Uncharted: The Lost Legacy – Review

Image via naughtydog.com

You know you want more Uncharted, even without Nathan Drake.

The quest for fortune can make strange bedfellows. Case in point Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross. Chloe a former flame of Nathan Drake is seeking one of the world’s greatest unfound treasures, one that was her father’s obsession. Nadine is in a bit of a slump, she lost her private army backing a group that ultimately got taken down by the Drakes. Both want the money that the treasure will bring them but both are looking for something more than material wealth, a redemption of sorts. These ladies go through the highs and lows of pursuing their fortune as well as becoming tenuous friends. The adventure ahead holds their dreams but also some of their nightmares.

Originally announced as DLC to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, it becomes clear to see why this became a standalone game. Clocking in at around ten hours, depending on how much time to take to explore or look for collectibles, the game is very substantial for its $40 price tag. Most of the game is true to the Uncharted series but at times it feels wholly different.

Gone are Nathan and Sully but here are Chloe and Nadine. The later are well tailored replacements for the series former stars but they take their places without being carbon copies. Chloe and Nadine have characteristics of Nathan and Sully but are also very distinct personalities on their own. Those familiar with Chloe will feel comfortable with her as the wise cracker to Nadine’s gruff but wise ways. Even though both characters had appeared in previous games the story of The Lost Legacy slowly reveals more about each of them. This story is about both of them moving on from their past and accepting their future, be it apart or together.

Naughty Dog takes a hard swing with this game’s narrative and nails it. The game uses all the established aesthetics and environments of the Uncharted franchise. Although the game is set in India alone it looks like it could have been a chapter in almost any previous game. At times the location is as much a character in the story as another, whether it exploring for treasure or solving puzzle to progress, and it is an active part of the game. One thing that was quite unique compared to other games was the open world aspect employed in one of the chapters. Uncharted is known for its linear gameplay but this chapter allows players to explore and progress at their own pace. It is the player’s choice to go straight through the story or explore all the nooks and crannies they can get to.

As the story plays out, the tale of Chloe and Nadine is an equal part of the narrative as their joint quest is. There is a cycle of the two earning and losing each other’s trust and friendship that makes the game have weight. The human element of trying to understand each other is a key part of this relationship. There is no shortage of both heartbreaking and joyful moments.

Building on the prowess of their previous effect Naughty Dog has made a very gorgeous game. Even with the limitations of an original PS4 the scenery was awe-inspiring enough to make regular use of the game’s photo mode. There were times that not only the view but the game play were reminiscent of not only the titular Uncharted series but games like the modern Tomb Raider and Horizon: Zero Dawn.

Every rose has its thorn and this game’s biggest issue is its most familiar – combat. Always the bane of any Uncharted game, the combat is clumsy and clunky at times. One can get infuriated when you want to take cover but end up vaulting or jumping to your death instead. Not only are the mechanics not ideal, it sometimes looks like the character is jumping to try to break a brick Mario style. Perhaps all the motion-capturing budget was used on the cinemantics.

If the question posed is “can there be an Uncharted without Nathan Drake?” then The Lost Legacy is a resounding “yes” for an answer. Not only did it stay true to the feel and formula of the series it helped it move forward in meaningful ways. It would be more surprising to not see more of Chloe and Nadine. The only concern is that it may not come from Naughty Dog due to their other commitments but then again they seem to have a commitment to quality rather than turn-around time on games.

 

Enjoy some more pictures….

I like pizza.

 

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Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

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