Uncharted 2: Among Thieves GamesCom 2009 PreviewBy Andrew Pfister - Posted Aug 20, 2009
While the GamesCom public were busy on the show floor playing Uncharted 2: Among Thieves' single-player demo from E3, Naughty Dog was showing off some new adventurin' from Nathan Drake behind closed doors. And unlike most of what we've seen of Among Thieves, there was not a single firearm in sight.
This snapshot of the game was located in an enormous ice cavern, which Drake and Tenzin, his Tibetan guide, stumble into from a snowstorm (for the record, this area was listed as #18 and titled "Heart of Ice," just in case you’re wondering where it happens in the storyline). Fully embracing the idea that video game architecture shouldn't be tied to concepts like "reality," Naughty Dog's environment designers went hog wild with complex paths and improbable yet somehow believable navigational puzzles. In a Resident Evil-type "how did these people ever move from room to room?" situation, Drake leapt, climbed, swung, and fell through a series of obstacles ranging from the standard cliff walls (with convienently located hand-holds), to a trio of giant bells (also with similar hand-holds), then a series of large gears that elevated and lowered Drake to his next challenge. Also, it contained my personal favorite, the pair of switches that must be pulled at the same time.
I don't mean for this description to sound facetious, because even though the trappings are a bit worn out, it fits perfectly within Uncharted 2's agenda, and Naughty Dog did well (as usual) to really convey a great sense of scale and peril for every jump to a ledge or a rope. And it just felt cold. For the entirety of Drake's 15-minute traversal (according to Naughty Dog Community Manager Arne Meyer, this is one of the longer puzzles in the game) I was wishing that this was the demo out on the show floor. But hey, it's not much longer until October 13th.