Sunday, October 18, 2009

Drake Rattle and Roll

Do you remember in the early nineties with the dawn of the wonderful invention of the CD Rom when they told us that "interactive movies" were the future? And all we ended up with was excremental on-rails stuff like Night Trap, Mad Dog McCree and Rebel Assault? Well, Naughty Dog Studio have finally gone and done it and made the closest thing to a cinematic experience that I’ve ever played. And not a cinematic experience like Terminator: Salvation either - because that would be shit.I've spent many glorious hours over the last three days playing and beating the truly wonderful Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and can confirm that it’s utterly wonderful from start to finish. Apart from the odd irritating moment (which is more down to my impatient fat handed twat game-playing style than anything else) it’s easily one of the best games I’ve played all year – along with Arkham Asylum.

The first Uncharted 2 game was a pleasant enough tombraider-esque romp with excellent graphics and likeable and well rounded characters. Standing apart from similar games simply down a gorgeous graphical engine and excellent voice acting, it was hard to see how it could be bettered – but Naughty Dog have done exactly that.

The game itself is a globe-trotting romp in search of treasure – one of which is a potentially destructive artefact that the lead baddie shouldn’t get his hands on, naturally. The journey of the hero, tomb-raider and cocky smart arse Nathan Drake, will take him from deep jungles to long hidden tombs to icy mountain ranges - with the occasional high speed vehicle chase and gunfight on the top of a fast moving train thrown in for good measure.

The game is beautiful – as per Oblivion, you’ll spend much of the game simply standing looking at the scenery and the immense vistas you find yourself in. It’s easily the best looking game on any of the next generation consoles right now with utterly convincing environments.

Special mention must go to the quality storyline and stellar voice acting – the actors have been allowed to improvise many of their lines, and it really shows – the characters are believable, likeable, well rounded and the dialogue absolutely shines. I’m still smiling about some of the dialogue in the games closing sequence even now.

Of course, there are inevitable boss fights – but even all of these are excellently done. Even the final boss fight is satisfying, which is more than can be done for the let-down that was the finale of the otherwise excellent Bioshock and Arkham Asylum.

What you’ll take away from this brilliant experience is the little triumphant moments you find yourself in; the first time you perform a stealth kill on the train by pulling a guard over the edge to his death, the moment where you wrestle a chaingun from a soldier and use it on his colleagues.. all perfect little moments brilliantly realised.

I simply can’t rave about this game enough. If you own a PS3 please purchase this game – Games with a level of polish, sheen and love like this come along rarely – especially from big developers. You’ll enjoy it from start to finish, much of your journey accompanied by a huge beaming smile on your face.

1 comment:

  1. It's the game that's brought me closest to buying a Blu-Ray player. It does look like all the best bits of Tomb Raider with a more detailed and explained plot. Brilliant!
    For my two penn'th, I just voted in the Golden Joystick awards. I feel that one of my most played games of this year might be overlooked, so I plumped for Dead Space in the best game of last year.
    If Uncharted 2 doesn't win next year, we're in for an amazing 12 months!


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