Uncharted: Among Thieves AND The Eye of Indra!

unchartedreview

First of all, I thought we’d start off with the story that was originally supposed to be the follow-up game to Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (probably the best game for the Playstation 3), The Eye of Indra.  Planned as a prequel to the original story, Indra is being released as a four-part motion comic series on the Playstation Network that’s actually pretty well done, and features most of the voice cast from the game.

Pretty cool, huh?  After finishing Uncharted: Among Thieves the other day, I was desperate for some more Uncharted goodness, and The Eye of Indra delivered.  See, Among Thieves, the much anticipated follow up to Drake’s Fortune, delivers in every way that I was hoping it would, and provided one of the most satisfying, engaging, and enjoyable single-player experiences I’ve ever had while playing a video game.

Full review after the jump!

Uncharted: Among Thieves begins some time after the original Uncharted, Drake is living a quiet life out on a beach somewhere, drinking beer and relaxing.  When an old friend comes calling, looking for help in trying to attain a valuable piece of history, a lamp that may very well hold the secret location of Shambhala.  Unfortunately, the man hiring their services is none other than Zoran Lazarević, a Serbian war criminal looking to harness the power of the Cintamani Stone to his own (evil) deeds.  After Nate is betrayed by his co-horts in crime, and goes to jail for months, he decides that it’s time for some payback.

While most would expect a sequel to such a popular game to go the usual route and be a darker, edgier version (I’m looking at you, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within), Among Thieves is actually a lighter entry than the original.  While there are some supernatural elements (I won’t ruin them here, but it’s practically expected), none are quite as scary and intense as the creatures from Drake’s Fortune.  Sadly, this is one of Thieves’ weaker aspects.  The final couple of levels may be fun and exciting, but they’re not quite as amazing as the resolution of the original game.

The only other flaw that I can think of in the single-player experience is the overuse of the “grabbing someone’s hand as they fall over a cliff” routine.  Sure, it’s intense, but after seeing it a dozen times, it loses some of its impact.

Chloe, a welcome new addition to the Uncharted mythos.  Maybe a spin-off game?
Chloe, a welcome new addition to the Uncharted mythos. Maybe a spin-off game?

Still, those are about the only negative things I have to say about a game that pushes the Ps3 in ways that it’s never been pushed before.  If you thought the graphics on the original were amazing, you’ll be floored by the graphics in this game.  The helicopter and train sequences may be the two greatest sequences in a video game EVER.  It almost makes me wish they had saved some of that spectacle more for the end.

Still, the controls are amazingly fluid, the action is intense … really, Among Thieves is a win-win situation for everyone involved.  At this point, because of the original, you come to expect smart writing, witty dialogue, and voice acting that’s among the best in any game – here, Among Thieves shines even more than expected.  The humor is great, and the dialogue is so natural, you really feel like you’re watching a movie.

Which leads me to a suggestion for the inevitable part 3 – PLEASE NAUGHTY DOG, create an unlockable movie mode that will condense the game and cutscenes into a 2 1/2 or 3 hour movie that can be viewed upon completing the game.  I love watching the cutscenes on the game, and I’d love to show people the story of this game as a movie, but you lose so much when you don’t have the in-game sequences that it’s just not possible to watch as a movie.  Which is another one of the game’s strengths – flawless transition from cinematics to gameplay.  You really do feel sometimes like you’re playing a cinematic.

HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION.

Paul's Awesomeness Score - 9
Paul's Awesomeness Score - 9

I’ve not played the multiplayer portion of the game, only because I’m afraid of getting my ass kicked so badly – any fellow IoMers interested in having a multiplayer session?  Comment below and let’s see if we can get a game set up!

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