The last time I reviewed an Uncharted game my opening lines were, “Holy Shit”. I wish I felt that way about Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. It’s a fun adventure with incredible set pieces that doesn’t change up the Uncharted formula as much as I would have liked.
It’s a good game, but it’s far from the best Uncharted game in the series.
With Nathan Drake out of the picture, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy has you in control of Chloe Frazer who seeks the Tusk of Ganesh in the mountains of India in the midst of a civil war, with the help of ex-mercenary Nadine Ross.
These two unlikely allies must team up and explore India in a rather short adventure set roughly a year after the end of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. My playthrough time was around 5 hours on normal difficulty and I stopped and smelt the roses along the way. I like taking games slowly, exploring every nook and cranny and despite how much I play video games I’m not that great. I do die often. I was expecting a longer experience but what we do get is a fast paced adventure that you could play in an afternoon.
Chloe, a fan favorite since her appearance in Uncharted 2 is joined by Nadine Ross, formerly one of the main antagonists in Uncharted 4, provides a tough as nails attitude counterpoint to Chloe’s chatty nonchalance to treasure hunting. You could play this game without playing the other Uncharted’s but it would certainly help understand the characters better. Naughty Dog has done a good job making this a standalone spin-off but you’ll be missing out on plenty of small details along the way. And let’s be real, Uncharted 4 is a must play.
The dynamic between the two leading ladies is fantastic and allows for some great witty banter. Chloe’s back story is blasted wide open as she explores the uneasy relationship with her father. Chloe is Indian-Australian and exploring India forces her to confront her heritage and dark past. Nadine, on the other hand, is on a path of redemption. These girls had me cracking up and sheding a tear as we explored the jungles of India together.
India is an absolutely great set piece for the series. It’s simply stunning. With such a short adventure I don’t wanna ruin any of the surprises, but the game does throw a few things no other Uncharted game has done at you quickly and successfully. One particular scene half way through the game is an unforgettable sequence.
That doesn’t mean that Lost Legacy totally reinvents the wheel, however. Not much has changed from Uncharted 4 other than the leads. It’s well written and engaging, and of course, it looks beautiful, but there are no big mechanical differences from the other Uncharteds. The climbing, shooting and the puzzles are things we’ve seen before. The puzzles stand out like a sore thumb. They are short, easy and not very much fun. They are there to eat up time but not much more. I would have loved to do something other than turn some cranks.
The Lost Legacy isn’t a drastic overhaul and thinking it would be is unfair. This is a side-story that is hopefully setting up more games in the future. The Uncharted formula works but I would love to see some evolution in the future.
Lost Legacy does introduce silenced pistols this time around, which makes ranged stealth kills easier but it’s not the game-changer I was hoping for. Ammo for these guns are sparse and you’re going end up needing something louder to take everyone down. Enemy A.I. remain bullet sponges for the most part, and with no whistle or rock-toss option, it’s best to approach each situation guns blazing. There’s plenty of places to take cover if you feel overwhelmed. Enemies won’t come looking.
I was a bit disappointed to find that Lost Legacy only has one kinda large open area. You’re given a map and a jeep and tasked with solving a puzzle. Surprise, surprise. This is one of the only levels in the game with optional side challenges, and players will probably check them all out to receive their prize. Unfortunately, the puzzles aren’t very innovative and driving around in the jeep is a chore. It is worth doing for the extra dialogue interactions and to get the most out of the game.
Despite all my gripes, the game is incredibly endearing and entertaining. It’s got rock solid pacing and focus. It’s all killer, no filler. Each scene flows naturally into one another, leaving me incredibly satisfied at the end of each chapter. The last level, in particular, feels like Uncharted’s greatest hits collection. It’s fun as hell and I’ll definitely play it again in the future. It’s also worth mentioning that the villain this time around is one of the best in the series.
Lost Legacy, like its predecessor, is one of the most gosh darn pretty games I’ve ever seen. India looks spectacular. The green canopies, ruins, facial expressions and statues have never looked so good. The Naughty Dog artists have really pushed the capabilities of the PlayStation 4.
Lost Legacy tells an amazing tale of friendship set against an absolutely gorgeous background that will have you fist pumping the sky for making each idiot-proof jump across large chasms. It also will teach you a few things about Indian history which is A-ok to me. I’ve always wondered about the elephant god Ganesha.
Nathan Drake may have retired following Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, but that doesn’t mean developer Naughty Dog or publisher Sony is done with the series. Lost Legacy may be the only spin-off announced so far, but I doubt it will be the last. I for one would love to see another, longer adventure with Chloe and Nadine.
Uncharted 4 also has a done of multiplayer options including competitive and cooperative modes. I haven’t had a chance to play them, but I’ve never played Uncharted for the multiplayer. I much prefer the story and all the attractive characters. And the story for the potentially final Uncharted game is absolutely top notch. If this is the end of the road for the series I’m glad it ended with such fresh and sweet protagonists but I’d love to see more.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a digital copy of the game provided by the publisher on the PlayStation 4.