polo grounds nyc ‘Uncharted 2’ goes to new heights with top
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Thursday, October 15, 2009, 2:28 AM
The third person action spectacular puts players in the shoes of fortune hunter Nathan Drake as he seeks to unravel the mystery of Marco Polo’s lost fleet. Of course, he isn’t alone in wanting to find the treasures of Kublai Khan’s court. It doesn’t take long before a web of intrigue envelops him as he races from one exotic location to another in search of clues to the treasure’s location before his unsavory competitors.
The game unfolds with unparalleled visuals and cinematic style. Cut scenes flow naturally in and out of gameplay that effortlessly switches between run and gun action, stealth, platforming, puzzle solving and jaw dropping set pieces. Again and again, “Among Thieves” presents players with new experiences and endless incentives to continue playing.
It is hard to know where to begin singing the praises of “Among Thieves” because it gets everything right.
The controls are perfectly implemented and, after a brief learning curve, they allow players to use Drake as a natural extension to interact with is world.
And what a world it is.
Every locale Drake visits is wonderfully realized,
each with its own distinctive character and very little visual repetition. It is astounding to witness the amount of art design in the game from Burmese jungles to Turkish museums to the frozen mountains of Nepal.
My favorite sequence in the game was early on, in a majestic Buddhist temple in Nepal. The attention to detail was such that, between the intricate stonework, the giant demon statues and motes of dust in the brilliant streams of sunlight, it became difficult to remember that this was a fictional place and not a real location that was digitally re created.
And the visuals are just the beginning.
The voice acting is the best in any game to date, with the constant banter effortlessly building characterization and pushing the plot forward without the player being overly conscious of it. And even better, there is barely a single repeated line of dialogue, further reinforcing the game’s cinematic feel.
The story manages to be fun, irreverent, serious and fresh from beginning to end, effortlessly referencing similarly themed movies and books without ever loosing its own identity in parody.
There’s also the soundtrack that oozes with atmosphere and the extremely satisfying stealth mechanics. Or the fact that Drake seems to have a moment of painful klutziness to offset every time he manages to be a heroic badass. And there’s a multiplayer mode on top of everything else.