My Impressions of Uncharted 2: Among Thiefs

  • Global Moderator

    Hello Allies!

    So, for people that doesn't know. I recieved Uncharted Nathan Drake collection on my birthday and I haven't played through any of them previously, except for the first one. You can find my thoughts about the first game HERE

    I have just finished the second game and just gathered my thoughts around it. This is mainly my view of the experience and I will spoiler mark so that other people thinking about picking up the game can read through without getting spoiled.

    So. Where do it all start?
    This was on the PS4, so it is meant to be polished up a bit, but it still does look really good! At the very start I realise that it is the same spot as the E3 trailer started at the bottom of a train. I really enjoy this type of openings where it is after some huge event that clearly has gone sideways, but you have no idea where you are or how you got there. I see Drake and instantly feel a sense of "oh no, this is not good!" and realise that I have to climb. I quickly notice how much better the animations are compared to the first game. Drake reaches up, down and reacts to how he hits the oncoming platform etc. I can't help but smile when he utters small comments to himself as he climbs around in what clearly are a serious situation. "Man I'm so tired of climbing shit" - made me laugh out loud. I notice how good the snow looks in his hair and everything just feels a step more sharper than last time.

    Combat - Oh dear...
    Uncharted have been praised for many things, amazing story, characters and graphics. However, combat is not one of the strong sides. We have pretty much the same weapons as last time with a few additions. However I still don't like the shooting part. I mean we obviously need action gameplay to mix things up a bit, but I really dont like the shooting in this game. It feels clunky and more of a hassle than a fun thing.

    I did however aim for a few trophys where we needed to kill a certain number of people with weapons, I mainly went with a M4 - pistol combo. I really don't like throwing granades in this game. Sure they have improved it so you could aim and throw rather than using the arc, but more times than not the granade went off or bounced on something that wasn't there. - I would prefer less combat more story.

    Main Characters.
    We have some new ones as well as some returning ones through this game, we early on get introduced to

    Harry - A sleek guy with a british accent that I really liked. Smart arse with a love for himself, he isn't as smart as he wants to think, but he still ain't stupid.

    In the begining I though "why do eveyone have to betray Drake, but then I realised that in this "business" you kinda need to be selfish to make a profit. Harry really surprised me though as he really seemed like a nice chap.

    Chloe - The surprising new flame of Drake's. She also having a british accent makes her a little more sexy in my opinion. She seems a little more "robust" and like shes not affraid to get her nails dirty. She gets introduced and had my attention from the start.

    Then we also got some returning characters

    Elena - What can I say? I have really fallen heads over heels for this girl. She is strong, funny, smart and careing. She is a perfect match for Drake and brings him down to earth when he soars off from the ground.

    Sully - Even though he didnt have much space in this story, he still added some nice touches to the story. He were my least favourite character from the first game, but in this game he lifed himself up and I really felt that he bacame the "bit strange uncle with a dirty mind" - type.

    Drake - This may be one of my favourite characters in video games by now. Funny, awesome one-liners and his comments on the crazy situations that he keeps finding himself in. His sarcastic humour made me laugh so many times through the adventure.

    I could quickly get into the controller, mainly due to it being the same since last game. Running around were seemless and picking up stuff were simple as always. However... I know that they have tried to make it all very cinematic, which they really really have achieved. Dont get me wrong here, I LOVE the cinematic feel to the game, I really felt like a mix of Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones whilst exploring and solving puzzles. But that freaking camera... I really cant become a friend of controlling it with the platforming. There were times where I got stuck climbing up from a vertical pipe to a ledge and Drake just refused to go over to it. As well as jumping between some edges sometimes.. holy cow I got annoyed and wasted so much time to go up and down the same path. This really took me out of the world for a bit which were super annoying. As well as I mentioned before, throwing granades sometimes made me want to cry. Having them getting stuck on objects, sometimes going too far, sometimes not far enough made me go crazy! I just wished sometimes I could skip a battle after the 5th time and get on with the amazing story! Its the story I want, not the shooting!

    I really loved the train bit and jumping between things as we were speeding along the jungle dodging oncoming posts and fighting enemies. my heart were really pounding. However the jumping between trucks part were partly amazing but partly frustrating. I could all of a sudden jump too far or too short resulting in insta death. After many atempts with the truck I kinda stopped caring about the cool chaise and just tried to memory when and how to jump to make it to the end.

    This was good... Like really good. Naughty Dog really knows how to write good characters and make each and everyone unique. I mean not to the point where it gets stupid, but to the point where it feels like actual people! I were watching real people, not animated pixles.

    I was really really happy that this time we didnt have any zombies coming up. As much as I love zombies they didnt do it for me in the last game. Here you had these jumping sasquashes that were scary and awesome, without becoming super farfetched (okey the whole blue sap were a bit, but come on).

    Im trying not to spoil too much, but starting with a heist that leads on to a greater adventure has been seen before, yet this all felt like a new kind of experience in a way. I enjoyed every new enviornment that appeared and it never felt like you stayed too long in the same place - a great pace and big cudos to the level designers of the game!

    So is it worth playing after the second game? YES! It takes the second game, gives it an even better story, better dialogue and touches you on many levels. Sometimes the shooting part of it became a bit boring and felt like a little transport to next bit of story, but oh my was it worth it! I will remember this game and look back at it as a great adventure! if you like me havent played it before, you owe it to yourself to play this! Smoother, bigger, better. It took me just under 10 hours to play through and it was worth every single one!


  • Just to nitpick. The combat is great, but it's unfortunate you don't see it that way. Aiming is super smooth in Uncharted 2, way smoother than all the other Uncharteds, that it's so easy to plant headshots. It isn't heavy and obtuse like in Gears of War. You also didn't get how to use grenades. You're only using quick throw, but if you hold the grenade button, it will show an arc that you can control where it lands. The game is like 70% combat, so it's hard to understand how still like the game when you hate combat.

    As for platformining, you're missing the animation queue which lets you know if you could make the jump. Nate usually extends his hand out showing he can make a jump or not. I never had a single problem with platforming or wall climbing in that game. It was always intuitive.

    Uncharted 2 is one of my greatest games of all time and my first platinum. Beat it on Crushing Difficult with not much problem. I think it's the best Uncharted, and I prefer Uncharted 2's action over Uncharted 4's exploration. It's GOTY, obviously, since it won a recordbreaking amount of GOTYs that year.

  • I'm not really a fan of forums allowing reviews because where do we draw the line, but since there are no rules I do not detest this. It's sound.

    Uncharted 2 has quite fun combat if you ask me. However, after playing a game like Uncharted 4 which, in my opinion, has the most tasteful shootouts in any game ever made - its hard to not look back on UC2 and especially with UC1 somewhat critically. Where UC4 presents a shootout dynamically and contextually where there is a certain fluidity to where the player moves throughout a gunfight, UC2 does in fact seem rather stiff and angular by comparison. Still not nearly as bad as its competitor Tomb Raider which only places enemies on the other side of a battle room and never deviates from this. At least in Uncharted 2 you'll have shootouts in collapsing hotels, or on top of moving vehicles.

    One of my favourite games of all time. Glad you liked it. Just wait until Uncharted 4.

  • @Whoaness I agree with most everything in this thread but I wanted to nitpick your nitpick about Gears for just a moment. When you call aiming heavy and obtuse, from what perspective?

    If you're discussing from a pistol standpoint, I 100% agree. However, with rifles and heavy weapons, they are not designed for headshots. If you can get them, that's great, but the true headshot weapon, the Longshot sniper rifle, does alright as the secret to using that weapon is utilizing the zoom. Other than pistols, aiming isn't really an issue and I'm slightly bummed you find it distracting to some degree. But we all have our tastes and as a Gears fan (and a games fan period), I like seeing differing perspectives from my own to help bolster my understanding.

    Another example is your preference of Uncharted 2's action to Uncharted 4's exploration. I'm the complete opposite. I loved how 4 seemed to have less combat than any of the others. I guess I'm just a story nut.

  • @Brannox Gears sticks you in a third person pose that's always facing forward, so your swing in non-scope is much slower in Uncharted. Uncharted is so fast on the swing because the animation doesn't lock you to facing the camera, so you run free form in any direction and then aim at where the camera is pointing. Being able to do this allows me to change targets quicker with scope aiming and run and gun is a good feeling.

    @GoTaco This is a game forum. Why wouldn't we be allowed to talk about games we played?

  • @Whoaness Fair point. You were able to remind me about different play-styles within the same format as well. I got hung up on the differentiation of Uncharted is more about moving with some pause while Gears is more about pause with some movement, so it makes sense the mechanics would be different. Thank you for your view!

  • @Lotias The 3rd and 4th games are even better, enjoy!

  • I think ND somehow made the aiming in U3 even shittier than U2, but still a valid complaint.

    I find that the recoil in U4 is actually really good, and shooting in U4 feels good to me, don't know if I'm alone.

  • Global Moderator

    @Whoaness I may have come across the combat a bit too harsh. However there were sections thatI had to replay many times mainly due to the camera. I guess it comes down to that for me a bit more. Then also I am a fan of the heavier combat in games! I did try the arc both in first and second, but I just don't wrap my head the landing point as good as I would want!

    The platforming were more often than not working really well, it was just on the instances (as pointed out) where I got stuck and I got annoyed, but perhaps thats more on me than the actual game. Then again this is about MY impressions, nothing more :)

    @GoTaco said in My Impressions of Uncharted 2: Among Thiefs:

    One of my favourite games of all time. Glad you liked it. Just wait until Uncharted 4.

    Yes I really enjoyed it and will jump into the third game in a week or so! I will also go back to 1 and 2 to try and get all the trophies! I am really excited for the third game! as I wrote in my post: It took me just under 10 hours to play through and it was worth every single one

  • @Whoaness Most forums have rules against blog-like posts and user reviews on the main discussion. The more popular a website becomes the reviews usually go from something nice like this to more of something nice like this, then quickly devolves into "X-game sucks" and leaving no room for discussion.

    GT didn't allow blogs or review posts as an example.

  • @GoTaco HAH! Then list and forum game threads should be looked down upon even more, but I can see you participate in those threads quite a lot.

    No, this has way more discussion than those kinds of threads.

  • @Whoaness touche!

    Like I said, this thread is sound.

  • I find myself in a similar boat, in that I've been recently playing the games for the first time now in the PS4 collection. The first one I found it to be extremely mediocre, lacking in any interesting characters, plot points or ideas.

    The second one I didn't love but there were some points were the game did manage to impress me but overall I didn't like how overly done the scenes were, and I again felt that it was mediocre for a game that is that linear. It was overall a few steps up from the first but after finishing I had no desire to play the third, I do plan to play it eventually, but I can't say have much of an interest in it

    I over all find the games mechanically sound and good looking, but I've found them severely lacking in every other way, and and when I consider that it is one of the highest profile franchises in gaming, I can't keep myself from thinking that they are extremely mediocre games.

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