Uncharted 2 Conundrum Baffles Players
October 14, 2009
After eagerly tearing into the latest adventures of Nathan Drake in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves for the Sony PlayStation 3 yesterday, I came upon a confusing puzzle midway through the second chapter of the story. Without giving anything major away, I was in the middle of a midnight museum heist when I found a steel portcullis blocking my path. It would have been easy to just lift it up and crawl underneath, but there was an alarm hooked to it that would alert the guards to my presence, and the game expressly warned me not to touch the latticed gate until the alarm was turned off. This wasn't the first alarm I'd seen in Uncharted 2, and it should have been easy to disarm it, but there was a problem. I couldn't reach the alarm's control box. Mounted high on a wall, I was expected to reach and disable it. The issue was that I couldn't find a way to get to the box. Seeing no way to climb up from there, I backtracked and attempted to get to a nearby roof and jump across, but that turned out to be a (literal) dead end. So what was the solution?
As it turns out, I needed to climb up the supposedly forbidden portcullis to reach the alarm. The problem is that the game explicitly said not to touch it until the alarm was disarmed. It seemed a little early in the game to stumble into a Catch-22 situation, so I just marked that up to my own misinterpretation of what I was expected to do. What I found interesting is that I was talking to a co-worker friend this morning and he ran into the exact same conundrum when playing the game yesterday evening. He also tried to backtrack and jump off the roof to reach the alarm before giving up and trying the same risky solution that I did. Not only that, his brother — playing independently of the rest of us, it's worth reiterating — was held up by the exact same obstacle and tried the exact same wrong solution before eventually coming up with the right one. For the record, here's how the event is supposed to play out (starting at the 2:50 mark).
So what happened here? I'm intrigued that the three of us were not only confused by what, in retrospect, wasn't really much a problem at all, but also that we each tried the same wrong solution in the same way before deciding to risk setting off the alarm by climbing. Was this supposed to be as much of a puzzle as we made it out to be? Or were we each overthinking the problem? If you reached this point in Uncharted 2, did it trip you up as well?