From the title alone it’s clear that Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is setting out to tell an altogether separate story unburdened by the shackles of a numbered sequel. It’s an expansion, for all intents and purposes, set 6-12 months after the events of Uncharted 4. You play as Chloe Frazer (first appearing in Uncharted 2) who is joined by Nadine Ross (Uncharted 4) for a rather personal treasure hunt in war-torn India. It’s an uneasy alliance from the outset and one of the best qualities of this game is how their relationship ebbs and flows over time. Will their quest to locate the fabled tusk of Ganesh hold its own among your favourite Uncharted games, or should it be approached as a throwaway DLC adventure?
Last year Uncharted 4 absolutely blew me away with its graphics; I was constantly in awe of what was being achieved on a console and The Lost Legacy is no different. This game is a visual feast, never have my eyes been so well-fed. The colours, vibrancy, detail and general fidelity of the game’s representation of the jungles of India is just flawless. Jaw-dropping vistas of enormous statues of Hindu gods, ancient fortresses that crumble around you, flooded temples with mechanical puzzles and of course a decent array of death traps. Add into the mix Naughty Dog’s always-impressive animations and you’ve got one gorgeous game.
The game plays just as you would expect with the running, climbing, shooting and driving all feeling essentially identical to Uncharted 4. There are a few twists on the formula, you are playing as a different character after all. Instead of a notebook, Chloe has a smartphone that she can use to take pictures at specific locations. These essentially serve as another kind of collectible, but I found them far more gratifying than picking up glinting treasures (although there’s plenty of those too). Chloe can also pick locks, which is mostly used to open crates left behind by the armed forces of the warlord Asav. These will hold special weapons like RPGs or silenced pistols, and sometimes a treasure. Otherwise, Chloe’s skill set: the way she leaps, fights and shoots, is all exactly the same as Nathan Drake’s.
Bringing two of the series’ female side characters into the spotlight is great, and it’s never something that’s dwelled on, it’s just… the story being told. Naughty Dog hasn’t relied on a femme fatale trope and there are no silly lines like “hello boys, did ya miss me?” Similarly, it’s fantastic to see two women share a mature, well-written, non-romantic and non-sexualised relationship in a video game. Having Chloe and Nadine be the focus of this side story also allows for further exploration of their motives and background. In this regard, the game does expect that you’ve played, at the very least, Uncharted 2 and 4. As always the performances by voice actors Claudia Black (Chloe) and Laura Bailey (Nadine) are astounding and the script is equally commendable. Their dialogue is often funny, emotional and natural, presenting a believable relationship that I enjoyed more and more as time went on.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a difficult game to fault. It’s like a ‘greatest hits’ collection of the entire Uncharted series; compiling everything that makes these games great and trimming all the fat. At its core are these fantastic characters that you don’t want to leave when the credits roll, accompanied by a story that, at an approximate run time of 6.5 hours, doesn’t overstay its welcome. All the narrative and thematic threads of this game are introduced and resolved in a satisfying manner by the time you’re done, something I wish more games would do. It may be shorter than Uncharted 4, but it sports the same level of quality and polish, AND it comes only a year and a half later? If Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a sign of whats to come for triple A expansions, then the future is looking bright indeed.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy was reviewed on PS4 Pro with a code provided by Sony.