Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is a 2009 action-adventure game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the second game in the Uncharted series and was released in October 2009 for PlayStation 3. Set two years after the events of Drake's Fortune (2007), the single-player story follows Nathan Drake, Chloe Frazer, and Elena Fisher as they search for the Cintamani Stone and Shambhala while battling a militia led by war criminal Zoran Lazarević.
Development for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves began immediately following the critical and commercial success of the first entry. The development team drew inspiration from explorer Marco Polo and his expeditions through archipelagos and eastern Asia. Naughty Dog developed an updated proprietary engine for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, which runs exclusively on the Naughty Engine 2.0 system. These improvements enabled extensive motion capture, greater in-game cinematic sequences, and inclusion of an online multiplayer component, a first for the franchise.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves received critical acclaim for its elaborate set pieces, character design, storytelling, graphics, technical innovation, and gameplay mechanics. It received Game of the Year accolades from numerous publications and award events and is considered to be one of the greatest video games ever made, and among the most significant titles for the seventh console generation. It also enjoyed great commercial success, with over six million copies sold worldwide. The game was followed by a sequel titled Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception in 2011, and was re-released on PlayStation 4 as part of Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection.
Throughout the game are 101 special treasures that may be hidden or in difficult-to-reach places that the player can collect. There is also one secret "hidden" relic exactly the same as the one in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Collecting these treasures, along with completing certain feats within the game, is tracked by the awarding of medals, which give the player in-game money to use to unlock extra content on the disc, including concept art, game movies, and game cheats such as guns with infinite ammunition. A large portion of the in-game medals is used to award trophies.
The competitive multiplayer allows a maximum of ten players to play against each other in two teams of five. Six competitive modes are featured: Deathmatch, Plunder, Elimination, Turf War, King of the Hill and Chain Reaction. Deathmatch features two teams of five, with one team acting as heroes and the other as villains. Players can choose their own appropriate character models (such as Nathan, Elena, Sully, and new characters Tenzin and Chloe for the heroes team). As players accrue points and rank up, they can purchase more skins for both heroes and villains. Players can select two Boost abilities that 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, 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 to kill everyone on the other team. In Elimination, the players do not respawn. The goal is to eliminate the other team three out of five times.
Two years after the events of the first game, treasure hunter Nathan "Nate" Drake (Nolan North) is approached by former associate Harry Flynn (Steve Valentine) and Flynn's associate Chloe Frazer (Claudia Black) to help steal a Mongolian oil lamp connected to Marco Polo's doomed 1292 voyage from China. The group plans to cheat Flynn's client and take Polo's treasure for themselves. Unbeknownst to Flynn, Chloe and Nate are former partners, and Chloe plans on escaping with Nate afterward.
First revealed by Game Informer in December 2008, the first teaser trailer showed a weary, wounded Nathan Drake marching through a snowstorm to reach a phurba half-buried in the snow. Lead character artist Richard Diamant remarked that the trailer was rendered in real-time, using the game's engine. A second teaser trailer was released soon after, showing a badly wounded Drake stuck in the remains of a wrecked train hanging precariously over a cliff. The story begins in medias res with this opening. 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".
Uncharted 2 features an online multiplayer component; Naughty Dog hired a dedicated multiplayer designer in August 2008 to work on this aspect of the game. The beta phase of the multiplayer was playable by those who bought early copies of the game inFamous. The beta was also accessible by annual subscribers of the PlayStation Network service, Qore, on June 3, to those who had subscribed to Qore by May 15. The beta codes from Qore began to be sent out on May 8, 2009. Beta codes from inFamous shipped inside the game's packaging, on May 26. On September 15, another beta was released and an open beta was released to the EU and US on September 29 via the PSN store. Both expired on October 12. In the first year since the game's launch, more than 125 million matches and 10,500 man-years had been played online.
In E3 2009 videos from Naughty Dog showed the voice actors of the characters performing the motion captures in some of the scenes. The actors act out the scene wearing specially designed motion capture suits. Their performance was used to provide both motion capture and voice work. The actors would even rehearse together in a room and had discussions with the creative directors of the game before carrying out the performance to create a highly realistic and cinematic dialogue throughout the game.
Naughty Dog intended to maximize the utilization of the Cell's SPUs, as their estimates for utilization in the first Uncharted were only around 30%. As a result, the game has more realistic environments and animations. Uncharted 2 has 564 in-game cinematic animations in comparison to 80 in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.
Uncharted 2 uses Naughty Engine 2.0, a revamped and optimized version of the original engine that has allowed the game to have real-time moving environments, more realistic textures, and animations. The Naughty Dog Game Engine 2.0 also works in harmony with Havok Physics.
The fact that every PlayStation 3 has a hard drive is huge for us. It's the combination of Blu-ray and a hard drive. You can play the entire game without loading. We don't require an installation. We're doing all the post-processing effects on the Synergistic Processing Units.
Naughty Dog's creative director Amy Hennig revealed a special Fortune Hunter edition of Uncharted 2 that was not obtainable in stores. The Fortune Hunter edition contains the game, a replica of the Phurba Dagger artifact and stand, a BradyGames strategy guide, an art book, the official soundtrack, and a collector's case autographed by Naughty Dog. It was also said to include various downloadable content. A collector's edition of Uncharted 2 was not announced for sale in the United States.
SCEA marketing manager Asad Qizilbash told readers of the PlayStation Blog at the time that the limited edition giveaways took place on that blog, PlayStation Home, the game's multiplayer demo, and a few other unnamed places. Qizilbash also mentioned that only residents in the US were eligible to win. Only 200 copies were released.
Exclusive to the PAL region, the Uncharted 2 special edition contains the game, gold versions of the Beretta and AK-47 weapons, two post cards, a PlayStation 3 theme, and multiplayer skins. The game comes packaged in a steel case by SteelBook. Never formally announced, the Special Edition was discovered on the game's official European launch site, with the only link for the special edition leading to one of Britain's major game retailers, Game.
Several packs were released in 2010: "PlayStation Heroes Skin Pack" was released in January, containing Sev and a Helghast soldier from Killzone 2, Nathan Hale and a Chimera from the Resistance series, and Cole (Evil and Good) along with Zeke from inFamous. A DLC pack that contained two new multiplayer maps, six skins based on Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, 12 PSN Trophies, and 13 medals was released in February. Skins were released as a single purchase and the 2 maps with the 12 PSN Trophies were released as a single purchase. A bundle of both purchases was also released. On April 22, the third expansion pack, "Siege" was released. This DLC pack contained a new co-op multiplayer mode known as Siege, two new multiplayer maps, six new character skins, and 11 PSN Trophies (10 of which are bronze, one of which is silver). Two of the six new skins are from Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and the other four are new and exclusive to the game. The "Sidekick Skin Pack" was released on August 26, containing 6 alternate appearances of previously available characters, and 2 new villain skins, Dillon and Mac. The "Golden Guns" DLC was released on December 12. This DLC pack contained gold skins for the AK-47 and Beretta weapons.
In PlayStation Home, the PlayStation 3's online community-based service, Naughty Dog has released a themed game space for Uncharted 2, developed by Outso. This makes the second game space to be released from Naughty Dog, the first being the game space for Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. This space is called "Nepalese Village" and features the mini-games Mask Mayhem, Torch Race, and Fortunate Thieves with rewards. There's also an Uncharted 2 Blog that lets users access the Uncharted 2 blog. It was released on October 23, 2009 in the European and North American versions of PlayStation Home. In the video on the PlayStation blog, Jack Buser, the director of Home for SCEA, describes the mini-game, Fortunate Thieves, as being a "full-on, interactive mini-MMO". The Uncharted series is the first game series to have a game space for both games of the series in Home. 2b1af7f3a8