Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Uncharted 2 is just as good, if not better, than most Hollywood action movies. With fantastic production values, a cleverly written script, great voice-over work and refined gameplay, Uncharted 2 is the second best thing that could have happened to the PS3 going into the holiday shopping season. With Kratos riding the pine until 2010, Nathan Drake steps up to the plate and delivers a homerun for Sony.
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I reviewed the first Uncharted back when it was first released and thought it was a good game with some promise; I wasn't blown away by it, but I thought it was a good first step. Well, Naughty Dog's taken that first step and followed it up with a giant leap: Uncharted 2 is a great game, a big budget Hollywood blockbuster masquerading as a video game. Seriously, if this keeps up, the Matthew McConaugheys and Nicolas Cages of the world will all be out of a job... which wouldn't exactly be a huge blow to humanity's future.
I'm willing to bet that if you paid a visit to Naughty Dog's offices, you'd find a huge movie collection filled with titles like National Treasure and Sahara; I say this because Uncharted 2 follows the same set formula as those types of movies. It looks, feels and plays out just like a cliche ridden action flick with one exception: it's actually good, and you don't feel like an idiot for liking it. Uncharted 2 has everything: a good looking and charming leading man; an attractive and plucky female lead; lots of action sequences and things going "kaboom"; and some nice pseudo-history/anthropology/archeology mumbo jumbo that's just plausible enough that you accept it at face value.
If this thing were a movie, it'd probably gross a couple hundred million dollars worldwide and launch a few acting careers in the process. I really enjoyed it, and here's the most telling thing: there were times when I felt frustrated and there were times when I felt lost but there was never a moment when I felt bored. Not once during my ten hour romp through the single-player campaign did I want to turn off the game and go do something else. I did feel like that game dragged on a bit towards the end -- I was shocked that it only took me ten hours to beat the game because it felt like I had been playing for twice that -- but it remained satisfying all the way through.