(Review) Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

When you’ve got a winning formula, why would you want to change it? Drake’s Fortune was pretty fantastic, what could they have done to make it any better? Was Among Thieves going to suffer from the same sad fate that many sequels do at times? The good answer is that it doesn’t. What could they add? Well… that would be quite a bit actually. Let’s break down what made the Uncharted 2: Among Thieves worth wasting time that I could have spent with my kids instead! (That’s a joke, I played when they were asleep… mostly.)

A proper sequel would never leave out anything that was super amazing... like the amazing front-facing-butt-light!

A proper sequel would never leave out anything that was super amazing… like the amazing front-facing-butt-light!

We find our intrepid hero in the same boat (quite literally) with two criminals. Now, I never really thought about Nathan Drake as a common criminal because Drake’s Fortune didn’t dress him up like that. They presented him more as a tomb raider. When you find super old stuff that no one has too much claim on at that point, it’s not really stealing… it’s discovering! However, this time, the game starts with you breaking into a museum to steal a knife/key. After all of that, you get double-crossed by some douche-bag that you thought was a friend, a jerk you know, but still a “friend”. After that, they didn’t really hit on that same note again. It’s just that it started out like that, stealing so that they could follow a treasure. I’m not even sure it was an “end justifies the means” bit, they just did it because they wanted it. I did struggle with this a little, but the first game was so good, I pressed on.

While it didn't happen at this juncture, my favorite quote of this whole game was, "Man I'm so tired of climbing shit!" That had me rolling.

While it didn’t happen at this juncture, my favorite quote of this whole game was, “Man I’m so tired of climbing shit!” That had me rolling.

The main thing they added, other than a really awkward jump animation for Nathan, was stealth. However, that jump animation is really super weird. Back to stealth! I love it! There really is no sneaking mechanic; if you haven’t shot anyone lately, you’re already in a “sneaky mode”. There is a way to stealth take-down every single type of character no matter the amount of armor with the one exception of the giant-armored-mini-gun-toting behemoths. When you encounter them, they are already on alert so there isn’t a way to stealth attack them that I could find so it’s not really worth thinking about. It’s unfortunate, though, because that would have been lethargic. The execution of this mechanic was very well done and didn’t feel like it was rushed in here. It was so fun I found myself meleeing most of the time anyway, even after I have entered combat in which they added more moves to make it feel a bit smoother.

Yeh... things get awkward when you add two "love" interests. I'm not the biggest fan or that kind of narrative, but at least this didn't go on for the entirety of the game.

Yeh… things get awkward when you have two “love” interests. I’m not the biggest fan or that kind of narrative, but at least this didn’t go on for the entirety of the game.

What follows is a back and forth between you and two girls. I almost wondered if they were just giving up on Elaina when she ends up running into you while you are on your latest adventure. Apparently something went wrong between you two and now you’re mixed up with this new girl Chloe who has “bad influence/idea” written all over her, but whatever, she’s attractive so I guess… feed your vices? Terrible idea, but that’s where you are in life. Nathan goes back and forth with his interest more obviously being Elaina biased, which is fine since she is the better choice. Even Chloe catches on to this. It feels like they were pulling from Die Hard’s book with the getting together only to break up after the movies over only to hook up again in the next… only to break up after that’s over too. (Spoiler alert: The ending moment between Nate and Elaina was amazing! Had a very good Castle vibe to it; it was perfect.)

Miniguns, because: yes!

Miniguns: because sometimes stealth just isn’t the answer.

Once again you’ll find yourself climbing a crap-ton of stuff and doing that awkward jump at walls that you can’t jump up and just looks silly. You’re on the path to find some giant treasure, this time following the paths of Marco Polo through Asia. You are again being chased and chasing another bad guy, but this time his name is Zoran Lazarević and he’s referred to as a psychopath, but he’s just a big jerk and a murder (that’s all). However, he’s got a cool head on his shoulders and even talks down to you because of all the killing that you’ve done in the game up until that point in the story. I loved that they brought that up because that feels like a very ignored concept in games and movies. We go around killing as many people as some of these heroes do and not be affected by any of it. It’s very strange, but that’s a topic for another day.

"It's cold outside, there's no kind of atmosphere, I'm all alone, more or less."

“It’s cold outside, there’s no kind of atmosphere, I’m all alone, more or less.”

More Uncharted: Among Thieves info: Official Page / Wiki

Adding stealth well, the fun story, the great interactions between the characters with the very well voice acted dialogue and the beautiful scenery (if you didn't pause and do a close up) all add up to another great game. There was action. There was adventure. There was... romance-ish kind of. That's actually a plus; I'm not huge into love story-based games. Even with the funky jump animation, the return of the butt-light and the beginning depicting Nathan as nothing more than a common criminal (who doesn't kill guards by the way), The game was another hit out of the ballpark. I had a great time and the boss fight at the end wasn't a QTE that fit the ending well, it felt like an actual extension of the game instead of standing out. Very well done here.

Adding stealth well, the fun story, the great interactions between the characters with the very well voice acted dialogue and the beautiful scenery (if you didn’t pause and do a close up) all add up to another great game. There was action. There was adventure. There was… romance-ish kind of. That’s actually a plus; I’m not huge into love story-based games. Even with the funky jump animation, the return of the butt-light and the beginning depicting Nathan as nothing more than a common criminal (who doesn’t kill guards by the way), The game was another hit out of the ballpark. I had a great time and the boss fight at the end wasn’t a QTE that fit the ending well, it felt like an actual extension of the game instead of standing out. Very well done here.

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Jonathan Amarelo Sig


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