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 October 2009. It is the sequel to 2007's Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and the second installment in the Uncharted series.
Set two years after the events of Drake's Fortune, Among Thieves follows Nathan Drake and Chloe Frazer as they search for the entrance to the lost city of Shambhala and the fabled Cintamani Stone in a race against Serbian war criminal Zoran Lazarević and his army of mercenaries.
A critical and commercial success, Among Thieves was universally acclaimed by critics, who praised it for its gameplay, set-pieces, characterization and storytelling, multiplayer mode, visuals and art design. It went on to win multiple awards, including numerous Game of the Year awards from several publications. It remains the most critically acclaimed installment in the series.
A sequel, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, was released in November 2011. Alongside its predecessor and sequel, Among Thieves was later released for the PlayStation 4 as part of the Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, released in October 2015.
Plot[edit | edit source]
The narrative opens with a quote attributed to Marco Polo, "I did not tell half of what I saw, for I knew I would not be believed." The plot revolves around the doomed voyage home of Marco Polo from China in 1292. After spending almost 20 years in the court of the Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan, Marco Polo departed with fourteen ships and over six hundred passengers – but when he arrived in Persia a year and a half later, only one ship and eighteen passengers remained. Polo never revealed what had happened to the lost ships.
The story begins in media res, with a wounded Nathan "Nate" Drake (Nolan North) waking up to find himself in a train hanging off a cliff with a bloody stomach wound. Through flashbacks, it is revealed that former associate Harry Flynn (Steve Valentine) and old girlfriend Chloe Frazer (Claudia Black) approached him with a job to steal a Mongolian oil lamp from an Istanbul museum. Nate accepts the job when he learns that the lamp may lead to the treasure of Marco Polo's lost fleet. Harry and Drake acquire the lamp, which contains a map showing that the lost fleet had been transporting the Cintamani Stone from the mythical city of Shambhala (better known as Shangri-La) before being thrown ashore in Borneo by a tsunami. Taking the map, Flynn double-crosses Drake, who is arrested and imprisoned for three months. Chloe, who claims to have had no knowledge of Flynn's treachery, asks for the help of Drake's friend Victor "Sully" Sullivan (Richard McGonagle) to secure his release.
Nate and Sully follow Flynn and his boss Zoran Lazarević (Graham McTavish), a Serbian war criminal who is widely thought to be dead, to Borneo. With the help of Chloe working within Lazarević'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 a letter from Polo saying that the next clue is in Kathmandu, Nepal in a temple. Flynn and his men appear in the tomb soon after and take the letter, while Nate and Sully escape by jumping off a cliff into a river.
While Sullivan backs out, deciding that the quest is too risky, Nate and Chloe head to Nepal, finding conflict as Lazarević's mercenary army ravages the city looking for the right temple. After surmising that the temple they are looking for is adorned with one of the symbols on the Phurba, the couple survey the area from the rooftop of a local hotel, finding its location.
En route to the temple, the pair runs into Elena Fisher (Emily Rose) and her cameraman Jeff (Gregory Myhre), who are tracking down Lazarević to prove he is still alive. Elena questions why Lazarević is after the stone, considering he doesn't need the money. Nate and Chloe scour the temple and discover that the Stone and Shambhala are in the Himalayas. Whilst leaving the temple, Nate and Chloe are ambushed. They reach the temple entrance to find Jeff has been shot in the crossfire. Despite Chloe's insistence to leave Jeff behind, Nate helps him push on until they are caught. Chloe reluctantly pulls her gun on Nate to protect her "cover", and upon entering the room, Lazarević executes Jeff and takes Nate's map with directions to Shambhala. Flynn is instructed by Lazarević to eliminate Nate and Elena, but the pair escape captivity.
Elena questions Nate's motives for wanting to rescue Chloe, but ultimately decides to help Nate. Together, they plan and catch up with Lazarević's train on a stolen jeep, driven by Elena. Nate is pushed by her on board the train and has to fight a group of soldiers, survive an attack from a helicopter (twice) and fights Lt. Draza, (who is in possession of the Phurba dagger). Drake eventually gets the dagger back after an intense fist fight. Draza regains consciousness, and attempts to kill Drake, only to be killed by Chloe. But Chloe, who is upset about Nate having taken Elena and Jeff along earlier, refuses to leave with him. As the two argue, Flynn arrives and shoots Nate in the abdomen. Chloe then jumps in front of Flynn, giving Nate a chance to run. With Flynn distracted, soldiers pursue Drake until he is cornered. With no other option, Nate shoots a pile of propane tanks, killing Flynn's men and sending Nate's half of the train over a steep cliff.
Returning to where the game began, Nate escapes the train and travels through a snow storm, recovering the Phurba among the wreckage before falling unconscious. He awakens in a Tibetan village, where he is reunited with Elena and is introduced to a German man named Karl Schäfer (Rene Auberjonois). Schäfer tells Nate that the Phurba is the key to finding Shambhala, but Nate tells him he is no longer interested. To convince him otherwise, Schäfer sends Nate and the village leader, Tenzin (Robin Atkin Downes), 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 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 Lazarević's men attacking the village, Elena telling Nate that they are the reason for it. Tenzin and Nate go to fight for the village, facing a tank in the process.
After securing the village, Nate and Elena find out that Schäfer has been kidnapped along with the Phurba. They then track, and fight Lazarević's convoy to an abandoned monastery getting blown off the edge of a cliff in the attempt but they eventually gain entrance via the mountains and infiltrate it. The couple locate a mortally wounded Schäfer, who tells Nate he must destroy the Cintamani Stone. Schäfer then succumbs to his wounds and dies. Nate then tells Elena that he is going to continue his search. Elena then says she and Nate should split-up to find the secret entrance to Shambhala faster, which he agrees to.
Eventually, Nate locates Chloe, who surrenders the Phurba after he promises to take Lazarević down. Nate and Elena reunite and beat Lazarević, using the Phurba to unlock the secret passage to Shambhala underneath the monastery, but Lazarević corners them and forces Nate to choose out of Elena or Chloe (whose cover has been blown by Flynn). Nate agrees to his demands and is forced to go with Flynn to open the gate when it runs into troubles. When the gate opens the group is attacked by the monsters from the ice caves, but Lazarević manages to kill them. It is then revealed that they are actually the human Guardians of Shambhala, powered by the Cintamani Stone and dressed like monsters to scare off anyone who trespasses in the city. Just as Lazarević prepares to kill Elena and Nate, Chloe protected by Flynn, another wave of Guardians attacks, which allows them and Chloe to escape.
Making their way to the top of the central temple, Nate discovers that the Cintamani Stone is in fact a giant amber of petrified blue resin embedded in a giant, prehistoric Tree of Life. The true worth of Shambhala is the blue sap of the tree, which when ingested makes the drinker nearly invincible. As they prepare to go after Lazarević, 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 Lazarević at the tree. Nate arrives just as Lazarević drinks the tree's sap, which renders him nearly indestructible and heals his old wounds and scars. Detonating the pockets of explosive resin in the tree with his weapons, Nate defeats Lazarević and leaves him to be brutally beaten and killed by the Guardians. Nate reunites with Chloe and Elena and they escape the city as a series of explosions begins to destroy Shambhala. Nate sets Elena down when they get out of Shangri-La, but the signs don't look promising. Nate begs Elena not to leave him as it fades out.
Back in the village, Chloe asks Nate if he loves Elena, which he does not deny. Chloe bids Nate goodbye as Sully leads 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 as they walk over to the edge of a cliff and watch the sun set behind the mountains.
Development[edit | edit source]
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. 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. 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 would be also returning. She also revealed more about Chloe Frazer, stating that she had a previous relationship with Drake.
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.
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, Elena, Sullivan, Chloe and others online. Naughty Dog representatives also stated that people who purchase Infamous will receive a voucher code for an Uncharted 2s multiplayer beta.
In May 2009, Naughty Dog revealed more about Uncharted 2's single-player mode. Nate 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 villain will be Serbian war criminal Zoran Lazarević, who is also after the Cintamani Stone.
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.
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. 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.
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.
Soundtrack[edit | edit source]
The soundtrack contains most of the music that is featured in Among Thieves. The music was composed by Greg Edmonson, who also composed the soundtrack for Drake's Fortune, while Carmen Rizzo composed the song "The Road To Shambhala." The soundtrack was released on September 14, 2009, and contains twenty tracks.
|1||"Nate's Theme 2.0"||1:46|
|2||"The City's Secret"||3:33|
|5||"Breaking and Entering"||3:13|
|7||"Helicopter and Tank"||2:06|
|13||"Cat and Mouse"||2:21|
|15||"The Gates of Shambhala"||3:16|
|17||"Brutal Combo Mambo"||2:24|
|19||"A Rock and a Hard Place"||3:44|
|20||"The Road to Shambhala"||5:14|
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Gameplay in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is a combination of stealth, 3D platforming and third-person shooter gameplay elements. Platforming elements allow Nate to jump, swim, grab and move along ledges, climb and swing from ropes. Although a wide variety of weapons are present in the game, the player can only carry a primary weapon (Rifle or Shotgun), and a secondary weapon (Pistol or Desert - 5) . These weapons are obtained by picking up weapons dropped by a downed foe or from those scattered around the various maps. Uncharted 2 is the only game in the series that allows the players to use non-lethal methods against their enemies, should they decide to buy the Tranquilizer Dart Gun and use it during all the gameplay.
Multiplayer[edit | edit source]
Uncharted 2 features both competitive and co-operative multiplayer. The co-op multiplayer allows a maximum of three players to take the roles of Nate, Elena, Tenzin, 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 are included: '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 Nate, Elena, Sully 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.
Downloadable Content[edit | edit source]
There have been several downloadable content packs released via the PlayStation Network for Among Thieves; all are listed here in the order of their release.
|PlayStation Heroes Skin Pack||Contains seven skins.|
|Gold weapons||Originally only available with pre-ordered copies of Uncharted 2, these were later made available with the Game of the Year edition. After the announcement of Uncharted 3, they were made available for all on the PlayStation Store.|
|Drake's Fortune Multiplayer Pack||Adds six skins, two maps and twelve trophies.|
|Eye of Indra Bundle||Adds two skins; also contains all 4 parts of Uncharted: Eye of Indra.|
|Siege Expansion Pack||Adds six skins, two maps, the Siege Co-op Arena Playlist, and eleven trophies.|
|Sidekick Skin Pack||Adds eight skins.|
|Uncharted 2 Dynamic Theme||A dynamic theme for the PlayStation 3 system.|
Editions[edit | edit source]
Fortune Hunter Edition[edit | edit source]
Naughty Dog’s creative director, Amy Hennig, revealed a special Fortune Hunter edition of Uncharted 2. The Fortune Hunter edition contains the game, a replica of the Phurba dagger artifact with stand, an art book, and a collector's case autographed by Naughty Dog. It is also said to include a "host of downloads."
Only 250 copies were produced and they were distributed through various promotional contests during the first few months after the game's launch date.
Game of the Year Edition[edit | edit source]
On October 12, 2010, just one day before of the one year anniversary of the North American release, the Uncharted 2: Among Thieves: Game of the Year Edition was released in North America for $49.99 with all of the existing Uncharted 2 DLC:
- Skins: PlayStation Heroes Skin Pack, Drake's Fortune Multiplayer Pack, and Uncharted: Eye of Indra.
- PSN Avatars: Uncharted 2 Packs 1 & 2 and Uncharted Packs 3 & 4
- Expansion Maps: Drake's Fortune Multiplayer Pack and the Siege Expansion Pack
- Motion comics: Uncharted: Eye of Indra
It also includes the pre-order game bonuses (default golden guns, revenge booster unlocked), a double cash multiplier for levels 1 to 10, and the PSP Pinball Heroes Uncharted game.
It had been confirmed a month earlier by Peter Dille, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment America, "We're looking to have a Game of the Year SKU with Uncharted 2's DLC in order to bring it back for consumers."
Reception[edit | edit source]
|Official PlayStation Magazine||5/5|
|Official PlayStation Magazine (UK)||10/10|
|Computer and Video Games||10/10|
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 video game, and more! A new milestone has been reached in the video game 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."
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Uncharted Sequel Named. IGN. 2008-12-01. Accessed 2009-11-19.
- Naughty Dog: Uncharted 2 Teaser is Real-Time. gamezine.co.uk. 2008-12-03. Accessed 2009-11-19.
- Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Interview. IGN. 2008-02-03. Accessed 2009-11-19.
- Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Interrogation. IGN. 2009-03-18. 2009-11-19.
- Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Hands-on. IGN. 2009-04-27. Accessed 2009-11-19.
- Uncharted 2's Sizzling Single-Player Session. IGN. 2009-05-15. Accessed 2009-11-19.
- Lots of New Uncharted 2 Details. IGN. 2009-06-30. Accessed 2009-11-19.
- Uncharted 2 Gets a Release Date. IGN. 2009-07-21. Accessed 2009-11-19.
- No, Uncharted 2 Doesn't Require an Install. IGN. 2009-07-28. Accessed 2009-11-19.
- PAX 09: Uncharted 2 Special Edition Will Be Tough To Get. IGN. 2009-09-04. Accessed 2009-11-19.