We have become accustomed to the good looks and humour of Nathan Drake as he has gone on his adventures in search of coveted treasures. But Nathan’s story has ended and Naughty Dog has released Uncharted: The Lost Legacy to give us the fix we probably needed after the fourth and final chapter. So what’s in store for you this time around if you are considering delving into this new chapter?
First of all, the protagonists of this adventure are Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross… you remember them right? Chloe is Nathan’s sort of ex-squeeze with a penchant for betrayal (to protect you of course) and a talented thief. Nadine is the badass South African who was the leader of Shoreline and you know, she tried to kill Nathan and Sam a few times. While these ladies may seem an unlikely pairing, they are working together to get the Golden Tusk of Ganesh before the unassuming warmonger Asav does. They have their moments of tension and familiarity which provides an interesting dynamic to the storytelling as you’re not quite sure whether they will be able to get through this without falling out in the end. Their characters didn’t get very much exploration when they appeared previously in the Uncharted series. Although it could be said we get more of an insight into how Chloe operates whereas Nadine was leading a paramilitary organization who were paid to get the job done but other than that, we never got to know that much about who she is.
I really liked the pairing and am glad that Naughty Dog took the time to give them a dialogue which allowed them to reveal little bits of information to each other as they begin to build that trust and dare I say it, friendship! But of course, every friendship has its ups and downs… Chloe surprisingly doesn’t tell Nadine the full story and this results in some friction before the pair straightens things out and refocus on their common enemy and that sweet payday. The dialogue was interesting from a character development standpoint and I do really like the way Naughty Dog pauses conversations when a character exits the vehicle and carries on when the character returns. I find it feels quite natural and flows well without feeling forced, leaving you to miss out on whatever they were talking about previously.
As far as the story goes, we travel to India where we are provided with an insight into the culture and the story of how Ganesh lost his tusk. The urban section at the start of the game is graphically impressive and you could imagine wandering through those streets (hopefully not as war torn of course) and every detail being as clear as what Naughty Dog has produced. Over the years, the developers and artists have really excelled at their environment creation which leaves you in awe as you explore it. While not open world, there are a couple of different paths you can take to get to your destination. This is also the case in chapter 4 where you’ll get to explore a large area with a number of ruins and secrets to discover in order to progress forward. It is visually stunning and the little touches of birds, dragonflies, and monkeys just bring that extra layer of realism to it which made it an enjoyable place to explore. I loved the graphics, the execution of the character design and the soundscape. This was a good follow on from Uncharted 4 and gives you what you need to enjoy it without pushing too much for something extra ordinary… except for the bit with the elephant. I was blown away by that section in particular, to the point where I could have been very upset if things hadn’t worked out the way they did. I don’t want to say anything more as it might spoil things!
What about the puzzles? As much as exploring, finding treasure and shooting bad guys is fun, we only really play Uncharted for the puzzles and to admire the upper body strength of the protagonists. I felt that there were too few in Uncharted 4, one or two more would have satisfied me completely but the worry I had for this title was whether they would cram too many into the 6 or so hours you’ll be playing for, or not do enough. I was pretty content with the puzzles and how many there were. They were more puzzles of patience or trial and error than anything else, but it was nice to know what I had to do and then try and figure out how to do it rather than something which seemed improbable or impossible… because, of course, all of these secret ancient cities have these intricate mechanisms built into them. They followed a similar theme of lining things up to make a picture or image but I definitely enjoyed the sequence of puzzles where hopping onto the right platform at the right time was key resulting in a pretty nasty hit if you don’t get it right!
The puzzles aside, the combat is the same as Uncharted 4 and if you have been playing the multiplayer, you won’t feel much of a difference. The same weapons are available to pick up from your enemies and there are the trusty grenades and C4 for good measure. Cover and shoot, roll and shoot or try the stealthy approach. Either way, your playstyle is up to you again so you can try the quiet route or go in guns blazing. The only bonus here is that there are chests that Chloe try to lock pick to get some ammo or different weapons. I thought the lock picking was too simple as you just rotate until you feel the vibration and I would have preferred something similar to Skyrim just to make it more of a challenge but in a pinch, I suppose it made sense if you were trying to be stealthy and quick. My only big gripe with combat was the fist fights as timing your dodges just didn’t seem as smooth as before and I found I was getting hit a lot during some fights where you have no option but to use your fists which were a little frustrating and ended in death… lots of death.
Overall the game feels very familiar but the dynamic between Chloe and Nadine is so good that you can forgive it a little as you get invested in the surroundings and the story. Naughty Dog has a knack for creating great stories in beautiful settings and India was a wonderful choice for this adventure. The puzzles were interesting and enjoyable but not overly challenging which may disappoint some players who may have been expecting something more but for a 6-hour additional chapter to follow on from Uncharted 4, you can’t really expect much more. My issues with the combat and lockpicking are something I can get over as they didn’t disrupt my overall enjoyment of the game but if Naughty Dog is thinking about doing anything more with these characters, I would definitely continue with the fight sequences which require Chloe and Nadine to work together because they were the highlights for me. I love the Uncharted series and thought the 4th game was a nice sign-off, but if The Lost Legacy is anything to go by, deep down I’m hoping it’s not the last we see of the Chloe and Nadine combo! If you purchased the expansion pack for Uncharted 4, Lost Legacy is free! If you didn’t you can pick it up for £24.99.