Uncharted The Lost Legacy is the next, and possibly not the last, in the series from developer Naughty Dog and was the DLC for Uncharted 4 that became a standalone game. It’s set in India, or more specifically the Western Ghats area, and stars Chloe Frazer from Uncharted 2 and 3 and Nadine Ross from Uncharted 4 as our protagonists, instead of Nathan Drake. The question is, does it work?
This time we are searching for the fabled Tusk of Ganesh, which according to Hindu legend, Ganesh lost in battle to Shiva’s axe which was wielded by Parashurama. Yet as with every Uncharted game we are not the only ones looking for it. On our tail, or usually ahead when you get to the combat moments, is Asav, an Indian warlord who’s often calm and controlled personality conceals a much darker and deadlier side, and his men who want it for their own reasons. So it’s not going to be easy, then again it never is, and as complications arise and truths are revealed, it becomes much more than just a race to the treasure.
If you’ve played Uncharted 4 then you will find the general mechanics are very similar. The guns still have that bit of weight to them, the piton of ‘Oh crap! I forgot I had that!’ is back, the stealthily creeping through the grass like a tiger is still there, and you can still swing about like Tarzan on that grappling hook – which if you’re like me and have been messing around on the multiplayer, you’ll be a pro at. Along with those, you will find a few new things have been added.
For a start Chloe has lock picking skills which result in you having to do a lock picking mini game to open doors and lockboxes – another thing to add to your collectables! This means you can get extra ammo, sometimes those elusive treasures and special guns. Which brings me onto the new gun addition, the silenced pistol. Finally Naughty Dog has given us a single player campaign weapon that means you can shoot people while hiding in some grass and not give yourself away. “Excellent!” as Mr Burns from the Simpson’s would say.
As well as these two new additions, they’ve gone and expanded on the open world aspect, that they brought in during the Madagascar section in chapter 10 of Uncharted 4, by making the area available to explore even bigger and even adding an optional side quest. The area within the Western Ghats allows you to complete the parts that progress the story in any order you like, while off-roading around in the 4×4 like a maniac, and enjoying the lush and beautiful scenery when you’re not being shot at, because you were spotted by one guard while pulling another off a cliff. But, if you’re me, you can always slip back into cover. If not then your AI partner Nadine may give you the advantage in a fight, as she appears more inclined to go after your enemies then either Sully, Sam or Elena did in Uncharted 4, which feels in character for Nadine in my opinion.
Now you heard me mention ‘optional side quest’ and for some of you, I feel those words might fill you with dread in memory of all those fetch quests from RPGs involving collect 100 or so of something and for all your effort, you receive a hat with a feather you can put on your protagonist. While that hat might be awesome, it’s not really worth all that effort, but let me reassure you this is not one of those. If you do decide to fulfil this optional side quest that has some fun and occasionally confusing puzzles – I’m thinking of one in particular – then you’ll be rewarded with a prize that will assist the inner treasure hunter in you and help you on your way to that Platinum.
Now once you’re done with the single player campaign, though you can access it at anytime, you might want to check out the Multiplayer. It’s the same one from Uncharted 4. So if you’ve done time on it in that game, then you will still have your current level, all of your unlocked customisation and weapons, but you’ll also find they’ve added Uncharted The Lost Legacy skins to the mix. Depending on when you last played multiplayer, if you did indeed play it, you’ll find there is also a survival mode which has its own set of trophies, and fifty waves over ten levels to get through with up to two other players or a single AI if you want to do it solo. If you have played survival you will now find, with the release of Uncharted The Lost Legacy, that there is the new Survival Arena. A hundred new and unique waves with new enemies, siege zones and all new wave modifiers meaning there are thousands of potential encounter combinations, according to the information given to players. They implement this by letting you choose the difficulty and then giving you ten random waves in a random location. These waves contain a mixture of ones like the original survival mode for Uncharted 4 and ones with the new variations for you and up to two other players to tackle. Each time you complete a set of ten waves on any of the difficulties, it brings you closer to unlocking some unique skins, so apart from the challenge that Arena presents, which can be sometimes a little overwhelming, you will also get something to work towards. Plus it’s fun!
Now Uncharted 4 was said to be one of the prettiest games on PlayStation 4 graphics wise and Uncharted The Lost Legacy is no exception. It is stunning graphically and maybe even beat its predecessor in how beautiful it looks. From the jungle to the stonework to the panoramic views in certain places, the detail is exceptional. So you’ll be pleased to know you can take pictures of places from your adventure with Chloe’s phone, which is there instead of Nate’s journal, but only at certain points because of course this is another collectable. Yet if she does not happen to take a photo of something you want, then you can always use photo mode to create the perfect keepsake or just mess around with Chloe’s expression to get a photo that is unique if not hilarious.
Its not just the look of the game that seems even better, the motion capture also appears, in my opinion, to be better for Uncharted The Lost Legacy. One scene in particular where one character was not actually talking, but responding to another character with just the expressions on their face, and the fact you could tell exactly how they felt, shows just how far game technology has come today. For me it immersed me even more into the story and gave me a greater connection to the characters.
The soundtrack of Uncharted The Lost Legacy is once again done by Henry Jackman and fits perfectly in with the game. From the great dramatic moments to the heartfelt exposition scenes, it all comes together and adds to the story. Many a time the soundtrack of a game has made the game for me, and although it did not have any tracks that captured my imagination like Uncharted 4 – I’m thinking of A Normal Life and For Better or Worse in particular – it was great to listen to as we adventured. Even the credits song, though not by Henry Jackman, felt like a great end to the game and the series, though as I have said this may not be the end.
In conclusion, at the beginning of this review I asked the question does it work? My answer after playing it, is yes, absolutely yes. Uncharted The Lost Legacy feels every bit an Uncharted game even though it’s a bit shorter then usual; it has the witty banter, the eye-popping set pieces, the great combat, the sometimes tricky, ancient, elaborate puzzles that no one in their right mind would have ever bothered to build, the wonderful characters and the good action adventure story. Ok, so there is no Nathan Drake, except for the occasional mention in conversation, but I do not feel it took anything away from the game. We know these characters: we know Chloe, voiced by the amazing Claudia Black, and while Nadine was against us in Uncharted 4, near the end things fell apart for her and I felt for her. I for one was glad she did not die. Uncharted’s writing has been good enough that we like these side characters, who have now taken Nate’s spotlight, and unlike some series which are named after their protagonists, Uncharted does not suffer from this. I feel it could easily carry on with some of the other characters such as Charlie Cutter, Sully, Sam, Chloe and Nadine and, as shown by Uncharted The Lost Legacy, still feel like an Uncharted game. Maybe in the future Nate might have a cameo or come back for a bit with Elena and Cassie but if not, then the series, I feel, is not going to suffer.
Another thing I’ve heard people worry about was that Chloe was just going to be a re-skinned Nathan Drake, but rest assured that at no point did Chloe ever feel like that to me and it becomes more obvious when you see how she fights in hand to hand combat. Nate was always a lot more, I want to say clumsy, in his fighting while Chloe feels more precise and skilled.
So if you were worried about checking out this game because there’s no Nate then don’t be. You’ll be missing out on what is another fantastic Uncharted adventure. If you’ve played all of them up to now then you should love this one. I loved The Lost Legacy just as much as the others, Uncharted 2 and 4 being my favourites, and like all of them it had some great moments. One that involved helping something which led to a new perspective in which to view the beautiful surroundings, was probably my favourite; those who have played it can probably guess which part I mean.
All in all, the game is definitely worth your time. It’s a classic Uncharted adventure, though it is shorter, that could lead to more Uncharted with some of our other favourite characters. I personally hope it does. So what are you waiting for? Come join the fun and maybe I’ll see some of you in Multiplayer! Go check it out exclusively on PlayStation 4.