UC2: Bringing Couples Closer Together since 2009
I played through all of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves with my fiancée Ashley, and we had a blast. Uncharted 2 was also the first competitive online multiplayer game that has ever caught her attention, so if you’re the only online multiplayer gamer in the relationship, this game may be your gateway drug.
As you all probably know, playing through single player games as a couple can be tricky. Having to take turns, and deciding when or where to pass the controller, usually takes away from the experience but, in Uncharted 2, it worked out perfectly.
Uncharted 2 is divided up into two major gameplay types: platforming and combat. Lucky for us, Ashley much prefers the platforming, and I like the combat and platforming equally. Going through the first half of the game, we were working in complete sync: Gunshot? Controller passed. Combat music over? Controller passed. Neither of us felt that the other was getting a larger share of play time until the second half of the game. Avoiding spoilers, the game becomes quite action-oriented, and platforming takes a serious back seat (read: the trunk). Even if the Designated Platformer in your relationship has nothing to do in the second half of the game, they won’t be overly upset because the presentation in Uncharted 2 is absolutely amazing.
Uncharted 2 is graphically beautiful. We hadn’t had such a big “wow” factor since we first upgraded to this console generation. The environments are gorgeous; sometimes you’ll be climbing up a mountain and take half a minute just to look at the expansive horizon that Naughty Dog created. On the topic of production values: the soundtrack, script, and voice acting are just as great as the graphics, and the game has an impressive lead. Nathan Drake is funny, charming and, unlike most game characters, believably human.
It’s very possible for players to generally feel a sort of kinship with Drake, because he is not the untouchable superhero that most game characters are made out to be. Nathan Drake gets beaten up so much throughout the progress of the game, it could have been retitled Uncharted 2: Nathan Drake Has a Series of Bad Days. We can relate to Drake; it makes him so much more human knowing he might just lose. We also liked how Drake would often jeer at enemies and shout PG-13 profanities when grenades would land near him, which were good for a laugh in tense situations.
Uncharted 2 has a great (online) multiplayer mode that we both agree is 1) lots of fun 2) boils down to grenade kills and punching people in the face. Although most of the weapons made it into the multiplayer mode, the game can be played fairly effectively via melee combat or 1-shot sneak kills. It may not please the hardcore crowd, but the multiplayer is definitely fun.
Both multiplayer and single player modes have a “cash” incentive that allow you to purchase concept art, behind the scenes movies, game tweaks, multiplayer bonuses, and player reskins for both modes. The cash incentive is great, since there are some pretty awesome top-level skins for both multiplayer and single player.
Uncharted 2 is not without flaws, and the lack of local co-op is a huge one. Throughout most of single player, you’re paired with an AI ally who will assist you up ladders, help solve puzzles, or engage in combat. The game would have been great had it featured jump in/out split-screen co-op for single player. Ashley and I had a great time playing through Resident Evil 5, frantically yelling at each other to watch a door or pass an herb or ohmygodlookouttheresachainsawguybehindyou. Having this kind of experience in the world of Uncharted would have been beyond amazing.
Outside of the lack of local multiplayer, other qualms we’ve had with Uncharted 2 are largely around its length. Uncharted 2’s single player campaign falls a bit on the short side, clocking in at about 10-11 hours for us. Most games we prefer to be over and done with in about 15 hours, but the fact we’re taking issue with the length is a testament to how fun the game is and how well everything was presented.
As far as controller-passing single player games go, Uncharted 2 is probably the best we’ve experienced, despite the lack of local multiplayer. We would absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for a fantastic PS3 game to play solo or with their significant other.