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Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is an action-adventure game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment exclusively for the PlayStation 3. It was released in North America, Australia, Japan, and Europe in October 2009. It is the sequel to Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. The game follows Nathan Drake as he tries to find another treasure.

DevelopmentEdit

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was first revealed by Game Informer in December 2008, which revealed the game's title as Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and that the game will feature Marco Polo and his explorations as part of the game's plot. The game's first teaser trailer was released on December 1, 2008 that featured Drake in a snowstorm reaching for a dagger, which was rendered using the in-game engine.[1][2] A second teaser trailer was released on December 15 which showed a badly wounded Drake waking up in the remains of a wrecked train hanging over a cliff.

In February 2009, Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells stated in an interview with IGN that the new character Chloe Frazer had been in a relationship with Drake before and that Uncharted 2 will make more use of the PS3 than its predecessor did. Wells also stated that the game will not take place entirely in a jungle environment, but will also include concrete and urban environments and ice and snow environments. Wells also stated that the game will feature an action and stealth mechanic. He also hinted that Victor Sullivan would be returning. Wells also stated that Naughty Dog will be looking at online games and multiplayer games in the future, hinting that Uncharted 2 may have one of these features. In the same interview, Amy Hennig stated that the game will take place a few years after Drake's Fortune, and hinted that Elena Fisher and would be also returning. She also revealed more about Chloe Frazer, stating that she had a previous relationship with Drake.[3]

In March 2009, co-lead designer Richard Lemarchand stated that Uncharted 2 will feature a more realistic climbing system and that the game has animations and technology that allow Drake to climb and explore the environment in a much more free-form and realistic manner. Lemarchand also stated that a lot of work was put into the design of the snow and ice environments, such as how the snow has a distinct look as it falls and is blown by the wind and the way Drake leaves footprints in the snow. Lemarchand also stated that Drake will crouch down as he moves around if he has not been spotted by enemies in order to get around his enemies stealthily.[4]

In late April 2009, Naughty Dog confirmed that the game will feature both competitive and co-operative online multiplayer. The multiplayer aspect will feature different modes such as deathmatch and that players can play as various characters such as Drake, Sullivan, Elena, Chloe, and others online. Naughty Dog representatives also stated that people who purchase Infamous will recieve a voucher code for an Uncharted 2s multiplayer beta.[5]

In May 2009, Naughty Dog revealed more about Uncharted 2's single-player mode. Nathan Drake will be teaming up with Chloe Frazer to find Marco Polo's lost fleet and obtain the mythical Cintamani Stone a massive sapphire that can grant wishes. Game director Bruce Straley stated that the game's villian will be Serbian war criminal Zoran Lazarevic, who is also after the Cintamani Stone.[6]

On June 30, 2009, in a question-and-answer session on the official PlayStation blog, Evan Wells stated that the game's single-player campaign will be longer than Drake's Fortunes and that the game will feature more than 90 minutes of cutscenes and a more robust story than Drake's Fortune. Wells also stated that they are still finalizing the Trophies for the game and that they may include a few online-centric Trophies, though they do not want to force players to play online to obtain them. Regarding the release date, Wells stated that it will be released in fall 2009 and that the game will not feature offline multiplayer as they would have to compromise the visuals for offline co-operative gameplay. Wells further stated that another multiplayer demo will happen before the game is released. Amy Henning stated that the there will be roughly the same amount of puzzles in the game as there was in Drake's Fortune. They also stated that Drake will have his own journal in the game rather than using Francis Drake's diary, which players can use for reference to figure out puzzles. They also stated that the game will take place in Turkey, Borneo, Nepal, Tibet, and the Himalayas.[7]

On July 21, 2009, Naughty Dog stated that the game will be released in North America on October 13, 2009, and revealed the game's box art.[8] On July 28, 2009, Naughty Dog stated that the game will not require an installation, as the game's preorder box incorrectly displayed a 1.7 GB required installation.[9]

On September 4, 2009, the limited edition of Uncharted 2 was revealed, titled the "Fortune Hunter Edition". It will not be sold at retail and will only be available through contests and giveaways. The limited edition will feature the game, a life-sized replica Phurba, a collector's artbook and case autographed by Naughty Dog, and downloadable content

GampeplayEdit

Uncharted 2 features new gameplay mechanics, such as stealth action segments, and will change the climbing mechanic to allow free movement over walls. Gameplay from Drake's Fortune also returns, such as platforming, vehicle segments, and a cover system.

MultiplayerEdit

Uncharted 2 features both competitive and co-operative multiplayer. The co-op multiplayer allows a maximum of three players to take the roles of Nathan, Sully, and Chloe and features missions involving gunfights, platforming, and teamwork-based objectives. Players will also need to assist their comrades should they become critically injured or be grabbed by an enemy.

The competitive multiplayer will allow a maximum of ten players to play against each other. Four competitive modes have been revealed, 'Deathmatch', 'Plunder', 'Elimination', and 'Chain Reaction'. Deathmatch features two teams of five, with one team acting as 'heroes' and the other as 'villains'. Players will be able to choose their own appropriate character models (such as Nathan, Sully, Elena and new characters Tenzin and Chloe for the 'heroes' team). Players will also be able to select two Boost abilities which will assist them in the matches. Plunder is similar to the traditional capture the flag game mode, and sees each team attempt to capture the treasure from a central point in the map and return it to their base; the player carrying the treasure is slowed down a great deal, and may also choose to hurl the treasure away at any point, in order to keep it out of reach of the enemy, or to pass it to a teammate. 'Elimination' has two teams of five players against each other with the objective of killing everyone on the other team. Eliminate out the other guys three out of five times, and the team still standing wins. 'Chain Reaction' has the player capturing flags, but the player must do them in a specific order - one team works out from their base needing to capture 1 through 5 while the other team starts out from their home and needs to snag 5 through 1.

'Gold Rush' is a cooperative mode of play where 2-3 players must team up to get a treasure, randomly spawned on the map, and take it back to their base much like Plunder. However, AI enemies will try to stop the players from returning the treasure. If a player goes down and is not revived before the timer goes out, they will not come back until the next round. In each consecutive round the enemies will become tougher to defeat.

Due to the reduction of the quality of the game's visuals if a split-screen multiplayer were to be included, Naughty Dog has stated there will be no offline multiplayer for the time being.

DLCEdit

Although no official DLC has been announced or released yet, new maps were added via system updates, and you can purchase the Eye of Indra Skins Pack which gives you the Rika Raja and Daniel Pinkerton Multiplayer Skins. (Europe only.) This map was called "The Fort", a basic 3-story map based off of the first Uncharted game. This map could be played on all modes in Multiplayer and both on Gold Rush and Survival" However, Creative Director Amy Hennig speaking up on the possibility of DLC for the game. "We're working on that now ... there will be DLC available before the end of the year," she told IndustryGamers. Though she's not yet revealing very much on what exactly the content will entail, she did say it may include, "new maps, new characters, things like that ... some of it will be free of charge and some of it will be purchasable."

Story and plotEdit

The story begins in medias res, with a wounded Nathan Drake waking up to find himself in a train hanging off a cliff. Through flashbacks, it is revealed that Harry Flynn and Chloe Frazer approached him with a job offer to steal a Mongolian oil lamp in an Istanbul museum. Nate accepts the job when he learns that the lamp may lead to the treasures in Marco Polo's lost fleet. Flynn and Drake acquire the lamp, which contains a map showing that the lost fleet had been transporting the Cintamani Stone from Shambhala before being thrown ashore in Borneo by a tsunami. Flynn double-crosses Drake, who is arrested and imprisoned for three months before Chloe, who claims to have had no knowledge of Flynn's treachery, asks for the help of Drake's friend Victor "Sully" Sullivan to secure his release.

Nate and Sully follow Flynn and his boss Zoran Lazarevic, a war criminal who is widely thought to be dead, to Borneo. With the help of Chloe working within Lazarevic's camp as a mole, they discover that the lost fleet never actually possessed the Cintamani Stone. They locate a tomb containing the bodies of Polo's passengers, as well as a Tibetan phurba and another letter from Polo saying that the next clue is in one of the temples in Pokhara, Nepal. Flynn and his men appeared in the tomb soon after and take away the letter, but Nate and Sully make their escape by jumping off a cliff into a river. While Sullivan decides that the quest is too risky for him to carry on, Nate and Chloe head to Nepal, finding the city in the midst of civil war as Lazarevic ravages the city looking for the right temple.

En route to the temple containing the clue, the pair runs into Elena Fisher and her cameraman Jeff, who are tracking down Lazarevic to find proof to show to the public that he is in fact still alive. The four reach the temple and discover that the stone and Shambhala are in the Himalayas. Just as they are about to leave the group is ambushed outside the temple, and Jeff is shot by one of Lazarevic's men. Despite Chloe's insistence to leave Jeff behind, the group pushes on further until they are finally caught by Flynn and Lazarevic. Chloe reluctantly pulls her gun on Nate to protect her "cover", while Lazarevic executes Jeff. Lazarevic and Chloe then leave for a train, but Nate and Elena manage to escape just as Flynn is about to kill them. The couple rushes to the train yard and catch up with the leaving train on a stolen jeep. Nate boards the train and finds Chloe, who is upset about Nate having taken Elena and Jeff along earlier and refuses to leave with him. As the two argue, Flynn suddenly arrives and shoots Nate in the abdomen. With no other option, Nate shoots a pile of propane tanks, killing Flynn's men but sending Nate's half of the train towards a steep cliff.

Returning to where the story began, Nate escapes the train and travels through a snow storm, falling unconscious. He wakes up in a Tibetan village, where he is reunited with Elena and is introduced to a 90-year-old German man named Karl Schäfer. Schäfer tells Nate that the phurba is the key to finding Shambhala, but Nate tells Schäfer he is no longer interested. Schäfer sends Nate and the village leader, Tenzin, to find the remains of the men in his expedition, who were looking for Shambhala and the stone 70 years earlier. Traveling through a series of ice caves to an ancient temple filled with yeti-like creatures, Nate and Tenzin discover that Schäfer's men were SS members on an Ahnenerbe expedition and that he had killed them to protect the world from the power of the stone. They return to find Lazarevic's men attacking the village. After securing the village, Nate and Elena find out that Schäfer has been kidnapped along with the phurba, and the couple track Lazarevic's convoy to an abandoned monastery. The two locate a mortally wounded Schäfer, who tells Nate that he must destroy the Cintamani Stone.

Nate locates Chloe, who surrenders the phurba after he promises to take Lazarevic down. Nate and Elena use the phurba to unlock the secret passage to Shambhala underneath the monastery, but Lazarevic corners them and forces Nate to open the gate. When the gate opens the group is attacked by the monsters from the ice caves, but Lazarevic manages to kill them off and reveals that they are actually the Guardians of Shambhala, powered by the Cintamani stone and dressed like monsters to scare off anyone who trespass the city. Just as Lazarevic prepares to kill both Elena and Nate, another wave of Guardians attack which allows them and Chloe to escape. Making their way to the stone, Nate discovers that the stone is in fact a giant amber of petrified blue resin embedded in a giant Tree of Life. As they prepare to go after Lazarevic, a wounded Flynn arrives and detonates a grenade, killing himself and seriously wounding Elena. Nate leaves Elena in Chloe's care and sets off to confront Lazarevic at the tree. Nate arrives just as Lazarevic drinks the tree's sap, which heals his scars and renders him nearly indestructible. Detonating the pockets of explosive resin in the tree, Nate defeats Lazarevic and leaves him to be killed by the Guardians. Nate reunites with Chloe and Elena and they escape the city as a series of explosions begins to destroy Shambhala.

Back in the village, Chloe asks Nate if he loves Elena. He does not deny it, and Chloe bids Nate goodbye as Sully carries a recovering Elena over to him. While Sully chases after Chloe, Elena and Nate pay their respects at Schäfer's grave before embracing. They share a kiss and together they walk over to the edge of a cliff and watch the sun set behind the mountains.

ReceptionEdit

Uncharted 2 has received universal critical acclaim. The first publication to review Uncharted 2 was the French edition of PSM3. In their review, they called the game "Long, visually stunning, deep and explosive, Uncharted 2 combines all the qualities you can find in a videogame, and more! A new milestone has been reached in the videogame history." The magazine awarded the game its first ever, 21/20. The second review was by PlayStation: The Official Magazine, which awarded the game a perfect score. In their review, they stated, "Forget Game of The Year. This is one of the greatest games of all time!". The UK edition of the magazine also gave the game a perfect score. IGN gave the game a 9.5 out of 10, saying "No, Uncharted 2 is not perfect, but it's closer than pretty much any other game out there these days." GameSpot gave 9.5/10 saying "Uncharted 2 is a complete game that is completely awesome." Gamesradar gave it 10/10, saying "Simply put, Uncharted 2 is a reason to own a PS3." G4 gave the game a 5 out of 5. Adam Sessler remarked Uncharted 2 is the "best single-player game I have ever played", while listing one of the game's cons as "It has an ending". 1UP.com scored it A+, commenting on the game's high quality music and sound and Eurogamer scored the game 10/10 stating that "The attention to detail is beyond compare." PSX Extreme said, "it is without question the best game the genre has seen in a very long time." GameTrailers scored the game 9.3/10, saying that "if you own a PS3, you got to have this game." The Guilty Geek said,"The game is everything that the first was but bigger and better," stating it could easily obtain the Game of the Year award. Edge gave a 9/10 saying "Ultimately, no one will disagree that Uncharted 2 is one hell of a ride, and the best PS3 action game to date."

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