Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is the newest addition to the critically acclaimed Uncharted series. Lost Legacy was originally set to be a small add on DLC to 2016’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, but production went underway and it became something much bigger. Naughty Dog then decided to release this as a stand alone spin-off of the series. With Nathan Drake’s story ending in A Thief’s End, Lost Legacy proved this franchise could possibly still continue without him. Fan favorite Chloe Frazer from Uncharted 2 and 3 returns and steps in as the main protagonist for this new adventure. Aside her is Nadine Ross, the badass antagonist of Uncharted 4, and together they travel to India to find the fabled Tusk of Ganesh.
Lost Legacy at its core is just a hefty serving of Uncharted and plays out pretty similarly to the games that came before it. A lost ancient artifact in a gorgeous and exotic country? Check. A ruthless villain who brings an entire army to prevent us from recovering the treasure? Check. Ridiculous action set pieces where physics don’t matter? Check. Now, I may sound like I’m mentioning this as a con, but it’s the total opposite. Lost Legacy was never intended to be a reinvention of the series, considering they didn’t call this Uncharted 5. Fans of the series will be happy and content with Lost Legacy as it’s just more what they’ve grown to love from the series.
Finding the Tusk of Ganesh is more of a personal journey for Chloe, and this is where Lost Legacy shows why the series is so beloved by fans: its characters. Chloe’s father was obsessed with finding the Tusk, and her reminiscing about her troubled past makes for some powerful moments. Chloe and Nadine are excellent leads for this adventure. At first they are unlikely allies, as anyone who’s played the series knows they are almost polar opposites in terms of personality. It’s a sort of Yin and Yang relationship though, as Chloe is very much like Nathan as she tends to improvise each moment and can be impulsive, while Nadine is strong headed and logical. While they are different, their reliance on each other becomes stronger and turns into the best aspect of this story. Our main villain, Asav, is also worth mentioning as his presence is chilling and his character practically owns every scene he’s in.
In regards to gameplay, nothing is drastically changed here from Uncharted 4. The game still revolves around climbing ancient monuments to solve a puzzle, shooting bad guys in those monuments, and then escaping said monuments. One new addition is that Chloe can lock-pick armory boxes to get some better weapons and maybe even treasure. While this mechanic isn’t anything special, it’s used sparingly and then becomes optional. The biggest change to its formula is in the game’s 4th chapter. The game becomes an open environment where each objective can be completed in any order and there’s even a side mission (a first for the series). It’s essentially just a beefed up version of Uncharted 4’s Madagascar sequence, which was a favorite among fans. This chapter may have slowed down the pacing a little bit, but it didn’t overstay its welcome. I’d say the pacing is an indication as to why the series has never gone open world. Uncharted is always great when its constantly moving the plot and adventure forward at lightning speed.
Combat wise, Chloe can’t take as much damage as Nate could have, but Nadine’s AI character is extremely helpful, as she can handle herself. The combat animations haven’t changed; it still involves taking cover, and occasionally using the grappling hook to become Spider Man and pounce on an enemy. There are some inventive combat sequences that impressed me though, usually involving fighting off bad guys while avoiding either a helicopter or armored truck. While I don’t want to spoil the game’s biggest action moment, I will say it is without a doubt Uncharted’s most exhilarating set-piece to date.
Graphically, Uncharted has always the pinnacle of console games. Lost Legacy is no exception since it uses Uncharted 4’s engine. India’s lush environments are refreshing to look at and I would frequently take a moment to utilize the game’s photo mode. From a production standpoint, it’s clear why this game was chosen to be a stand-alone title. With the gorgeous explorable ruins to the ridiculous action moments, Naughty Dog has shown once again they are wizards in game design and nothing feels lazy here. The excellent facial animations are also back and the emotions on each character are in full focus. Chloe’s is a fierce character, but is also vulnerable emotionally. This is showcased in cutscenes and are always a testament to the facial features.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a game that just continued to surprise me as I progressed. I wasn’t sure how much of a package one would get with a $40 game. The game took me about 8 hours to beat on Hard mode, but I’m already starting a new playthrough on Crushing difficulty. With the added multiplayer and Survival mode (it carries over player’s progress and customization from Uncharted 4), this game is well worth the $40 price tag.
Due to it’s length, it’s a game that’s fun to play again in the near future, like watching your favorite movie over and over again. For anyone who is an Uncharted fan, this is a must-buy. All in all, it’s just more Uncharted, but that’s not a negative whatsoever. It also shows us that the series may not be done after all, as this universe can continue to be explored without Nathan Drake (although we do miss him). It may just be a homage to the series in terms of gameplay and action, but it’s writing is why the series is so legendary.
Chloe’s journey is strong and powerful, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for Uncharted and it’s characters.
For more information, check out the official website. This game was purchased by the reviewer.