Unchartered 2: Among Thieves
Price: About £8
After really enjoying completing Unchartered 1 a few months ago (which, embarrassingly I bought when I first got the Playstation, back when I was still working at the local supermarket, and therefore no older than 17) I made sure Unchartered 2 was one of the first games we bought.
Nathan Drake’s adventures continue a year or so after his previous outing, starting with one of the best opening sequences I’ve seen in a game. Normally the old ‘play through this sequence because it’s the tutorial’ routine is a bit of a bore, especially in a sequel, when you already know most of the routine, but the stunning train derailment opening more than makes up for the necessary slow gameplay intro.
The storyline is fairly similar – Drake’s seeking another famous artefact and it turns out there are consequences beyond his imagining. War criminal Lazarevic makes up the human enemy – and he’s a brutal character, prepared to do whatever it takes to get his hands on the artefact in question: the Cintamani Stone. It’s a bit disarming at first to find yourself lumped in with a bunch of new characters, but there are welcome returns from Sully and Elena throughout the game.
Gameplay is also a familiar mix of climbing stuff, puzzle solving and shooting bad guys. Much like other games in the genre, it becomes fairly easy to figure out what you have to do, once you’ve been playing for a while and have learned what to look for. The levels are large and have the deceptive appearance of being open-plan, but actually, it’s all fairly linear.
Fighting is not the ‘run in guns blazing’ sort of shoot-em-up, but requires strategy as you face overwhelming numbers, and at times careful conservation of bullets. The Boyfriend got utterly frustrated by the fact that there are no real short cuts, and you can’t just barrel in, declaring the hiding ‘boring’ so if you’re looking for that sort of game, I wouldn’t recommend you try this.
There are some great set pieces, including fighting your way up a moving train, exploring deep in the frozen Himalayas and navigating the war torn streets of Nepal.
AI characters are more effective than in some other games, occasionally killing an enemy, though don’t rely on them, and the game has a habit of jumping forwards if you run far enough through enemies to trigger then next checkpoint, then die, which is a rather unsatisfying way of getting round trickier obstacles.
All in all though, a great game and a steal at ~£8 on Amazon Market Place
Next Up: Harry Potter Years 5-7