August 19, 2017
Few games manage to consistently deliver high-grade thrills like Uncharted. Since the series first started on PS3 back in 2007, Nathan Drake's adventures have taken in some incredible sights, brought breathtaking set-pieces to the fore, and even somehow managed to make Lara Croft seem like an also-ran. And with Drake stepping out of the spotlight following A Thief's End, the time has come for support players Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross (you play exclusively as the former) to step up in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.
First appearing as Drake's foil in Uncharted 2, Chloe is a strong, charismatic lead in The Lost Legacy, playing off Nadine as the pair form an uneasy alliance to find the fabled Tusk of Ganesh. Of course, this being Uncharted, there's a villain seeking to obtain the artefact too, in an effort to fulfil his own crazed agenda, and again, a race to get there first ensues. No prizes for guessing what happens next, as bad guy Asav always seems to be one step ahead of Chloe and Nadine throughout. Classic Uncharted.
The Lost Legacy's story is mostly predictable then, but that doesn't stop it being utterly enthralling, as the game frequently presents you with jaw-dropping scenery while journeying across India's lush Western Ghats and beyond. Like Uncharted 4, The Lost Legacy is drenched in detail, making it PlayStation 4's poster child for what the console can do when it comes to visuals. Naturally, the game sings in 4K on the PS4 Pro, much as you'd expect, but it's the picture postcard vistas and long lost cities that truly astound.
What marks out The Lost Legacy from the other entries in the Uncharted series is the interplay between confident treasure hunter Chloe and the more practical Shoreline merc Nadine, which is every bit as entertaining as the back and forth between Nathan and Sully, or Nathan and his brother Sam. Naughty Dog's writing continues to be right on point, putting some Hollywood movies to shame when it comes to quality of dialogue. Clearly, by this point, the developer has truly honed its craft, and that shines through in TLL.
Yes, sometimes the number of near misses and lucky escapes can stretch your suspension of disbelief somewhat, as can some of the impossible climbing feats that Chloe and Nadine perform. But then this isn't anything new. Lara Croft and Nathan Drake have both been carrying out impossible physical derring-do for years. During its 6-8 hour runtime, however, Chloe and Nadine frequently avoid death by a hair's breadth; it's a bit daft at times. That's the least of The Lost Legacy's problems; some of the puzzles are a little tired – variations on ones we've seen before in Uncharted.
Nonetheless, there remains something incredibly satisfying about completing a rotating jigsaw puzzle thing, or moving statues around to form shadows on the walls, even if these mechanisms have been in an Uncharted game in some other guise before. The Lost Legacy can still surprise you at times, with certain puzzles taking place on a slightly grander scale. Ultimately, however, this is essentially more Uncharted 4, but then, what were you expecting it to be exactly?
As such, you may also find some combat encounters a little frustrating, and certain set pieces can seem slightly too prescribed, whereas the jeep bits across a large environment are rather familiar, but this is all petty nitpicking, really. The Lost Legacy is a superb package, delivering everything you could possibly want from an Uncharted adventure, with two female leads that prove more than a match for Drake and co. It's almost a shame that Naughty Dog shoehorns in a fella towards the end, but then, this cameo does nothing to detract from the experience.
The trophy list, meanwhile, is typical Uncharted fare, that is to say it boasts as good a spread as any of the previous games, covering all of the bases from finding secrets to gathering every collectible, be it treasure, photo opportunities or optional dialogues. There's little to fault here, while the inclusion of multiplayer and the co-op Survival Mode is a neat bonus for those who don't own a copy of Uncharted 4. For thirty quid, you can't go far wrong.
“Don't think about what you're doing, just do it,” Chloe mutters to herself during one particularly daring bit of traversal towards the end of The Lost Legacy. That can be taken as good advice for enjoying the Uncharted series as a whole, and with The Lost Legacy's adventures continuing in the same vein, that rule applies here. It goes without saying then that Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is every bit as brilliant as you'd hope. Another rip-roaring dose of action, exploration and wonder that acts as the perfect complement to Uncharted 4, The Lost Legacy's heroines are also a tough and remarkably likeable pair, more than deserving of another adventure like this one.
The voice acting in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy remains utterly peerless, while Henry Jackman's score is fantastic. Brilliant stuff.
Simply stunning in every regard, Uncharted is still one of the best-looking games you can play anywhere on a console. Nigh-on perfect.
Occasionally, the combat can frustrate, but the quality of the traversal, the action-packed set-pieces and the puzzles make for another breathless expedition.
Released at a budget price, The Lost Legacy is anything but budget. It's entire 6-8 hours is stellar, and there are bonuses and extras galore too.
Following the template that the rest of the Uncharted series has set is no bad thing when it comes to trophy lists. Naughty Dog has got it right again.
Credit to Naughty Dog for putting Chloe and Nadine front and centre for their own adventure. In them the studio has found two great leads who carry Uncharted: The Lost Legacy's story with aplomb, making for a spin-off that we're hoping leads to more. Clearly, there's life in the series yet.