My FIRST REVIEW EVAR! is up at GameCritics.com, and it’s about Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Here’s an excerpt relevant to this blog:
Characters from the first game make a comeback—Sully makes a cameo and Elena is back as a major player—and newcomers Harry Flynn and Chloe Frazer, the latter whom adds a touch of much-needed diversity to our group of heroes, are introduced. Although at times characters’ motivations are not clear, overall, characterization is one of the areas where Among Thieves is head and shoulders above nearly every other major game out there. Clever writing combined with top-notch voice acting, animation, and character design results in a cast of characters that come across as likable and, most of all, realistic—not only in their appearances and sharp banter, but their actions.
In particular, Chloe and Elena are brilliant examples of female characters done right, something gaming desperately needs. With her midriff-baring shirt and ultra-tight pants, Chloe is a bit sexualized, but overall both women are realistic, clever, and—above all—independent. While there is a love triangle element, it is handled with tact; lesser writers than Naughty Dog’s team would have seen Chloe and Elena snap at each other in a childish “catfight” over Drake—not so here. Naughty Dog truly treats their female characters with the same care and respect as their male characters, not something most people in Hollywood, let alone video games, can boast. Further evidence of Naughty Dog’s skill can be found in Tenzin, the Tibetan man who aids Drake briefly in the second half of the game. A minor character who could have easily devolved into a stereotype is instead a fully formed and sympathetic character with a background, motivations, and a family. In the end, the only character that suffers from a lack of development is the villain, who is, yet again, an over-the-top evil caricature, but this time he’s Serbian instead of British.