I’m in love with Uncharted 2, just like I was with the first. It embodies everything I like and puts it all into one amazing game experience. Clive Cussler, Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider.
It combines globe trotting, humor, exciting action and fantastic set pieces. It’s engaging, it’s got this great pace that gives you exciting highs of heart-pumping action and quiet moments of world-building and chracter-building, and it doesn’t dumb things down. It’s been incredibly creative and incredibly beautiful so far.
In just two games, I’ve come to really like the characters, their stories, their dynamics and they way they can roll with a half-tuck. So much care and attention went into this game, from the Nepalese locations to the cool little journal Drake carries.
The game even manages to sneak in quick time events by teaching you what to do and then removing the on screen commands for 90% of them (the move you do to avoid losing a fistfight-total QTE).
All that said, this shows just how young the storytelling in games still is. While the script is well done with clever dialogue and excellent pacing, it’s still so derivative. It owes its existence to many other creations. It’s smarter and more polished than the typical bald space marine, but if it was a live-action film from this script, it would come off as a pale Indiana Jones photocopy.
That’s not meant as an insult to the team and their work. Their work is top notch for a game. I don’t like using that “for a game” at the end of a sentence, but I need to. I also don’t mean it as an insult. Games are maturing in storytelling ability, but they are not books and they are not films. They’re games. And what Uncharted 2 does is tell an excellent story in the way only a game can tell it. Take away the interaction and the magic is gone.
Indiana Jones works incredibly well on the big screen, yet has it ever worked as a game, aside from the LucasArts classic? Uncharted works incredibly well in the medium. I don’t want a film of it. I don’t want to see it on the big screen. It belongs on a PS3 just as much as Indy belongs on the big screen.
Uncharted is fantastic experience, like a good novel or an engrossing film. It’s the kind of thing that sucks you in. It’s a fulfilling experience and easily worth whatever price you have to pay.