Yesterday the Uncharted 2 demo (or open beta) was released on the PSN.
Having played for an hour or so, I have to say I'm underwhelmed. While the game graphically is impressive and the gameplay is nice and fluid, there seems to be nothing new here, besides the multiplayer.
The only game mode I tried properly was called deathmatch, although what I played was actually a team deathmatch. Getting into a game is the same as the matchmaking system in games such as Halo 3, you get all your players into your party (or not) and then you just start the search. You are matched up with other players and allowed to vote for the map/game type you desire. Within the minute of starting the search, I was in a game and playing.
The first thing I noticed was how fluid the characters are to control, just like the original Uncharted your character moves with some realism, not in the sense that he/she's slow and sluggish (as some developer's dillusions of realism are), however the character sways and steps like a human would. I doubt everyone is as athletic as the Uncharted cast however, which leads me on to the platforming side of Uncharted which is fluid and enjoyable to control. It compares to the later Tomb Raider games, except a little more simplified. All you need to do is jump. To get up a ladder, just jump onto it, to climb up a ledge, just jump in its general direction, to mantle the ledge, just press the jump button. It's all very simple and most importantly, it works.
Next I'd like to talk about the weapons because, in a third person shooter, the weapons are key. In the matches I played, you started off equiped with an AK47, a handgun and a single grenade, however there are 2 slots for grenades if you manage to come across one in the map. Weapons are littered all around, leaning up against walls and layed out on the floor waiting for you to swoop them up. The only other rifle apart from the AK47 I got the opportunity to use was the FN-FAL, which shoots in bursts and has a red dot sight. Basically, it's more accurate than the AK, but has less firepower. The grenades are simple to use, you hold down the L2 button (or tap it for a quick throw) and a guide line will appear on the screen showing you the grenade's flight path and where it will land, then all you do is let go of L2 and away she goes.
One thing I liked about the original Uncharted was the attention to detail, mainly in the animations. The animations are fluid and as I said before, the movements are realistic and relatively believable. One thing I do love about the animations in Uncharted are the weapon animations. It's not always that a third person shooter will show you a detailed reload animation, but here they go all the way. The character yanks the magazine from the rifle and slaps a new one on before cocking the rifle, all very well animated and punchy. Small details like that help make a game for me and add extra levels of entertainment.
Overall from my short playthrough of the open beta I have to say Uncharted 2 impresses me, but I get the impression I need more than the standard run and gun affair offered here to keep me occupied nowadays, but it's free to download and offers 4 maps and 4 modes to have a go on. Definitely give this a look.