I managed to get through the vast majority of Uncharted 2 in one long session, but the end game will have to wait until tomorrow, where I can hopefully finish it up in a couple hours before starting on Uncharted 3. I had encountered more trouble than I had expected playing through Drake's Fortune, so I was a little bit worried that this was going to be the playthrough where Uncharted 2 would start showing the chips in its remarkably impeccable armor. Luckily that has not been the case: moving directly from the first game to the second one, it is more clear than ever just how much of an improvement Among Thieves is over its predecessor. The encounters that dragged on a little too long and occasionally felt sloppy in the first game and restricted your movement now encourage flanking, have tighter cover mechanics, and are paced nearly perfectly. The platforming that had a couple of issues last time around now almost never leaves you wondering where to go next and, again, tightens the controls. Even the visuals and digital performances, arguably the highlight of the first game, are handily trumped by sharper textures, superior motion capture techniques, and more contextual animation. On top of this, Uncharted 2 boasts more variety both in terms of action and vistas, has a story that is every bit the equal to its forebearer and has a better villain (although he is still not great). Without radically changing or adding anything from the first game, Uncharted 2 manages to not only blow the original out of the water, but stand on its own as one of the finest examples of game design that I have ever encountered.