Steal a Little Treasure, Make a Little Money, Play Uncharted 2 Tonight!

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Now, how am I going to get all the way over there?

Now, how am I going to get all the way over there?

Who needs Lara Croft and her giant t…ombs?  I’m willing to put money down that more people would prefer Nathan Drake and that big dagger.  This game may not be completely spotless especially when the game is sporting a de-railed traing climbing, cliched trap disabling, run-and-gunning treasure hunter by the name of Nathan Drake.  But, if this game was spotless, then it wouldn’t be worth talking about.

Severe blood loss, hanging over a cliff, while climbing a derailed train, in a snow storm, could things get any worse for Nathan Drake?  Now this may sound like I’m talking about the very start of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, but in reality this is about midway into Drake’s story to uncover the Chintimani Stone.  Now I could steal all the fun from you, but I’d rather you discover first hand what awaits in this game’s story that contains more twists and turns than a game of Chutes and Ladders.

The real treasure found within, has to be the graphics.  You may be fooled into thinking that this game consists more of a long series of interactive cut scenes, and this thought process is not too far off as to how much enjoyment you will be brought during your play time.  I lost count concerning how many times I was lost in just how beautiful the game was, especially when it came time to discovering hidden treasures and solving puzzles that require the manipulation and/or utilization of the surrounding environment.  A great amount of thanks to just how pristine these visuals are, because if things looked murky, grainy, or muddled you would find Drake missing a jump or two.  But, what good is a game if it is just pretty to look at and nothing more?

Thankfully, this is not the case within Uncharted 2.  You will do an ode to another “treasure hunter” from Final Fantasy VI and find objects hidden from history that cloak their true purpose.  But, stealing…pardon me, acquisition of antiquities is a very minute part when compared to the proactive action driven combat.  Whether you prefer to take a more stealth orientation to combat, in the form of clinging to more walls than Spiderman, or impose an imperfect imitation of The Punisher as you burst through guns a-blazing, you will never be bored.  With regards to the first style of combat listed, Nate Drake will never put Sam Fisher to shame but he will get the job done when you see a merc stray away from the pack of gun toting targets.  There are a few situations where you can neither sneak attack or unleash a hail storm of bullets at your target.  It is a bit difficult to take down a tank or helicopter with a trusty AK-47, but a switch of hardware in the form of a RPG or other massive weapon that would make any mere mortal turn his pants brown.

The one and only problem with this game is that it is a black sheep within it’s genre.  If you think of other games related to the Uncharted games, I’m guessing your first thought will go back to Tomb Raider.  Now I despise playing any Tomb Raider game due to the over complex puzzles, which will cause defenestration of your controller or, at the very least, repeated smashing of it against a hard floor or wall.  After years of dealing with Lara Croft and her tombs that were designed souly for the use of those participating in the Olympics, gamers will over think the simplest problem.  If you see a wall with hand holds, jump for that and start to climb.  So we have tombs that are straight forward and not made for gamers to rip our the hair on their heads, guerrila combat style, and awe-inspiring visuals.  All we need now is a joke with Nathan Drake swimming in a pool playing Marco Polo while on his path to discovering Marco Polo’s quest to Shambala, but if you look carefully you may just plunge into that as well.

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