Written by Derrick Smith
From the beginning Uncharted: The Lost Legacy was positioned as a stand-alone DLC expansion – as a last hoorah for the famed series. With the legendary Nathan Drake and his potential future exploits now forever removed, Naughty Dog re-enlists fan favorite character of Uncharted 2 fame, Chloe Frazier as the star of the show, partnered with the formidable Nadine Ross, who made a significant splash in Uncharted 4, as the dynamic duo to carry this Uncharted experience forward.
Cutting straight to the chase, Chloe and Nadine are pure magic on screen together as the battle tested treasure hunters on a mission to find the legendary tusk of Ganesh. As the story is told, son of Hindu god Shiva, lost the tusk while defending his father’s temple, according to the legend.
While I could leave this next thought for the reviews conclusion, I rather not. Simply put, it would be an absolute disservice to fans if in fact this so-called expansion is truly the end of the series. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is not a DLC expansion and should certainly be considered in its own right a sequel to Uncharted 4. The game is that good! After eight blissful hours of action-packed gameplay, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is easily among the best in the series.
Based in India, and for the first time we get to play as Chloe Frazier who hires the services of mercenary Nadine Ross to help her find the legendary tusk of Ganesh, and from the start the two are quite uncertain of one another, despite their resolve to simply get the job done. This tension creates a dynamic contrast of the two complex characters, driving the story forward while making matters interesting to the backdrop of the series in general.
As the star of the show, Chloe’s past is progressively revealed as layers are peeled away through impressive narrative banter among the duo. Eventually you discover that the very quest Chloe and Nadine find themselves on has direct ties with Chloe’s father, who previously sought the legendary treasure for himself, yet consumed by passion the quest claimed his life at the hands of bandits.
Having played the game in its entirety via the PS4 Pro, the initial showcase of this world is strikingly beautiful. If you have played Uncharted 4, beholding the visual fidelity of The Lost Legacy might cause you to betray Nathans’ last outing. The game looks that good. Every facet of the games world seems to have has been painstakingly scrutinzed with a fine tooth comb, and the results truly explode off the screen, especially in 4K. Well, if we’re being honest the resolution is more along the lines of 1440p at a rock solid 30 fps(frames per second), with splendid HDR, supporting a breathtaking color spectrum that never ceases to amaze with each vividly introduced setting.
Adding to the games engrossing eye-candy, character models are extremely lifelike. With Chloe and Nadine tirelessly traversing various environments of India, the art design and setting immerses players into the games humid environment as Chloe and Nadine’s sweaty and rugged disposition are accurately portrayed.
As the story unfolds Lost Legacy borrows well from the likes of early games in the series, namely the original and part 2 due to the games intelligent and fun treasure hunting metagames and imaginative puzzle designs. In addition, the main objectives which are positioned by the games main quest offers an entertaining blend of twists and out of the oridnary sub-conclusions which puts a smile of your face since you will not be wanting the game to end anytime soon. For example, their trusty map which which leads them to India’s western Ghats, where they follow the trail of several towers emblazoned with Hindu weapons, such as Ganesh’s trident, Shiva’s bow, and the axe of Parashurama, who used the the trail eventually leads them to the smaller of Hoysala’s two capitals, Halebidu, whose last emperor left unguarded to be conquered by the Persians seemingly out of vanity. However, they soon discovered that the emperor actually left a false trail as the legendary Tusk elsewhere, leading our duo down yet another adventurous rabbit hole.
Like most games in the series there must be some sinister antagonist to stir the pot, and Lost Legacy is no exception. Also in search for the legendary Tusk, Asav and his forces add some serious boom to the experience with loud and proud shootouts normally pitting Chloe and Nadine against seemingly impossible odds. But trust me you will never complain about the enemy and their resolve. I recommend playing the game very loud as the weapons and explosions sound fabulous. Like all Uncharted games taking down enemies leaves various weapons littering the area so getting your hands on an assortment of weapons will be the least of your concerns. In combat, players can use long-ranged weapons, such as rifles and shotguns, and short-barreled guns such as pistols and revolvers; handheld explosives such as grenades and C4 are also available. Though players can attack enemies directly, they have the option to use stealth tactics to attack undetected or sneak by them. Impressively, the game also introduces silenced weapons. Though the game is linear, environments feature multiple paths for players to explore, adding to the treasure hunting side of the game.
While the enemies in Lost Legacy behave quite similar to enemies of previous games in the series, it is impotant to note that shootouts are an absolutely blast.
With so many bullets whizzin past your head our beautiful female tag team experience some serious bumps and bruises along the way. While Chloe and Nadine’s relationship starts off rather rocky, spending time in the trenches together, getting to learn about one another certainly has a way of casting attention of what’s important as is the case with Lost Legacy. From the start their relationship was cold and empty of remorse. In fact, Chloe and Nadine are short with each other and of course you discover why. However, before all is revealed, though Chloe is the star of the game I personally was at odds with both her and Nadine initially because of how they got along. Yet, the well paced narrative which complimented each setpiece was in harmony with the whole experience, gradually unfolding more layers of the characters and the aggressive world, ultimately causing you to fall in love with both characters.
Lost Legacy allows both Chloe and Nadine to be transparent as broken woman who have both been hurt from their past lives and this ride forces them to embrace one another in order to survive.
Though you play as Chloe for the games entirety, Naughty Dog has done a masterful job with Nadine as her AI sidekick. Unlike games like Ghost Recon Wildlands, which offers some rather frustrating character AI when playing the campaign, Lost Legacy seriously nails it! Never once was I worried about Nadine or Sam blowing my cover or going guns blazing at an inopportune time. Yes, if you have yet to play the game Sam Drake makes an appearance. Nadine and Sam as my companions assisted in combat by throwing objects at threats to stun them, announcing the location of unseen enemies, or using weapons to attack enemies. For example, Nadine would often and quietly take out nearby enemies who had a beat on my position, she would also perform precise flank maneuvers based on how I was positioned near enemies. It was truly impressive. Even during crazed shootouts she knew just how to intelligently engage the enemy without causing me to give up my sometimes weak position.
While I wasn’t necessarily a huge fan of Sam Drake in Uncharted 4, here in Lost Legacy Sam has finally rubbed off on me by adding an interesting dynamic to the Chloe/Nadine relationship. It seems Sam is in this for the long haul as his character was truly enjoyable, especially against Nadine. Since Nadine has not forgotten about her bumps and bruises with the Drake brothers in Uncharted 4, let just say Sam had some serious making up to do.
With Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, whether Naughty Dog was intending on offering fans a final farewell story or teasing the possibilities of taking the series in a new direction, the exploits of Chloe and Nadine are undeniable. We need more!
Despite the games length which was slightly over eight hours, if there anything vaguely resembling a takeaway from the experience, it would be my selfish desire for more. The game was not too short and the length felt just right. Insane visuals, crazy fun gameplay with an engrossing narrative and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is easily one of the best games in the series.