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Denny Markovic
02 Sep, 2009

Uncharted 2 Preview

PS3 Preview | Having seen the Multiplayer, it's time to go hands-on with the Single Player.
A few months ago we were given the opportunity to participate in the Multiplayer Beta for one of the most anticipated games of 2009, Uncharted 2. Though we thought the multiplayer wasn’t anything absolutely groundbreaking when it came to new ideas and standout gameplay, it did the job well enough to warrant some playtime, and the 3-way co-op worked exceptionally well. Just recently, we were given the chance to play through one of the levels in the single player portion of the game, and we’ve come out pretty excited to play some more.

The build we played was from the recent GamesCom convention, so all the latest technical goodies and gameplay tweaks have been added. The level was the same level from the Multiplayer Beta’s co-op, however it was still fairly different due to it only being you in control rather than other players too. It starts off with Drake being chased down a small alleyway by a jeep, with you in control and constantly firing back at the ever so close jeep of certain death. Eventually the jeep crashes and burns out, and you end up in an open street which looks torn to death by war. A cut-scene ensues and Drake hides behind cover as several enemies approach.

From this point on it’s pure gameplay all the way with no interruptions in cut-scenes, and to say that it was solid is frankly an understatement. Drake, as a character, animates and interacts brilliantly, with extremely natural movement patterns, giving you the feeling of absolute control when moving him about. The game uses the cover system from the previous game with a few tweaks and the same melee system albeit slightly deeper and more challenging now. AI is clever and very aggressive. For example, they will actively flank you and throw grenades to flush you out of your cover zones. This is also probably why the melee is much more punishing in its timing and execution now as well. As the AI is far sharper, much more caution is advised when approaching the enemy. In fact, the AI reminded us much of the Helghast in Killzone 2, in which they were intelligent enough to know when to take cover and aggressive enough to make you break a sweat.

Oh christ..Sully was right about that burrito.

Oh christ..Sully was right about that burrito.
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The melee system has also been upgraded with some much more punishing stealthy kills, which reminded us heavily of the masterful Metal Gear Solid 4. Sneaking up on enemies while hanging off ledges will make Drake yank them off the side to their death, and sneaking up behind walls may have Drake swerve the enemies into the side walls, practically shattering their entire bone structure. It’s a very fun and gratifying addition to the already robust arsenal of melee moves, and is a testament to the game’s beautiful animation.

Which leads us again to Uncharted 2’s technical prowess. This game looks really good, and much, much better than the Multiplayer Beta. Aliasing is practically non-existent now and the texture resolution has been upped even more, creating a sharp and crystal clear image that really shows off the power of the PlayStation 3. It seems that they’ve added much better shadowing on characters too, and some Ambient Occlusion, which adds much more depth to many of the objects in the world. And did we mention that this all runs at a rock solid frame rate, even with half a dozen characters on screen? With still a few months left in development, Naughty Dog have clearly obtained a firm grip on the architecture of the PS3, creating pretty much the most technically impressive console game of this generation - and it’s not even finished yet.

Yeah I'll show you my role-KAPPOWW

Yeah I'll show you my role-KAPPOWW
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The single player level ends just where the co-op stage does, with a truck blocking off your path and several soldiers coming in to take you down. It was only about 10 to 20 minutes of gameplay overall, but it was enough for us to be even more excited about Uncharted 2’s imminent release. The Multiplayer Beta had us convinced that we were in for a great gaming experience, but now that we’ve also tried out the single player, we’re fairly confident that if Naughty Dog keep the level of quality we saw in the demo consistent throughout the entire single player portion, then we may have ourselves one of the best games of 2009, and a sequel that practically eclipses the original in quality.
Overall:
Now that we've played both the single and multiplayer portion, we are confident that Uncharted 2 is going to be a winner.

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18 Comments
4 years ago
Awesome preview, I cannot wait to continue the adventure with drake. I am happy the resolution has been upped from the MP beta too.
4 years ago
Looks awesome! Can someone tell me if you need to play the first game to get the second one? I kinda skipped out because when I first got my PS3 I just thought it was a Tomb Raider clone. Just wondering if I should pick it up now???
4 years ago
GreyWolfJai.....Yes, pick up Uncharted today, you need to play it. Its an awesome experience and one that shouldn't be missed.

Its my fav PS3 exclusive.
4 years ago
I'd say definitely pick up the first, you could probably snap it up for pretty cheap nowadays and it'll help build a basis for the second. The feel I get from it (from my brief play while at a mates) is the exploration of Tomb Raider coupled with the combat of Gears of War but combined with a unique flair that is inherently Uncharted.
4 years ago
This is the only game this year that I really can't wait for.
4 years ago
GreyWolfJai wrote
Looks awesome! Can someone tell me if you need to play the first game to get the second one? I kinda skipped out because when I first got my PS3 I just thought it was a Tomb Raider clone. Just wondering if I should pick it up now???
You don't need to know the back story to enjoy Uncharted 2, but as everyone's already mentioned, it's well worth playing. Awesome game.
4 years ago
Very excited about this one. The multi beta was some good fun but single player is where I'm hoping this shines.

Yank while hanging sounds like it could be fun icon_wink.gif
4 years ago
Such an awesome engine Naughty Dog have developed, I hope some other Sony studios start pumping out games using it!
4 years ago
I can't wait for this game. I played a little of the multiplayer beta, but it doesn't have the fluid feel of the singleplayer. There was some aim assist (that once screwed me out of a kill because I couldn't get my reticule off a guy and onto the explosive barrel next to him) and players would take too many bullets before dying. I appreciate that it needs to be that way for multiplayer balance, but singleplayer is where it's at in Uncharted for me. There's nothing like the old BAMBAMBAMBAM*hide* of the first game on Crushing.
4 years ago
Graphically does it smash Uncharted 1 and indeed the surrounding competition? The jungles, water effects and indeed the whole engine of Uncharted 1 was amazing.
4 years ago
few months left in development?

Its released in about 40 days - and probably only about 15-20 days before it goes gold... it is probably all complete and awaiting certification from Sony.

yes to all the above posters - yes uncharted is awesome. best game of the generation. should all be ashamed of yourselves for not playing already!!!
4 years ago
Uncharted 1 was a standout game. Now, if they could get that engine and apply some of that technology to other games.... *drewwwwl*
4 years ago
Not long now... the wait is almost over.
4 years ago
Multiplayer beta was pretty good. But my main priority is the single-player. Going to be amazing.
4 years ago
Played Drakes Fortune 4 times myself, spent 2 weeks in the beta for U2.
This and RnC Crack in Time are going to be the best ps3 games out until the mighty GoW3 shows up imo.
4 years ago
In this interview Christophe Balestra (the other Co-President of Naughty Dog) confirms that Uncharted 2 is nine days away from submission. That was published seven days ago, so I suppose Uncharted 2 goes Gold on Friday.

You can bet Naughty Dog are going to be working right up until the deadline, though. If you watch the very first Uncharted 2 teaser (from December 2008) and then the most recent GamesCom trailer (August 2009), both of which show the same scene of Nate trudging wounded through the snow, there's an outrageous increase in graphical quality.
4 years ago
They'll definitely have some solid improvements in the final days. When Killzone 2 was released, I received a complete but non-gold mastered copy to play for review. I've got the retail version later on and the difference is quite huge. The non-gold was about a week out of gold mastering as well.
4 years ago
arbok wrote
few months left in development?
It's not done until it's patched on day-zero =)
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