Uncharted 2: Among Thieves follows up one of 2007's top exclusive PlayStation 3 games, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. It is a third-person cover based shooter which draws influences from older action-adventure movies and games. The game has three main gameplay elements: shooting, traversal, and puzzle solving.
Like it's predecessor, Uncharted 2 follows Nathan Drake on his journey to find a mythical treasure with a link to a historical figure; in this case, Marco Polo. However, this game trades the dense jungle environment for a range of exotic and urban locales, including Borneo, Turkey and Nepal.
Uncharted 2 includes, apart from third-person shooter mechanics, both free-climbing sections and stealth gameplay. Other changes include improved combat, more "dynamic" fights, the removal of Sixaxis controls, and increased mobility when in cover and firing. Drake will have great transitional movements, making him feel more realistic in motion. The game features much smarter AI enemies, as well as an infusion of stealth gameplay that inspired the inclusion of two new types of AI behavior: “investigate,” and “hunt.” These features are made possible by the enemies' new "cone of peripheral vision". An enemy's reaction will differ depending on how close Drake is to the tip of the cone (the enemy's eyes). If Drake is very far away, the enemy will investigate, and depending on the actual distance, will either brush it off as their imagination, or go into full hunting mode. This can be used to Drake's advantage however. He may pop up and let enemies see him, lure them into a building, shoot an oil barrel and watch the building collapse over their heads.
The clothes that the enemies wear also reflect how tough they are to kill. Light garb will signal easily-foiled foes while those wearing more equipment will be tougher in battle. Drake exhibits different mood sets and his behavior and animation will match them.
The game features traversal gun play, which means that Drake is able to shoot no matter what he is doing or what animation he is in. For example, shooting is possible even while balancing on a log, swinging on a vine, climbing the side of a building, or dangling from a cliff. This also makes the player feel less vulnerable in certain situations like climbing a dilapidated building. Naughty Dog is taking full advantage of the Cell's SPUs, allowing them to produce better environmental effects and animations like speeding trains, exploding trucks, and having a building collapse while Drake is still inside it. There are also more transition animations included to give a greater sense of fluidity.
The game also features multiple difficulties from the get-go, notably a very easy mode for beginner players. This was implemented to offset complaints about the relative difficulty of Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, and make it more accessible to the more casual gaming crowd. The game will however still feature the harder modes seen in the first Uncharted.
The first Uncharted got a lot of praise for its water effects and this time Naughty Dog has put in the same effort in making the snow look realistic. When Drake's out in the snow, he accumulates a layer of snowflakes on his clothes and in his hair, which slowly thaws when he gets back inside under cover. Not only are there new effects for the snow, but similarly, there are new effects for the ice. Ice reflects light in a way that cleverly mimics the sub-surface scattering that goes on inside a chunk of frozen water, and gives it a look of incredible volume and density.
The charming treasure-hunter returns, this time to attempt to beat the insidious war-criminal, Zoran Lazarevic, to the mythical Chintimani Stone. Easy going, with a dry sense of humor, Nathan continues his particular brand of suave, skill and astonishingly lucky impulse instincts to accentuate his ''every-man'' persona.
Nathan Drake's long-time friend, mentor and father figure, Sully tags along to help Nate beat Zoran Lazarevic to the prize. But with a much more diminished presence, however, as his age rapidly catches up to him.
The chirpy and mild-mannered journalist Elena returns for the long haul to once again duo up with Nate to act as both a damsel in distress, and a supportive ally. The romance sparked between Elena and Nate ultimately begins to blossom as the two once more are forced to endure a seemingly endless stream of perilous situations.
An old partner and fling of Nate's, Chloe originally arrives to help Nate scam Zoran; she is quickly thrust into a flickering light, however, as her moralities and allegiances are questioned time and time again across the adventure.
A reliable guide from a small village in the mountains of Tibet, Tenzin can barely speak a word of English, yet can still express a kind and reliable strength.
An old and wizened adventurer, comparable to Nate himself during his younger days, Schafer bestows unto Nate important advice that'll help him stray back onto the path he must follow.
Elena's cameraman for her most recent show as she embarks on a chase after Zoran Lazarevic, who is officially registered as deceased. Jeff is thrust into a situation far beyond him, and unlike the rest of the cast, has little experience when it comes to fire-fights.
Once a work associate of Nate, Flynn has constantly displayed an appearance of disrepute and ineptitude. Even when it looks like he appears to be on the level, Flynn quickly escalates to the role of supporting villain throughout and is near enough the polar opposite to Drake with his selfish and loose morals.
Lazaravic's fierce right-hand man, Draza is a beast of a man who proves to be a formidable soldier.
A highly feared and ruthless war criminal, Zoran is on the hunt for the Chintimani Stone for what can only be for questionable causes. Unfortunately for Zoran however, he has Nathan Drake to contend with, and Drake will prove to be an ever-threatening presence.
The first Uncharted game focused on Francis Drake; this game focuses on another well known historical figure, Marco Polo, who was said to have documented and recorded all the information from all but one of his voyages. That one undocumented trip was when Polo left Kublai Khan's court and was headed for Venice, commanding a fleet of 14 treasure-laden ships and a crew of 600-plus men. It seemed like a normal trip but by the time he arrived home in Venice, Polo was down to one ship and 18 survivors. He never revealed what happened, and on his death bed, when people were questioning some of his writings, he exclaimed: "didn't say even half of what I saw." This mysterious quote is explored in the game as Drake tries to uncover the truth about Marco Polo's famous journey to Asia. The game focuses on finding a powerful wish-granting sapphire, Cintamani Stone, which, according to Polo's journals, was found in mythical city of Shambhala (also popularly known as Shangri-La). Among Thieves' story takes place in much more varied environments than its predecessor. Jungle habitat (this time in Borneo), well known from Drake's Fortune, returns, but beside it, Nathan visits Turkey, Nepal and Tibet.
The new main enemy of Drake is much more powerful and even more power-hungry than the two antagonists from the previous installment of the series. Serbian war criminal, Zoran Lazarevic commands a private army, trained and equipped better than the pirates and mercenaries from the first game.
The addition of the second female lead and former love interest of Drake, Chloe Frazer, adds tension to Nathan's relationship with Elena and provides drama and a humorous love triangle in the story.
Uncharted 2, apart from having Elena and Sully in the cast, gives many nods to the first Uncharted during course of the game, in the form of Drake's journal entries, conversations with characters and hidden bonuses available after completing the game once.
The game starts off with Nathan Drake in a train car that is hanging off a snowy cliff. He doesn't know where he is or how he really got there. He realizes that he's been shot in the abdomen and that he must get out of the train. After climbing up the hanging train and escaping at the very last second, he starts painfully walking through the wreckage. There he meets some enemies whom he kills and painfully sits down in the freezing snow, getting ready for a long, hard fight.
The game then flashes back. Nathan Drake is comfortably sitting at a bar when his old friend Harry Flynn approaches him. He wants Nathan's help to steal an oil lamp from a museum in Istanbul. Drake at first refuses the offer, but when when learns that there might be a map to Marco Polo's lost fleet in this lamp, he accepts. He travels to Istanbul with Flynn and Chloe, an ex love interest who's working with Flynn. They infiltrate the museum through the sewers and manage to find the lamp. Inside the lamp, they find the map of Polo's lost fleet, fleet that was transporting the Cintamani Stone from the sacred city of Shambhala before getting hit by a massive tsunami and washing up on the shores of Borneo. Flynn then takes the map and double crosses Drake. Flynn also triggers the alarm. Despite Drake's best efforts to escape, he gets arrested.
Nathan Drake passes three months before being set free by Sully and Chloe. Chloe swears that she had no idea what Flynn was planning. Flynn is in fact working with war criminal Zoran Lazarevic and both are in Borneo, looking for the stone. They decide to all go to Borneo as well, with Chloe serving as a mole in Zoran's camp. Once they get there, they discover that Lazarevic is very well prepared. After shooting up some of his men, Drake, Sully and Chloe find an underground cave where they discover the lost fleet's passengers. They realize that the stone was never on one of those ships but find a letter from Marco Polo telling them to go to a city in Nepal (Pokhara) and find a certain temple. They also find a sort of dagger. However, Flynn's men soon arrive, taking the letter. Drake and Sully manage to get away, Chloe decides to stay as to not blow her cover. Right before making their daring escape, Sully tells Drake that he won't be joining him in Nepal as the risks are too high for a man of his age.
Nate arrives at Pokhara only to find that Zoran has torn it apart, going through every last temple. Drake gets some help from the local militia and meets up with Chloe. They decide that whichever temple Marco Polo wants them to find must have the same symbols on it as the symbols found on the dagger. So they decide to stick to the rooftops, ultimately finding which temple they must go to. After an epic helicopter chase, the couple finally find the temple. On the way, they bump into Elena and her camera man. She's investigating Lazarevic, wanting to prove that he's still alive. All four of them enter the temple and after solving a couple puzzles, find a secret room in which there's a map. Drake sticks the dagger into a hole that makes a map appear, indicating that the stone and Shambhala are somewhere in the Himalayas. Zoran and his men find the temple and Drake fights his way out of it. When they arrive in the temple's main court yard, they find Elena's camera man who's been shot. Chloe wants to leave him behind but Drake takes him anyways. They end up getting caught, at which point Chloe points her gun at Drake so as not to lose her cover. Zoran and Flynn come and the camera man is executed. As Zoran and Chloe leave, Flynn is about to execute Drake and Elena when they manage to escape.
As Nate and Elena escape, they decide to head for the trainyard as that is where Zoran is headed as he plans to take a train up to the Himalayas and find the stone. They make it to the train yard just as the train is leaving. They hijack a jeep and Drake jumps onto the train. He fights his way through the train before bumping into Chloe. They argue, Chloe hating Drake because he chose Elena over her safety, that her cover could have been blown and she could've died. Suddenly, a shot is fired and Drake collapses, clutching his abdomen. Flynn appears, happy because he thinks he's finally killed Drake. As Flynn sends men out to finish off a retreating Drake, our hero manages to blow up part of the train, sending him and half the train off a cliff, bringing us back to where the story started. As Drake saves himself from the train wreck, he must fight Zoran's men who've come looking for him and steal the dagger that is in fact the key to Shabalha. After killing everyone, Nathan collapses in the snow, having given up on surviving. When all hope seems lost, a man comes out of the blizzard and carries Drake away.
Nathan Drake wakes up in a small Tibetan village. He's reunited with Elena and introduced to an old man called Karl Schafer. Schafer tells him that he must find the stone but Drake tells him that he isn't interested anymore. The old man sends him on an expedition into the mountains with Tenzin so that Drake can see why he must find the stone before Zoran does. In the caves, Drake discovers yeti like monsters and Schafer's old expedition team, who were in fact SS. Schafer had killed them so the Nazis couldn't get a hold of the stone's powers. On their way back, they discover that the small village has been attacked by Zoran's men and that Karl and the dagger have been taken. After fighting a tank and securing the city, Elena and Nate go after Zoran and Flynn. They make it to a temple. Drake finds Schafer who's been shot. He tells him that he must destroy the stone and dies in his arms. He also finds Chloe. He convinces her to give him the dagger and promises her to kill Zoran. Elena and Nathan find a secret passage to Shambhala which they unlock using the dagger. However, they get caught once again by Zoran's men who force Drake to lead them to the secret city. Once they finally get there, they're violently attacked by blue colored monkey men, guardians of the city who are enhanced with the power of the stone. Before they were the ones dressed up as yetis attacking Drake in the caves. Thanks to the chaos, Drake, Chloe and Elena manage to escape.
As Drake makes his way to the stone, he realizes that said stone is in fact embedded in resin in a giant tree. When they arrive at the tree, they discover a wounded Flynn who detonates a grenade, killing himself as well as wounding Elena. Drake leave Elena in the care of Chloe as he goes to confront Zoran. The evil Russian is at the source of the tree. He drinks its resin, making him invincible. As he tries to kill Drake, our hero kills him by blowing up pockets of resin. As he does this though, the tree begins to die and the city to collapse. He defeats Zoran, leaving him to be finished off by the city's guardians. Drake, Chloe and a dying Elena narrowly make it out of the city alive.
The final scene happens at the small Tibetan village, during Schafer's funeral. It's revealed that Elena survived her wounds and when Chloe asks Drake if he really loves Elena, he answers yes. Sully arrives as Chloe leaves. Sully, clearly interested in Chloe, chases after her, leaving Nathan and Elena alone, ending the game on a romantic note.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves introduces multiplayer to the franchise, with both competitive and cooperative game modes. As players complete multiplayer matches, they earn cash, which is Uncharted 2's version of experience points. Cash goes towards the player's persistent leveling up progression, which in turn unlocks the availability of multiplayer items, such as character skins, taunts, and boosters. These boosters act as perks for the player, providing things such as increased accuracy, faster reloading, increased ammo capacity, etc. There are two booster slots for the player, each with their own unique set of boosters. whenever a multiplayer item is unlocked, the player can only use it if they choose to purchase it using the cash they have earned.
All competitive game modes divide the players into two teams, Heroes and Villains, with a maximum of 10 players per match (5 vs 5).
During the course of Uncharted 2's multiplayer when it was most populous, Naughty Dog would introduce certain events for specific holidays. They would most often include an experience multiplier and would sometimes even place pre-set skins for players to play as over the usual cast. All of those skins were completely exclusive to the events and would not be released for download once the events were up.
To celebrate the US holiday, Thanksgiving, Naughty Dog implemented a 2 week double experience run for players worldwide. Players were also restricted to only playing as Donut Drake on the Heroes side, and Donut Lazarevic for the villains. Naughty Dog would also do another Thanksgiving event with the same available skins, and a 2x experience increase. The Donut Lazarevic is one of few skins that have never publicly been made available for use outside of the Thanksgivings event.
Soon following after Thanksgiving, Naughty Dog initiated the Christmas 2009 Event. Similar to the Thanksgiving event prior, players experience gain was doubled. This time players were restricted to only playing as Default Drake while he wears a Santa hat, and Winter Flynn wearing a paper party-cracker crown around his head.
To celebrate the one year anniversary for Uncharted 2, Naughty Dog held a 24 hour event, offering a 5x experience bonus and an Anniversary Drake skin for all who participated.
They recorded that over 2.5 man years of game-time transpired across the 24 hour event, with a whopping 1,079,850 games played, 12,376,755 player kills and 49 billions worth of experience accumulated.
|Slot One Title||Description||Slot Two Title||Description|
|Point and Shoot||Increase pistol blindfire accuracy.||Bandoleer||Carry more ammo.|
|From The Hip||Increase long gun blindfire accuracy.||Scavenger||Get more ammo from each pickup.|
|Sure Shot||Better accuracy when aiming pistols||Keep Firing||More bullets in each clip.|
|Down The Irons||Better accuracy when aiming long guns.||Fleet Foot||Move faster while aiming.|
|Break Up||Increased damage to breakable objects.||Sure Foot||No knockdown from explosions.|
|Turtle||Move faster with the riot shield.||Scoped In||Reduced pain wobble while scoped in.|
|Hell Blazer||Move faster with the GAU - 19.||Rocket Man||Increased RPG -7 ammo capacity.|
|Juggler||Faster pistol reloading.||Launch Man||Increased M32-Hammer ammo capacity.|
|Rapid Hands||Faster long gun reloading.||Revenge||Drop a live grenade upon death.|
|Situational Awareness||When standing still, press the up button to see enemies names through walls.||Explosive expert||Carry an extra grenade.|
|Evasion||Immunity to Situational Awareness.||Treasure Bearer||Move faster with the treasure.|
|Walk Softly||Silent Movement.||Monkey Man||Climb faster.|
|Veiled||Badge of Honour (increased experience in exchange for handicap: No Blindfire Reticule||Deposit||Earn more money for objective medals.|
|Invalid||Badge of Honour: Half health.||Half Loaded||Badge of Honour: Less bullets in each clip.|
|Glass Jaw||Badge of Honour: Take double damage from hand to hand attacks.||Come Get Some||Nearby enemies see your name through walls.|
Alongside the huge host of competitive multiplayer options, Uncharted 2 also brought with it a sizable cooperative menu of modes. It allows up to only three players maximum and none of the modes can be played alone. The unlockable boosters do not apply for the cooperative modes, however there are a separate set of upgrades for cooperative-only. They are all passive weapon upgrades and near enough every weapon in the game has the same three available: increased reload speed, increased blindfire accuracy, increased overall accuracy.
The host player gets to choose the difficulty level for the co-op game modes, to which there are four: Easy, Normal, Hard and Crushing. Easy - Hard all virtually play and appear the same, with them only increasing the damage/health modifiers for the enemies. Crushing mode, however, actually turns all of the mercenaries undead, with their default face models being replaced with pale white skulls. They still function the same and can be killed through the exact same tactics as in the lesser difficulty modes.
If a player is killed, his teammates are given a short window to revive them before the are permanently eliminated. If all players are killed, the team gets to restart at the last checkpoint. Teams are given 3 retries to complete the level. The same character skins from the competitive modes still apply towards the Arena and Hunter modes, though Adventure is loosely centered around a small narrative and thus has fixed characters for players to control.
Initially both the Survival and Gold Rush coop modes forced players to stick to preset characters. Once the 1.07 update become live, players were allowed to head in with their personally selected profile Hero skins.
Here Nate along with his trusty adventurin' cohorts, Chloe and Sully, embark across the war-torn streets of Nepal, fighting against a huge swarm of Serbian mercenaries as the trio attempt to locate a batch of golden relics. They'll contend with a multiple variety of mercenaries, including the heavily armoured ''mutants'', as Nate calls them, equipped with massive GAU machine guns. Eventually the three will find themselves at the City square, with the treasure heavily guarded by a squadron of mercenaries. After killing them all, Nate celebrates their find and calls dibs on the large golden idol.
Nate, Elena and Tenzin quickly grab word that Tenzin's village is soon to be attacked; just as they arrive, they are quickly ambushed and forced to fight their way through. Finding a hostage tied up, the hostage alerts them of more hostages in the village. The three set out fighting their way against heavy resistance, eventually finding themselves contending against a tank. Thanks to an RPG - 7 stash within the Village, the three destroy the tank and with it scare off the remaining mercenaries, saving the Village.
Nate along with both of his fiery love-interests must find and destroy the Communication Tower, so as to thwart any more mercenary recruitments. The trio must now clamber their way up the Sanctuary itself to reach to destroy the tower. They naturally must still combat against an army of mercenaries, of all sizes, as they fight their way through. Once they reach the location where Nate will plant the explosive device for the tower, they are ambushed by a huge array of snipers perched on the rooftops way above them all. Alongside the marksmen, many more ground-level mercenaries--including more GAU toting mutants--make their presence known. The three against all odds still prevail; Nate finally plants the bomb and three quickly retreat to escape the blast radius.
On November 27th, 2009 a new multiplayer map called The Fort was patched into the game for free. The Fort is based on the chapter 5 level "The Fortress" in the first Uncharted game. (It's debatable whether or not this is actually DLC, considering it is automatically patched into the game with a title update.)
On January 28th, 2010 the "PlayStation Heroes Skin Pack" was released for purchase, and contains 7 new multiplayer skins; Sev and a Helghast soldier from Killzone 2, Nathan Hale and a Chimera from Resistance 2, and Cole (both good & evil versions) and Zeke from inFAMOUS.
On February 25th, the "Drake's Fortune Multiplayer Pack" was released for purchase, and contains 6 new multiplayer skins and 2 new maps based on characters and locations from the first Uncharted game. The skins include Drake’s Fortune Nathan Drake, Drake’s Fortune Elena Fisher, Gabriel Roman, Atoq Navarro, Eddy Raja, and Javier the mercenary. The new maps are The Flooded Ruins (based on the chapter 10 level "The Customs House" in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune) and The Facility (based on the chapter 18 level "The Bunker" in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune).
On April 22nd, the "Siege Expansion Pack" was released for purchase, and includes six new multiplayer skins, two new maps, and a new co-op multiplayer game mode. The new skins include Wetsuit Drake, Baseball Shirt Drake, Prakoso, Platzor, Glowzor, and Dead Explorer. The two new maps are called Highrise and The Museum, based on locations from the single player campaign of Uncharted 2. The new game mode is called Siege, and is much like the co-op Survival mode, except the players have to hold off waves of enemies while defending a specified zone. The only way for players to score points is for all the players to be within the zone. The location of the zone changes after each wave of enemies.
In the cutscene immediately following Chapter 4 and preceding Chapter 5 ("Trouble in Nepal"), Nate and Sully are forced to jump off a very high cliff into the water below in order to escape from their pursuers. When Nate tells Sully they have to jump, Sully says, "Hold on there, Sundance - you gotta be outta your mind." This is a direct reference to a very similar scene in the film where the younger Sundance Kid tells the older Butch Cassidy they have to jump off a sheer cliff into a river below in order to escape law enforcement officers who are chasing them.
In the middle of Chapter 12, after Drake uses a zip-line to get down to the train yard, Drake says "I love the smell of train yards in the morning". This is a direct reference to a line in Apocalypse Now when Col. Kilgore says, "I love the smell of napalm in the morning."
One of Drake's random lines after pushing an enemy off the train is "Get off my train!", a reference to the "Get off my plane!" line from Air Force One.
Uncharted 2 does not have any install. Christophe Balestra was quoted simply saying: "Uncharted 2 does not require any install." Although the box does seem to indicate that the game requires at least 1000 MB of hard drive space.
The multiplayer portion of the game does require, as of October 17th, 2009, around 450 MB of space to access. Downloadable content must be installed as well.
The Fortune Hunter Edition for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves has another case with an art book, download codes for new gun skins, XMB Theme and various bonuses, and a replica of the Phurba Dagger featured in the game. It wasn't available for purchase, but instead was given away through competitions including some held on the PlayStation blog, PlayStation Home, and the game's multiplayer beta. It is only available to North America.
Europe got a Limited Edition Collector's Box that is for sale. It's in a metal case with different box art and contains the same download PS Store code as the American version.
The soundtrack for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was released on October 13th, 2009 and was composed by Greg Edmonson.
The game was very well reviewed with a Metascore of 96 – the highest for any game in 2009 – and won numerous Game of the Year/Best of awards from various publications. It was also the best selling game of the month during which it was released in the U.S. (at 537K according to NPD), and has since sold over 3.5 million copies worldwide.
Runner-up awards are not included. Only highest tier is included per category (e.g. Overall Game of Year overrides platform and genre awards).
Giant Bomb's Game of the Year 2009
13th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards
10th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards
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