Uncharted 2: Siege Expansion Pack Review
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is one of the most critically acclaimed games to release last year and perhaps of all time. As much accolades and awards the game has received for its fantastic single player story, the multiplayer is by no means any lesser of an experience. Even as its first effort at crafting an engaging multiplayer component, Naughty Dog has succeeded in translating the thrilling campaign experience into a riotous online world of rival treasure hunters. Naughty Dog’s continued support for Uncharted 2’s multiplayer in terms of downloadable content packs not only stands as a testament to its dedication for the game as developers, but also has helped the community grow since the game’s release back in October last year.
The latest Uncharted 2 downloadable content released is titled Siege Expansion Pack and it offers two new maps, six new skins, and a new cooperative mode which pits you and two mates against wave upon wave of enemies as you capture and hold territories across the map. Trophy hunters will be happy to hear that the expansion pack also adds 11 shiny trophies to further add to their trophy collection.
So are all these additions worth the asking price of $5.99? Let’s find out by looking at the HOTs and NOTs of Naughty Dog’s latest multiplayer expansion pack for Uncharted 2:
Brilliantly Designed Maps
The two new maps called The Highrise and The Museum are quite possibly the best Uncharted 2 multiplayer maps yet. Both maps are similar in that they both have a vertical emphasis with multiple levels to climb and you can gun down your opponents from up high. The Highrise is set on top of intertwining Nepalese buildings complete with the occasional attack helicopter gunning down anyone who is exposed (just like it tried to do to Drake in the story). The map has you constantly climbing, swinging, and jumping between buildings trying to get to an advantageous spot. Stay in that spot for too long and you’re likely to die easily as you’re giving away your position every time you fire and it’s possible to get gunned down from almost every direction and height. Switching between different heights and positions is key – sniping from higher ground affords you a clear advantage in being able to spot and shoot multiple enemies from above, but the downside is that you’re easily exposed both to enemy fire as well as the attack helicopter. While the occasional map danger is largely a joke in other maps, it’s definitely lethal and quick to punish rooftop snipers here.
Taken from Nathan Drake and Flynn’s early heist in the story and remade for multiplayer, The Museum combines several varying rooftop levels with a wide circular inner chamber and an outside courtyard. As with The Highrise, there are a multitude of spots to climb and several opportunities to snipe from higher ground. The map consists of mostly staggered rooftops spread around a large open area which rewards good snipers by granting them the ability to quickly switch sniping positions at will. Those gunning from higher ground are also not as exposed to enemy fire as they would be in The Highrise – yet another advantage. While the courtyard is a sniper’s paradise, the indoor area favors either sneaky players who rely on stealth kills or team players that like to cover each other’s backs from multiple directions. From what I’ve played, both maps are great for players that communicate with each other in order to coordinate attacks against the rival team. Both excellently designed maps are a fine choice whether they be for cooperative or competitive play.
You’re getting an absolutely wonderful package here with two brilliantly designed maps, six character skins, and a new cooperative mode all for the measly price of $5.99. What other game does that for its DLC and for that entry price? DLC in general is a mixed bag nowadays and I personally find it increasingly hard to justify buying them so it’s rare that we see a developer be so generous. So really, this is a personal “thank you” to the guys at Naughty Dog for giving us the bang for our buck. The inclusion of extra trophies also further adds to the great replay value the brand new maps and the extra mode have to offer, so get to it trophy hunters!
Siege Slightly Disappoints…
For being the “brand new” cooperative mode that is the main feature of this expansion pack, it’s slightly disappointing to see that Siege is nothing more than a variant of Survival. Cooperative Siege pits you and two others against waves of increasingly difficult enemies as you capture and hold territory across a map. There honestly isn’t much of a difference from Survival seeing that a common and effective strategy in Survival really is to hold down a certain spot as a group instead of running around by yourselves. In that regard, I’ve “technically” been playing Siege with my friends way before this expansion pack was even released. Probably the only major difference is that some territories are harder to defend than others which quickly make for very intense fights – you’ll find yourself running out of ammo and reviving your friends (and getting revived) more than you think. Much like the other cooperative modes, reviving and rescuing partners are always a good idea as it’s a lot harder to stay alive and hold the territory by yourself. Reviving your friends also fully recovers you if successful, yet another reason to make it a main priority every time you see an ally downed.
The other minor differences are that kills only count if they’re done while in the captured territory and the inclusion of map dangers with the attack helicopter in The Highrise being the most dangerous of the bunch. I’ve played and lasted all ten rounds at The Museum, however, and didn’t encounter any map dangers at all for some reason. Perhaps if Siege included having to break through enemy defended territory before capturing and defending the spot it might have spiced things up making it a much more different and exciting mode in the process. Cooperative Siege is still a welcome addition to a well valued pack, but it’s really just a variant of Survival and not something completely different in concept like the other cooperative mode, Gold Rush.
Lame, Little Variety in the Skins
Frankly, I’m tired of skeleton skins, but Naughty Dog seems to really like them. So much that two of the six skins in this expansion pack (Glowzor and Platzor) are variants of the three other skeletons originally unlockable in the game (Marco Polo, Genghis Khan, and Skelzor). This is lame and makes me think they just tossed together these two skins as a last minute decision. It also includes Dead Explorer which is a skin we’ve actually already played as during the Halloween event. There are two Drake skins as if we don’t have enough of him already though admittedly, Wetsuit Drake is pretty cool. This leaves Prakoso alone as the new badass skin of the bunch. When compared to the last DLC pack’s selection of skins which included Navarro, Eddy Raja, and Gabriel Roman, these skins fall short and disappoint. We need more Sully love, Naughty Dog!
Even with its shortcomings, Siege Expansion Pack’s fantastic value still wins in the end (“shortcomings” being somewhat relative here since some might consider the skins more appealing than others). As geeky as this may sound, after having spent 113 hours on Uncharted 2’s multiplayer so far and currently at level 51, I can tell you right now that the two new maps alone are already worth the $6 asking price. In this perspective, it’s hard to complain even with my slight disappointment at Siege mode and the skins seeing that I could just view them as welcome extras adding to the two excellent maps not to mention the trophies. Quality and value are the two main factors I look for when it comes to DLC and Uncharted 2: Siege Expansion Pack does well in both categories. Fellow treasure hunters should no doubt pick up Naughty Dog’s latest DLC pack and carry on their online adventures soon.Uncharted 2: Siege Expansion Pack Review,