I was wondering where the Uncharted franchise would veer off to once the developers at Naughty Dog concluded the Nathan Drake saga with Uncharted 4. Interestingly enough we received Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, a standalone story expansion set after the events of Uncharted 4. This half-sized, third-person, action-adventure game takes all of the elements of the previous Uncharted games and jam-packs them into a ten hour experience. When I started The Lost Legacy, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect without Drake’s involvement: Was it going to be its own thing or copy the franchise in its entirety? What I ended up experiencing was a fun, action-packed adventure with quirky characters, and almost reaching that scale that the main Uncharted series owns.
Taking the reins and steering the adventure this time around in The Lost Legacy is Chloe Frazer, the feisty thief introduced in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. We actually haven’t heard from Chloe since Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, and she only made a multiplayer appearance in Uncharted 4. Chloe sets her sights on India, or more specifically the mountainous region of the Western Ghats.. Her goal: find an ancient ruin and secure a illusive treasure. Along the way Chloe partners with Nadine Ross — the familiar antagonist from Uncharted 4, and together they search the jungles, take down enemies, and discover the mysteries surrounding the treasure.
"Chloe and Nadine’s chemistry is spot-on. They get along similarly to Sully and Nathan but with a few more rough edges that feel absolutely natural."
I found it a bit strange that The Lost Legacy‘s overall story departs from previous iterations of conjuring up a spark of supernatural elements. The story is good, but very straight forward; focusing more on character development than actual mythology, or forbidden architectures guarded by mystical guardians or dark magics. However this isn’t a bad thing. Chloe is more fleshed out than ever before, and we get a glimpse of her current and past life outside of thievery — and she may not be as unbreakable as she personifies herself. Along side her is Nadine Ross — Chloe’s partner in crime — who also gets some of the spotlight, and clears up a few loose ends left on her side from the previous game. You shouldn’t go into this game expecting a story on the scale of the standard Uncharted games. Clocking in at a little under 10 hours, this decent adventure really made me want to get invested in it, but the story was already wrapping up before I knew it.
Chloe and Nadine’s chemistry is spot-on. They get along similarly to Sully and Nathan but with a few more rough edges that feel absolutely natural. Though Chloe may be more abrasive compared to Nathan, she isn’t a mindless treasure hunter. She brings wisdom and experience to her hunt. Nadine brings severity and reality along the way, having been in a few tight situations throughout her personal carer. She’s ready to tell Chloe the consequences for her actions, but is also ready to go along with whatever she decides.
Chloe may not have the sophisticated charm that Nathan so casually portrays; but her dry wit and snarky comebacks are sure to win over a lot of fans. The Lost Legacy focuses on a new antagonist named Asav. Asav also wants the treasure for himself and will do anything to get to it — much like every other villain from the Uncharted franchise. Asav’s cold, calculated demeanor feels impeccably timed; he’s always barging in on a scene in the right place at the right time. Asav’s unwillingness to back down makes him a cunning character, and he will not let anyone beat him to the treasure; and to top it all, he’s got an entire military at his back.
"The world in which Chloe explores is majestic and jaw dropping. We’ve seen jungles like this before; especially in Uncharted 4, a game that bleeds stunning visuals through every pixel."
The opening chapter of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is truly unnerving. It opens in a cold, dystopian city. This region of India at night is a sight to behold. There are checkpoints with guards searching each person that passes through, and militant forces roam around every turn. I really felt unsafe while walking the tight alleys, hidden from the light of the moon, between the dense housing. There was never a moment when I thought I was safe. It was as though I was going to get caught almost every time I went around a corner of the city streets. Once I was out I took a deep breath of relief, and continued my adventure onward.
Soon thereafter, Chloe is steered toward the ruins within the Western Ghats, a lush tropical location that’s reminiscent of nearly every other Uncharted game. This is where The Lost Legacy begins to not only fade from it’s initial opening of originality, but also begins to feel too similar to previous games. The world in which Chloe explores is majestic and jaw dropping. We’ve seen jungles like this before; especially in Uncharted 4, a game that bleeds stunning visuals through every pixel.
However, what’s new is the experience of India and its ancient cultures. From that we learn of its old architectures, their motivations, and their causes. That’s where the environments truly shine. From artifacts to ancient ruins, each of them feels authentic. Hand-molded pottery tucked between each corner, architecture crafted a millennia ago, and art that depicts the story of who they were fills each structure and cave. You’ll be climbing these ruins as you would in previous games, destroying enemies within, and collecting valuables while figuring out the next clue to the real treasure along the way.
The Lost Legacy perfectly transfers that emotion that I’m actually there in an ancient architecture, tangled in its dangers. These moments are structurally the same as every other Uncharted game, of course, but it doesn’t mean it’s not fun. But even if it felt real and fun, it kind of never felt original. Traveling deeper into the Western Ghats and farther into the mountain regions, you will see some truly magnificent moments that you’ll want to take advantage of with the in-game Photo Mode. I guess it goes without saying that The Lost Legacy is a looker just like its predecessor.
"One of the more touted features within The Lost Legacy is the free roam aspect. The Western Ghats is a large portion of the game in which our heroine must explore to uncover secrets to move the story forward."
Another set of features that plainly carries over from other games in the franchise is Chloe’s move set. She can climb walls, grapple with a rope, shoot using similar weapons, throws the same grenades, gets caught in the same mudslides, and winds up in 4X4 wheeling drama. You’ll find similar weapons while taking part in the cover-based mechanics as waves of enemies come to kill you. Of course a lot of this can be avoided if you decide to take the stealth route; it’s convenient but slower and adds a depth to existing gameplay design,
One of the more touted features within The Lost Legacy is the free roaming aspect. The Western Ghats is a large portion of the game in which our heroine must explore to uncover secrets to move the story forward. It’s a large piece of jungle, mud slides, rivers, waterfalls, ruins, and architectures. It’s really not that large, but I suppose for an Uncharted game it is. Within the Western Ghats are rebels to fight and steal their guarded treasures (or collectibles); and secret paths to take to discover ancient artifacts. These serve as nice distractions from the main story but I never really felt as they were necessary to experience, unless you are into collectibles and like experiencing amazing vistas.
Each area of the game has a ruin of sorts that Chloe adventures through to collect clues to further herself towards the treasure. As I previously stated, these ares are exactly the same setup as you’d find in any other Uncharted game: You’ll discover (just like Nathan does) that Asav’s militia beat you to each location just before you did, set up and ready to shoot you down in a moment’s notice.
The Uncharted series is known for its clever and unique puzzles, especially ones that are formed around massive set pieces. The Lost Legacy lacks massive set pieces, though you’ll see a few. What few there are tend to be amazing. Climbing two massive statues in the middle of the amazingly beautiful rain forest feels superb. Other architectures and ruins will have similar set pieces, and there will be some familiar but fun ones later on as well.
"Naughty Dog have also given The Lost Legacy players full access to the existing Uncharted 4 multiplayer components along with a brand new mode called Survival Arena."
There are some interesting puzzles that will make you think: such as jumping from pillar to pillar without getting sliced in half by a massive mechanical statue. Then there are repeats of classic puzzles from the series: such as spinning several marked disks around until the marks align correctly to reveal an image. What’s intriguing is that most of the puzzles involve water. There’s water everywhere within the game, and it is a big factor in discovering and unlocking many different puzzles and moving the story along.
There are certain moments when Chloe will come across a revelation in which the music plays perfectly into that moment. The scores are good, however you won’t hear a series of memorable musical moments that a franchise of this caliber should have. As always, voice-overs and other sound effects are brilliant.
Naughty Dog have also given The Lost Legacy players full access to the existing Uncharted 4 multiplayer components along with a brand new mode called Survival Arena. It’s basically a horde mode wherein the playlist changes with different waves along with different weapons and enemies. Furthermore, all character skins from The Lost Legacy are also available for Uncharted 4 players. It’s great to see Naughty Dog treating Lost Legacy players with the same importance as the ones on Uncharted 4 and uniting them under one banner.
To close it off, Chloe’s version of Uncharted mimics Nathan’s adventures in various ways. From entering dangerous areas by choosing either a stealthy approach or guns blazing, swinging from a grapple, gunplay, climbing walls, jotting down notes and drawings of relics, to driving around in a 4-wheeler while making small talk with your partner, The Lost Legacy will you a similar feel as Uncharted 4. But its 10 hour long campaign and extensive multiplayer modes make it a worthy entry in the series.
This game was reviewed on the PlayStation 4.
Great music and a solid cast of characters, the vistas are breathtaking, you'll never see anything that isn't beautiful, solid combat mechanics, multiplayer modes are vast.
Feels too similar to Uncharted 4, story ends a bit too quickly.