Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are officially on notice. There’s a sequence in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves where you find yourself leaping between a cluster of trucks careening along a sun-dappled Himalayan mountainside, taking out dozens of armed goons with your AK-47, dodging sniper and RPG fire, and still finding time to toss off a few choice quips. This is only the sixth-or-seventh-most-exciting sequence in this Indiana Jones-ish treasure-hunting adventure game, and yet it alone has more wit and verve than just about every second in 2008?s megahit movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
The game’s hero, Nathan Drake, has a lot in common with Indy; he too is a droll history geek who can effortlessly scamper up a crumbling stone wall. And his story — a quest to discover the lost valley of Shambhala (i.e., Shangri-La) — does unfold like an epic summer blockbuster. In fact, I’m not kidding when I say that the game’s acting and writing hold up against many big Hollywood movies. The staggeringly grand visual scope of its bombed-out cities and ancient jungle ruins, meanwhile, looks so impossibly lush and tactile that no feature film could ever approach it. So while I did at times feel a twinge of disappointment that so much of the game itself was customary (if impeccably executed) running-and-gunning, by the end I could barely keep myself from starting to play it all over again. A?