than Prince of Persia. Yet again, I find myself thinking that this game's gameplay is very similar to Tomb Raider, just that it's done a lot better and a lot more dramatically.

The third person shooter section is nothing special at all. *thinks about what to write* Nope, nothing to talk about it at all. If you are familiar with other TPS', you'll do quite fine here.

So for the whole game, you just go from Climbing Game to Shooting Game and back to Climbing Game again. The cycle repeats until you reach chapter 26. Towards the end, you don't (or at least I don't) even want to do the climbing sequences anymore. Although there's nothing special about the shooting part of the game, it's still fun to gun your enemies down. There are trophies that rewards you for each kill per weapon so that give me more reason to use the gun than brains given the choice of either.

Shit happens, you'll see

But truly, what makes this game so good. It's GDC's best overall game of 2010, also winning best audio, best technology, best visual art and best writing. I agree! It has great audio which is clean and polished. It has great art especially the statues, notebook, surroundings etc. You can tell they put effort in those. Best writing, yes; betrayal, love, friendship, save the world, U-turns, screw ups, flashbacks. Heck it's almost a movie.

But that's is it you see. Best technology, best audio, best visual art and best writing. Put all those together and hey! It's a MOVIE. It didn't win best gameplay. I would seriously be darned if it had because if that did, I'd have to redefine my definition of 'good game design'.

So now we know that it has good cinematics and cutscenes. What truly makes this game special is that they decide to take it a step further, to blur the two parts of the game that is cinematics and gameplay. The Uncharted 2 team is very creative with the triggered events that happen during your gameplay and it feels like they are not holding back. You can climb up a pole and suddenly the entire pole breaks, causing you to fall. When you think Drake can make it, he mostly doesn't. Getting to an objective was never so eventful.

Looks familiar? Ya it's just another TPS

But triggered events are just that: triggered events! They are MEANT to happen. I don't see myself replaying this game at all because despite all the events, getting from point A to point B is still a straight line, no other way around it. With these events, they just made it SEEM like it's not that straightforward but in reality, it is.

"Uncharted 2: Among Thieves" is extremely close to being a good long movie. One start, one end, and a lot of drama in between. I think it sets a certain standard for games of this genre; platformer games that are very story driven. (best e.g. Prince of Persia).

No comments:

Post a Comment