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Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Review (PS4)

Have you been craving for more Uncharted since Nathan Drake's story concluded last year? Well, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy keeps everything great about Uncharted's gameplay, tells a less cynical story, and manages to create a partnership between two characters that rivals any other seen in the Uncharted series.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Review (PS4)

Introduction

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is an action-adventure game by Naughty Dog. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a standalone experience, that puts you in the shoes of Chloe Frazer, the beloved partner to Drake from Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Chloe teams up with Nadine Ross (an antagonist from Uncharted 4) to find an ancient treasure known as The Tusk of Ganesh.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy combines exploration, puzzles and combat to create an outstanding experience that is a joy to play.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy can be purchased from the PlayStation Store.

Story

When Uncharted 4 released last year it was a clear sign that Nathan Drake’s story had finished. So, when Uncharted: The Lost Legacy was revealed at PlayStation Experience 2016 it provided a testing ground for the Uncharted series; can Uncharted work without Nathan Drake as a protagonist? Thankfully, it does. Chloe and Nadine’s relationship rivals that of Nathan and Sully’s.

We pick up with Chloe as she is already on her journey to find The Tusk of Ganesh. She enlists the help of Nadine Ross, and within the first two chapters, their pairing feels very disjointed. Chloe and Nadine appear like they don’t mesh well, arguing and not trusting each other. However, past those chapters their relationship flourishes. They bounce off each other excellently with some great back and forth dialogue. One of my favourite bits of dialogue between the two characters occurs when they enter a room after completing a puzzle. The door slams shut and multiple flames ignite. Nadine asks “That supposed to happen?” Chloe then responds “Don’t know,” in a very chilled out, care-free manner.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Review (PS4) - A partnership worthy of your time!
Their relationship is the most enthralling part of The Lost Legacy. There is genuinely funny and smart dialogue, creating a relationship that feels authentic, as the bond over time.  This dialogue is undoubtedly made better by the outstanding performances by Claudia Black (Chloe) and Laura Bailey (Nadine). The Lost Legacy also delves into why they are searching for The Tusk of Ganesh, where they have been since Uncharted 4, and what has changed in their lives since the last time we saw them. Naughty Dog did an amazing job at fleshing these characters out, and after partaking in their seven-hour journey, Chloe and Nadine’s partnership is as great as any other seen in the Uncharted series.

On their journey to find The Tusk of Ganesh, Chloe and Nadine encounter Asav. Asav is a fairly standard antagonist. He is the leader of a group of rebels in India. Although not explicitly stated, he appears to be war-hungry, wanting conflict and power for any reason. He is a fine fit for the story The Lost Legacy is telling; however, Asav isn’t as memorable or likeable as Rafe from Uncharted 4. However, Asav makes some choices in the third act that allows Uncharted: The Lost Legacy to tell a different story to the rest of the games in the series. it is able to craft a third act that is not about the cynical nature of treasure hunting, but about protecting a community caught in the middle of a war they never wanted a part of. This change in the story was an amazing surprise and a welcome change. Not only that but, this alteration manages to highlight how Chloe differs to Nathan. Naughty Dog should be praised for not just copying Nathan’s persona onto Chloe.

Gameplay

Exploration

The exploration feels unchanged from the rest of the series during the linear levels. There is most often an alternative path that has one or two collectables in it but still leads you to the same place. However, The Western Ghats section detailed in the 'Visuals and Audio' section is refreshing. It provides some freedom and greater exploration with items and views in every corner of the area. This greater exploration is something Uncharted 4‘s open-ended levels were missing.

Puzzles

The selection of puzzles within The Lost Legacy is some of the best in the series. The large puzzles are both inventive and interesting. The smaller puzzles overuse a single mechanic slightly too much, making the final use of it when it matters the most, bland. Personally, a standout was a turn-based puzzle where you have to dodge giant axe-wielding statues.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Review (PS4) - One of the standout puzzles in The Lost Legacy.

Combat

The final part of Uncharted‘s gameplay is combat. And, it remains mostly unchanged from Uncharted 4, with the grappling hook making a return. It is not used in any new ways, but it still feels just as great to swing off a platform and punch someone as you jump to the ground. The Lost Legacy places an even greater focus on stealth, compared to Uncharted 4. This is done through the addition of a silenced pistol that allows for more flexibility in how you approach encounters in stealth. This made the combat encounters in The Lost Legacy some of the most enjoyable in the series. Uncharted works better as a stealth game than a standard shooter. The gun-on-gun combat is not bad, but it isn’t outstanding. And, attempting to silently take out my enemies felt way more enjoyable, at both close-range and long-range. So, the increased focus on stealth was a welcome addition.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Review (PS4) - Stealth in The Lost Legacy feels amazing.

Visuals and Audio

Of course, it couldn’t be an Uncharted game without jungles and vistas. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy doubles down on this, providing some stunning views and gorgeous landscapes to look at. The game even has collectables that revolve around taking photos of the environments. The Lost Legacy only takes place in India, so unlike the other games, you aren’t globetrotting for treasure. And, whilst this does result in a lack of new environments, Naughty Dog manages to help differentiate sections by using weather. Particularly they use rain, thunder and lightning to help differentiate levels, stopping them from feeling similar.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Review (PS4) - Varied weather helps to diversify environments.
I enjoyed the focus on wildlife within The Lost Legacy, an aspect not really seen before in the series. I was surprised at just how much of it there is, from a monkey hanging by its tail on a pole to tropical birds perched on a tree branch. Wildlife is littered throughout the game. A few moments stand out as being truly memorable and beautiful. But, I do not want to spoil them as they should truly be experienced.

Whilst most of The Lost Legacy is confined to jungles, the first two chapters do offer an Indian town for you to explore. Disappointingly, this town does not stick around for long; and, by the end of the short chapters, I wanted more. These levels have very little freedom, with you mostly following a linear path. I wanted these areas to be expanded upon. But, once entering chapters three and four, The Lost Legacy impresses with a large, expansive area in The Western Ghats region of India. This area allows you to complete objectives in whatever order you wish. It also provides a few side objectives allowing you to collect a unique item. And, whilst this area isn’t truly open world, it provides an illusion of choice, giving me agency over where I want to go and in what order. This also serves as a nice partition between the linear sections of The Lost Legacy.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy's audio is also good, with ambient noise during exploration being especially great. Hearing a bird in the distance really allows India to feel like a real place. Also, the town has some great sound effects that help it feel alive and in the middle of a war. The music is also pretty good; whilst none of it stuck with me, in the moment-to-moment gameplay the music fit what was happening on screen really well. 

Multiplayer And Survival Modes

The Lost Legacy also packages in the Multiplayer and Survival modes from Uncharted 4. The multiplayer mode offers a fairly standard third-person shooter experience, that does have some variety during the early hours, mainly through the various mysticals and sidekicks that can be purchased during a match.  As well as that, there is a good variety of modes both objective-focused and not. However, past those first few hours, any interest in the mode evaporated due to no long-term goals beyond earning skins and cosmetic customisation.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Review (PS4) - Multiplayer provides an enjoyable first few hours.
Survival is your traditional horde mode found in many other shooters. Whilst challenging, it doesn’t offer anything that can’t be found in another game. And overall is not worth more than an hour of your time, if that.

Conclusion

Uncharted ultimately is played for the main campaign. And the campaign in The Lost Legacy is stellar. The Lost Legacy oozes polish and amazing presentation in all aspects of the game. The game transfers everything great about the previous games to a new partnership that is as lovable as Drake and Sully. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy clearly defines itself as a full Uncharted experience, that could pave the way for a new era in the franchise.

PROS CONS
+ Chloe and Nadine's partnership – Bland Multiplayer and Survival modes
+ Stunning environments with the use of wildlife
+ Focus on stealth combat
+ Inventive and fun puzzles

9
Amazing

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