Whether it’s racing across rooftops under enemy fire in the pouring rain, death defying dives into the deep blue below or jumping to a Jeep from a speeding train, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a worthy addition to the memorable franchise and one that doesn’t require an appearance from series main, Nathan Drake.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is that of a personal story for Chloe Frazer, who first appeared as a supporting character in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. You are also joined by Nadine Ross, an ex-mercenary gun-for-hire who was on the other side of your gun in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. The two form a somewhat unlikely partnership as they attempt to track down an artifact called the Tusk of Ganesh, in the Western Ghats of India, in an attempt to reach it before Asav, an Indian rebel leader, can claim it.
Uncharted has always had the knack for solid pairings of its characters and The Lost Legacy is no different as Chloe and Nadine constantly banter back and forth, spouting various bits of facts about the land, their lives, and each of their takes on Nathan Drake. One element about these conversations that I found really impressive was when I would leave the Jeep and the conversation would be put on hold, was when I would return back to continue our adventure, Chloe or Nadine would then say “What was it we were talking about? Oh Yes…” and then continue that very conversation.
The Lost Legacy is very much a continuation of Uncharted 4 as it takes place following the events of that game and if Naughty Dog’s previous outing didn’t interest you then, it won’t change your mind here. This is very much an Uncharted game through and through as it looks and plays the part quite well. You have the grand exploration that comes with unearthing a lost city, the complex puzzles that unlock doors and secrets the further you dig in, and the over the top action that comes with escaping some wildly elaborate set pieces.
While the Uncharted games have mostly been linear adventures, they have teased some partial open world elements before in Uncharted 4, and developer Naughty Dog continues that bit of teasing here in The Lost Legacy. While the game isn’t so much “open world” as more of something along the lines of “wide-linear”, you’ll spend a small portion of your time in a large open environment that is begging to be traversed. I will say that while this area has some fantastic visuals and some of the more interesting conversations between Chloe and Nadine, it does slow the story progression quite a lot and was the only section of the game to have any real pacing issues.
Scaling surfaces and swinging from cliff to cliff is as enjoyable as it was in Uncharted 4 and not much has changed here in that respect. There are some very traditional set pieces and environmental elements that are a bit telegraphed and several scenes did lessen the impact because of how predictable a few scenes would play out. It can be fairly easy to spot sections where you’ll be ambushed due to the pronounced cover sections that litter the environment.
Continuing the approach of “if it ain’t broke..” The Lost Legacy features the exact same combat the series is known for. You can still only wield two weapons and one tossable item; grenades or a C4 pack. You have melee and should you be fighting alongside Nadine, it’s possible to pull off a few co-op strikes, which can be very cool to see occur. You’ll still stick to cover with a tap of the button and stealth grab nearby foes to slam them into the wall. It’s a combat system that functions well and frankly, I can’t fault them for sticking to what works.
The Lost Legacy also brings with it the core multiplayer experience from Uncharted 4, and should you want to know more about what that all entails, please check out my Uncharted 4 review as it pretty much sums up exactly what you’ll get here. What little is changed here is adding waves to a survival mode; a ten round match that sees you and a few other players attempting to conquer wave after wave of enemies. It’s rather fun and often tense, but I still don’t look to the Uncharted franchise for any sort of multiplayer. It can be a good time and the fun and engaging mechanics that exist in the single player portion feel natural and a nice fit for some player vs player, it’s just a mode that doesn’t interest me enough to continue with it.
Despite the shorter 6-8 hour length that The Lost Legacy gives us, the puzzle to action to exploration ratio is rather well handled and you don’t ever feel like you are doing too much of one thing. Several puzzles are short little distractions; shooting and ringing a collection of bells to open a door, navigating axe wielding statues via platforms that cause said statues to attack, or rotating puzzles that move other pieces as you spin them around. My favorite puzzle of the game, and quite possibly the entire series, is when you are required to manipulate a collection of statues around to form two independent shadow puppet scenes. It was the only puzzle during my time with the game to make me shout in excitement when I figured out how to solve it.
With using the same tech that served Uncharted 4 well, it’s no surprise that the Lost Legacy is just gorgeous. Character models and each and every environment is bursting with detail. Chloe has some facial expressions that contain some of the most subtle effects I’ve ever seen used in the medium. Regardless of the open world of India’s jungles or the ancient ruins and remnants of a lost city, Naughty Dog has crafted some of the most impressive locations to explore.
While the overall voice cast is pretty small as the game has a far more intimate collection of characters than the previous games, everything here is top notch and believable. Claudia Black and Laura Bailey are fantastic as Chloe and Nadine, and the chemistry between the two, despite the obvious fact they are voicing video game characters, is really sound and they mesh well together.
The Uncharted franchise needs to be bigger than just Nathan Drake and this adventure shows that it’s not only possible but that it can be even better in many areas. The relationship between Chloe and Nadine is something that doesn’t come along very often in games and it avoids many of the tropes that usually come with female characters existing in a gaming series typically centered around a male protagonist. Chloe and Nadine are not damsel’s in distress or romantic subplots or anything cliche like that, they are two badass women who can hang with the best of them.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy was reviewed on the PlayStation 4 Pro and was purchased by the reviewer.
All screenshots were taken on the PlayStation 4 Pro and the photo-mode included in the game.
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