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Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Playstation 3

Reviewed on: Playstation 3

Naughty Dog
Publisher: SCEA
Rated: "T" for Teen

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
CHEATfactor: 6

By nature I’m what you’d call a skeptic. I don’t give in to media hype and I’ve played way too many “revolutionary games” to know that the majority of them turn out to be duds. That being said – I’m also a fair man, and when the fine folks at Cheat Happens asked me to write about my favorite game of the year – I knew I had to at least try Uncharted 2 before I could fully make up my mind.

Then somehow “try” turned into an all-night gaming marathon.

Not only is Uncharted 2 the best game of 2009, it’s also one of the best action adventure games to ever grace consoles.  Through a mix of solid action, fluid mechanics and through-the-roof production values, Naughty Dog has created an epic, legendary title that is not only a testament to the power of the PS3, but the video game industry in general.

Picking up roughly two years after the end of the first game, Uncharted 2 finds our hero and every man treasure hunter Nathan “Nate” Drake in search of the world’s unknown. This time, he’s searching for Marco Polo’s lost fleet of treasure filled ships. The journey, which will literally take Nate around the world, is a breathtaking action movie in the form of an interactive experience and doesn’t let up until the end credits (if even then).  Take for instance the game’s opening level – Nate wakes up on a train dangling from a mountain.  It’s your job to climb to the top and to safety as parts of the vehicle break off next to you. Hope you weren’t expecting a boring tutorial level that eases you into the game.

" incredible mix of action, adventure, stealth and puzzle solving."


Action- adventure games have a tendency to be brain- dead, run and guns – but not Naughty Dog’s opus. Sure, you could run through and shoot everything that moves, but you won’t get too far. The game does a great job guiding the player through at a respectable pace, while still giving them the freedom to approach objectives in their own way. Save for Gears of War – I tend to shy away from games with a cover system because it’s a mechanic that most developers mess up, but besides a few key spots – the system feels incredibly natural and fits the action. Uncharted 2 is an incredible mix of action, adventure, stealth and puzzle solving.

The levels in Uncharted 2 don’t merely go left and right, rather -- the majority of them focus on the action going up and down. Nate can climb most objects, swing from ropes, shimmy across ledges and jump impressively wide gaps. The level design feels incredibly organic, if not a bit linear.  By opening up the game vertically, players are challenged to find new solutions other than the obvious clichés.

Perhaps one of the game’s most alluring points is that it creates enough edge-of-your-seat, oh crap moments that not only can you not put the controller down – you actually care about the characters and the outcome of each situation.  This is thanks in part to the game’s incredibly top notch production values. The developers seem to have found the right music, camera angle and feel for each scene to keep gamers glued to the edge of their screen.

From the moment you’re able to control Drake, you’re sucked into the game’s story and mythology.  Unlike other games of the genre, you’ll find it hard not to fall in love with the characters and the game’s script – you know it’s an achievement when amidst gun fire and explosions I’m thinking about how amazing the last exchange was. Aiding the quality writing is the fact that the game’s voice acting is incredibly top-notch. All too often, a game’s story is bogged down and becomes unbelievable due to shoddy voice acting, which is not the case here as not only are the voice actors believable, they genuinely seem like they had fun doing them – and it’s incredibly noticeable throughout the game.

"Uncharted 2’s characters and story are so incredibly believable..."


Of course Uncharted 2’s visuals are unrivaled on the PS3 (or arguably anywhere). Breathtaking vistas dominate Uncharted 2’s skyline and are comparable only to postcards;  the game’s animations are so fluid and lifelike. The game doesn’t just aim high – it get’s the little things right too, such as character mannerisms. It may be hard to do with bullets flying at you, but next time you’re playing check out Nate’s gestures and body language. He’ll shield his eyes from fire and hold body parts,  dust his pants off and show actual emotion. Uncharted 2’s characters and story are so incredibly believable thanks to the game’s small visual touches.

Finished the game’s campaign but still want more? Luckily, the game’s multiplayer suite is equally as impressive as the single player. There’s the cooperative aspect, which sets two or three players in scaled down versions of some of the campaign’s most memorable locations. In these battles, the object is still the same, but the mode seems to be put more emphasis on run and gun type gameplay.  The game’s muscle comes from its competitive multiplayer. Sure, every game can give 12 players a gun and have them shoot at each other, but Uncharted’s multiplayer aspect combines the campaign’s focus on agility and combines it with frantic gameplay and a phenomenal perks system to create a truly unforgettable experience.

In a word, Uncharted 2 is brilliant. It’s an action game that rivals Hollywood’s greatest tales. Firing on all cylinders, there’s absolutely no reason to own a PS3 and not this game. Don’t own a PS3? Uncharted 2 is reason enough to buy one.  The game is a pitch perfect adventure that feels as rewarding in its last seconds as it does in the opening moments.  The only question is how does Naughty Dog top themselves? I for one am eager to find out. 



CHEATS USED: Glitches, Hints

Uncharted 2 has no traditional cheats – and to be honest, that’s why I’m rating it so high. Any cheat that gives you any advantage, or has you skip any aspect of this game would be a disservice.

There are, however, several hints and little glitches that let you expand the game’s life. Check them out here at Cheat Happens!



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