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As most of the old console players probably know, Naughty Dog is one of the most popular game studios which is just brilliant when it comes to stealing ideas. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is just the right proof for this.
We can see Prince of Persia elements, hiding like in Gears of War, controls like in Tomb Raider, scenery like in Far Cry and much more. Nevertheless, the game is amazing. This is the place where I have to say two things, first – you don't always need to be the innovator to be good, and second – you really need some talent to make such a successful mix of somebody else's ideas. I'm a little bit bored with developers trying to be original, just for the originality itself, leaving the fun and success way behind.
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The announcement of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves came in the end of 2008. Around Christmas, we were able to see the official trailer which actually attracted quite of attention. In the short movie we could see our friend Nathan Drake in some cold weather environment. But for this to make sense, you have to play the first chapter or you wouldn't know we are on the tropical islands.
Even with the poor information we had in the beginning, the project of Naughty Dog looked promising. In the very base, there is a treasure, and it's not just a "treasure" treasure, it's related to Marco Polo. In his adventures, he got fifteen ships full of treasures from Mongolian ruler – Kublai Khan. However, at the end he got only one, refusing to explain where the rest of the ships are to the end of his life. He shared, days before his death, that he only told half of the stories he lived through.
This is just perfect for Nathan! It ends that behind the Marco Polo's treasures, there's a big secret hiding. A secret that attracts people's attention since centuries – the magical Cintamani wish-fulfilling jewel.
I don't know how you feel, but I already want to have this game in my hands without even knowing much about its gameplay.
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Since we already opened the discussion, the information here is even blurrier than the plot. However, it's still interesting to be heard. Do you remember the first chapter's animations, which made Nathan move very smoothly in the realistic rendered jungle? Some time ago, the vice president of Naughty Dog said that the first chapter was only using 30% of the Play Station 3 hardware potential. So, if you were amazed by the animation like I was, just wait to see how Among Thieves will look like.
The new edition will also offer a more attractive and bigger world. Few journalist who had the luck to see one of the levels, which sets place in Nepal (in the middle of devastating bombardment), said that it's one of the most dynamic and interactive places they've ever seen. The described constantly changing environment is used as a generator of interesting situations where the characters uses techniques similar to the popular urban sport – Parcour.
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Since we haven't really tested the game and we only live on observations, expectations, and last, but not least – promises, I'm really looking forward to some of them. In Drake's Fortune, Naughty Dog managed to simulate the interactive adventure perfectly. The game was one of the few the World had ever seen where those words were not just a marketing trick.
We should see much more complicated story behind the adventure, more supporting characters and meanwhile reveal some unseen parts of Nathan's personality. Although the game is still in development, and the release is just stated as "Fall 2009", I personally have no patience to wait that long after learning about the game and seeing what it holds.
Of course, there are so many other great console games hitting shelves this year, such as: