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Among Thieves
The best movie I've seen this past year was not a movie at all, but a video game called Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. I've been a fan of this series for a while, as witnessed by character Elena Fisher earning the top spot in my Top 10 Women in Video Games list a few years back. This game is not only action packed, but the story is deep, the characters are complex, the scenery is beautiful, there's humor, there are twists, and as soon as you finish the game you want to go back in and play again. How many movies can tackle all of that? Sure, Avatar was action packed with beautiful scenery, but would you say there was a tremendous amount of depth to the story? What about complex characters? Still not convinced?

Keep reading...

I'm almost 31 years old and shouldn't be playing video games, let alone writing about them at great length for a website. (So sayeth my girlfriend, my mother and my proctologist.) But Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is, by far, the best game of last year and worth the tremendous praise that's been heaped upon it.

Nathan Drake
He's Indiana Jones without the education. He's spent a little too long hanging out with less-than-savory individuals and he doesn't always make the right decisions. But we side with him because he's an attainable hero. Recognizing his faults, we'd still happily trade places with him as he travels the globe and attempts to rescue the damsel in distress. He's funny, he knows how to scale a wall, and when he gets hurt - he gets seriously hurt.

The Story
Uncharted 2's story, at its core, is basically a "seeking lost treasure" tale taken right out of Raiders of the Lost Ark. One man against a seemingly unstoppable army, both attempting to discover the last few mysteries of the universe. But Uncharted 2 adds layers upon layers to this tried and true formula. First, the MacGuffin in the tale is the Cintimani Stone, thought to have been discovered by Marco Polo in the paradise of Shambala deep inside the Himalayas. No one is exactly sure what the jewel is nor what it does, but its mystery is the driving force behind the story. Add to that a group of characters so double-crossing it makes the Jay Leno/Conan O'Brien feud look like a round of hop-scotch. You're never sure where this tale will take you, but it's incredibly evident that the producers have done their homework. You can practically see the history lesson shooting through the pixels on the screen, though this course ends with you pistol whipping a bad guy and stealing his ammo, rather than a pop-quiz on the Vice Presidents of the United States.

The Locales
A large amount of time is spent exploring the snow drenched slopes of the Himalayas, but Drake also heads to a beautiful mosaic rich museum in Instanbul, inland shipwrecks in Borneo, and Pokhara, Nepal in search of the stone. (Among others)

The Action
A rocket-firing helicopter chasing you on the rooftops of a Nepalese city? Hanging for your life off the side of a speeding train while grenades are tossed at your head? Jumping ice chasms hundreds of feet deep to escape from ... well, I should let you discover that one on your own. It's amazing what set pieces the designers have built to bring you into this game. There are some spectacular stunts that will no doubt make your palms sweat. And the best part is, none of these seem shoe-horned into the game. Everything makes sense. Everything seems meant to be there.

I've spent enough time showcasing my fanboyism of this game. If you own a PS3, this is one game you need to have in your arsenal. It's a quick play, but the online multiplayer action will keep you entertained long enough for Naughty Dog (the game's designers) to created the third game in the franchise.

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Don't worry about being 30 and gaming echo, my dad is 60 and has a ps3, and the has finished all of the gran tourismo games so far. Full completion. The man is obsessed with gt.
As for uncharted 2, I rented it out over my Xmas break, and just couldn't put it down. Finished it in 2 days.
Spending 10 hours in front of the playstation in 2 days made me feel pretty nerdy, but I loved it.

said Frank the Tank on February 8, 2010 5:02 PM.

I'm a girl, I'm 28, doing a major in managing and work full time... and I just purchased both "Uncharted" ("Drake's Fortune" and "Among Thieves")... I played for 7 straight hours the first night I got the games. It's that good. After finishing the first one, I just played it again to explore and gather the treasures...

(I'm I the only one who thought the Spaniards/zombies in "Drake's Fortune" are just nerve-racking...?)

said iladouceur on February 9, 2010 10:10 AM.

I played a bit of the first one but didn't really get my teeth into it. I have it on the shelve for days to come with more free gaming time. For the while i did play it looked great and played nicely.

On that trailer.... damn! the second one looks awesome!

I'm 27 full time student and business owner and have never laid down the controller since my family gave me the NES so many years ago.

said Ernesto on February 9, 2010 2:03 PM.
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