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Uncharted 2 - a giant leap forward and two steps back.

The two things that I had slight issue with in Uncharted 2, which I think is one of the best (if not the best) games this year.

So the weekend before the launch of Uncharted 2 I snagged a copy of Uncharted, and played through it in a 3 day period. Then Uncharted 2 came out and I played 2/3rd the way through that by the time the weekend rolled around at which point I restarted the game and played all the way through it over the weekend. So while I still have both games fresh there are two features that I felt stepped backwards in Uncharted2 and I would like to point them out.

First is the left analog stick click(R3), which in both game makes Drake change the shoulder he aims from. Now this is a great feature that not enough 3rd person games use. It allows you to put your body behind cover and have open area to view whether cover is on your right or left. Yes the cover feature in this game is reasonably superb, although I did run into some odd situations in Uncharted 2 where I could not aim around the side of an object without hitting the object I was aiming around, but this was resolved with a quick shift in position along the same object.

In any case in Uncharted when you shifted shoulders the next time you aimed you aimed from the shoulder you were aiming from last time you aimed. In Uncharted 2 you always default to the right shoulder and can switch to the left but the next time you aim it resets to right shoulder.

This is kinda annoying, although I can see how this would be in character for a character who is right hand dominant, yet in practice when you are aiming around a wall and shooting then stop aiming for a second to take a quick step, when you then re-aim you throw your whole body out in the open until you re-shift your gun to your other shoulder. Overall this made me lean more toward using the built in cover system rather than my Halo skillz and standing behind an object and shooting around it.

The second issue I had with Uncharted 2 was that my guns did not persist through some cut-scenes/checkpoints but did through others. Now sometimes this seemed appropriate based on story, but sometimes it was just downright mean. Take for example *mild-SPOILER* when I was fighting the tank in the mountain top village *end spoiler* I went into the fight with an M4 and Pistole, and inevitably I died. Now I was re-spawned within the same fight sequence, but with an AK and a 9mm, which is hardly the same firepower as the M4 and a Pistole in this game.

There were also a few cut scenes where I would enter the cut scene fully armed (*SPOILER* the cut scene where you are re-united with Chloe for a second right before entering Shamballah, I entered this cut scene with a fully loaded RPG and a 2 clip Desert Eagle, and in the process of jumping into a window, a task our hero does with ease thousands of times before, I lost both weapons *END SPOILER*).

Overall it made the game play more variable because I did not become as attached to my good guns as I would have if they persisted across all break points in the game, but I would have liked some more consistency.

Neither of these was an issue in Uncharted, although since these are the biggest complaints I have about Uncharted2 I would say that the game was spectacular. I suggest it for anyone who can competently navigate an FPS, seeing as how I found both the climbing/puzzle sections and the combat sections reasonably tricky, but the checkpoint system was set-up so well that there were only one or two instances where when I died I was not at the last point where I was standing in a non-combat area.

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