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A near-perfect blend of combat and exploration married to AAA visuals and audio
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The PS3 has often been criticised for a perceived lack of “killer apps”, those top quality exclusives that are capable of selling a games console on their own. But if anyone had any lingering concerns in this direction, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves blows them out of the water like an RPG round to a Tibetan fishing kayak – this is simply the best game we’ve played all year. Read our Uncharted 2: Among Thieves review now to see why.

Anyone familiar with 2007’s Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune will feel immediately comfortable with the single player game on Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, which marries Tomb Raider-style exploration and puzzle-solving to hectic, heart-pumping cover-based combat reminiscent of Gears of War. It’s blended so adeptly that things rarely feel repetitive, and you can happily plant yourself on the sofa and plough through the game for hours on end.

The story, characters and general polish help things too. The wisecracking Nathan Drake makes for a truly likeable protagonist, and the supporting cast are well realised too – thanks in part to the wonderful animation, which makes for some of the most convincing facial expressions ever seen in a game.

It would be remiss not to wax lyrical over the technical brilliance of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. It’s undoubtedly the best-looking game of this console generation – the scene where you climb to the top of a hotel and gaze out over a Tibetan city, the Himalayas in the background, is just breathtaking – and the fact that it runs at a steady frame rate no matter what kind of chaos is going on on-screen is mighty impressive.

Audio is similarly top notch, and this is one of those games that truly deserves to be played on a huge HDTV (or even better, a projector) with the lights dimmed and a hefty surround sound system rigged up.

We won’t go into the story too much, but suffice to say it involves lost treasure, ancient evil, travels to picturesque locations, a love triangle (or possibly square), betrayal and redemption. Par for the course, perhaps, but it’s compelling and so well presented that it drives you on effortlessly. The flash forward opening scene (which doubles as a tutorial) is also a nice touch.

Sprinkled throughout are some memorable moments of cinematic brilliance. We won’t ruin but just serve to make Uncharted 2: Among Thieves one of the finest single-player experiences you can have on a games console.

And that’s just part of it. Developers Naughty Dog have introduced a fantastic multiplayer element to the game, which will keep you playing long after the solo game has been completed. Whether your tastes run to all-out team deathmatch, objective-based co-op or facing off against wave after wave of AI-controlled baddies, there’s something for you in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.

It all adds up to a truly astounding game and a must-buy for every PS3 owner. And if you don’t own a PS3? Well, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves might just be the nudge you’ve been waiting for…

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