Where the game excels though, is with its sheer sense of grandeur. Elements that would normally be highlights in other games are common fare in Uncharted 2, meaning the actual highlights are arguably some of the greatest achievements witnessed in video games. There have been sequences before where gameplay takes place on a train, but it's never felt as immersive as in this title - it's truly breath-taking. The game just features so many 'wow'-moments, and they don't stop coming until the game comes to an unfortunate end. There are so many sections of the game which are completely different to the general gameplay, and the mistake isn't made of repeating the same mechanic later on. It's enjoyed at the time, remembered for the experience it provided, and placed in the past because a new, equally great experience is fighting for attention.
Graphically, Uncharted 2 is nothing short of stunning. The environments are so detailed, and completely unique. No two parts of the game will feel the same at all, and its definitely a testament to Naughty Dog that they've been able to achieve this. Just when it seems like the game has reached its peak, it throws something else that pushes gaming to its graphical and physical limits. Wading through thick, rushing water, while being soaked by torrential rain is just something that has never been achievement before to this degree of realism. There is also the snow, the effects of debris; the list just goes on and on. As expected, the motion capture during scripted scenes is suitably engaging and animation featured in the game is surprisingly adapative. Characters also have their appearance changed quite a lot to reflect their present state of well-being, which is a nice touch. The voice acting is also top-notch. There is just a real sense of chemistry present that most other games fail to capture and it's something that really sells the story, and the experience as a whole.
To compliment the single player campaign, there is now a full multiplayer arena. Players can take part in 3-player co-operative matches, or 5 vs 5 competitive matches. There's a ton of variety with the match types too, so there should be something to suit everyone's tastes. There's even a Machinima mode, for those who want to try experiment. Players will also be able to unlock items in the shop using money they have acquired through obtaining medals, and their performance in the multiplayer section. Here they can buy perks to improve them in the multiplayer game, or other things, such as behind the scenes documentaries, and tweaks for the main game. There's definitely plenty to keep people busy after they've completed the game, and there's always Crushing difficulty for those who want a challenge.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is a game that is simply generation defining. There is very little that can actually be faulted with the game, and even then it's serious nit-picking. Sure, the platforming sections aren't perfect and the puzzles are overly simple, but it has a great and engaging story, great gameplay, jaw-dropping graphics and plenty of replayability. The only aspect that could potentially be criticised is its originality, but since it blows all of its contemporaries out of the water, it makes the point rather void.
|10||GamingUnion.net Editor's Choice Award|