For the first time in series history, Uncharted has moved away from adventurer Nathan Drake, a charming, if a not reckless man who has seen his share of marvels. When Naughty Dog announced Uncharted was to continue with the leading man now out of the picture, we all wondered how this would work. Roll the reveal of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, where Chloe Frazer is the lead and joined by recent player Nadine, a woman bent on getting her paramilitary company back. The Lost Legacy has a heck of a lot to live up to with high expectations from both fans and the studio. How does the first adventure without Nathan Drake end up?
We were told through interviews and videos that there is a much bigger world in Uncharted than what Nathan Drake was up to. Chloe Frazer, for example, is also a fortune hunter, and former flame of Nathan. Chloe was also a favorite, and the person I’m happiest to see take on the leading role of such a massive series. Nadine, while not on good terms with Nate in Uncharted 4, has agreed to work with Chloe to find the Tusk of Ganesh, and during this short romp through India, I grew to like Nadine.
A stellar cast in both Claudia Black returning to star as Chloe and Laura Bailey voicing Nadine Ross, it’s hard not to mention the top-notch talent Naughty Dog hires to bring their worlds to life.
Within minutes starting Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, you’re in a war-ravaged India that is currently being bombarded by air strikes. This is her story, her adventure. In Chapter 1, we meet the villain of this story, Asav, a man who outwardly does not look at all intimidating, however, this warlord Chloe will go up against is a ruthless man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. As far as villains go, Asav is not a man to take lightly, however, I wish we had more time to see just how evil he was.
Taking the game to India allows for dense vegetation, at this point a Naughty Dog special if you will, the technical wonders that are allowed thanks in part to the PS4 Pro provide a visual spectacle that outperforms Uncharted 4, a game just barely a year old. Ruined buildings, ancient monuments, everything is highly detailed.
Expanding upon the Madagascar open area in Uncharted 4, the new jungle Chloe and Nadine explore puts you behind the wheel of an off-road Jeep, this area has hidden secrets and trinkets to collect, and during the time you’ll spend driving from point to point, the time spent driving is well worth it, mixing discovery with climbing, gun battles, and rope-swinging, in thoughtful level-design where momentum is key.
Engaging enemies in past Uncharted games were often no more than shootouts between two different sides. Building upon the introduction of the rope in Uncharted 4, Naughty Dog talent went so far as to include a handful of ways to approach enemies, by either outflanking or climbing over the military forces who are waiting to take you out. Pouncing form above to stealthily remove your obstacles doesn’t get old and provides a quieter way of progressing to the next checkpoint.
Uncharted is known for its smart puzzles, returning once more, The Lost Legacy has a handful of puzzles that are some of my favourites in the series to date, some even will make you scratch your head in confusion as how to approach them, but with hints from Nadine, and some reflection, you’ll solve these puzzles and move past them feeling satisfied you solved them.
As such, with this adventure being shorter than a full Uncharted title, the teams have trimmed the fat and pulled together a tight and focused story. The inclusion of Uncharted 4’s multiplayer adds replay value, by allowing those who own one game or the other, to jump into online matches with the rest of those who own either game. You’re getting 14 maps, six modes, and everything else that came with Uncharted 4’s multiplayer.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a thought-out standalone title that proves Nathan Drake is one man in a much bigger world, while I will miss his adventures and his quips, the potential of exploring a wondrous world full of ancient secrets with such strong characters is what matters. If Naughty Dog wants to continue the series, introducing new characters is always an option, but with endearing characters like Chloe, why not continue allowing her to explore the hidden secrets her world has waiting to be found.