Uncharted 4: A Thief's End came out last year and was basically praised as the best Naughty Dog's signature series has ever been. The original plan was for the game to get a single player DLC campaign, but eventually, the decision was made to spin it off into a full standalone game. Named Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, this new adventure focuses on some of the women of the Uncharted series. Does The Lost Legacy provide something worth finding, or should it remain hidden?
This time around you'll be playing as treasure hunter Chloe Frazer, who we haven't seen since Uncharted 3. Accompanying her is resident badass and mercenary for hire Nadine Ross. The two of them are looking to acquire the tusk of Ganesha that is supposedly hidden within the lost Indian city of Halebidu. Things naturally don't work as planned, and they eventually run afoul of fellow tusk seeker and Indian terrorist Asav. Internal conflict and hidden agendas arise, arguments are had, and the two quickly find themselves in over their head.
Like most Uncharted games, the plot is serviceable enough to carry the game from one event to the next. Where the series has always shined (and where The Lost Legacy continues to do so) is in character development. Chloe gets it the best here, with the game teaching us about what led her to become a treasure hunter in the first place and developing her character in interesting ways. Nadine also gets the treatment as we learn more about her history with her former PMC group Shoreline along with her love of animals. As you come across new species during the trek, she gladly classifies them to Chloe. Every character in the game also benefits from strong performances given by all the actors involved, and I came away wanting to spend more time with each of them. Fans of Uncharted won't have to worry about the lack of Nathan Drake, as there's more than enough character to go around here.
The Lost Legacy doesn't play too differently from Uncharted 4 either, containing the same central mechanics. You'll fire a gaggle of guns for in cover-based third person shooting, run across platforms during cinematic platforming sections, and solve a variety of puzzles along the way. I spent a solid seven hours on The Lost Legacy and I was glued to my TV for most of it.
I always found myself enjoying getting into any combat encounters. The shooting still feels nice, with a great kickback from my weapons and reactions from the enemies. The Lost Legacy changes things up a bit by introducing moments that almost feel like boss fights. You'll be put up against an armored car in one section, forced to sneak around the arena and find C4 to plant on it to great effect. Another part saw Chloe trying to take out a helicopter by acquiring RPGs from fallen enemies before eventually using her grappling hook to climb up and hijack the vehicle. Unique situations like this helped keep the combat fresh, and not once did I ever find myself wishing for an encounter to end early.
If Uncharted is known for one thing, it's cinematic platforming. You won't be disappointed here, as Chloe and Nadine need to work their ways over cliffs, statues, buildings, and other crazy things that need to be scaled. You have a grappling hook that lets you swing from branches, adding another layer to the platforming. Some of the sections got really intense, having you constantly switching from sliding down slopes and jumping from edge to edge to avoid dropping off a cliff.
It's early in the game when The Lost Legacy tries its big new feature: an open world. At the start of chapter 4, Chloe and Nadine are given a jeep, a map, and free reign to travel around the city of Halebidu. The open world is small and only contains a single side quest, but it does feel like Naughty Dog is dipping their toes into the formula and trying to get an idea of how to do it effectively. Nevertheless, I do wish it was done a little better. What's here is interesting, but it doesn't really quite capture the attention of other games with an open world. It's also only for one segment of the game, and you're back to your linear adventure once you finish a few specific story missions.
While the open world may not quite pan out, the puzzles are some of the strongest I've seen in Uncharted. One puzzle had me manipulating giant pieces on a game board in order to line their shadows up with pictures painted onto a wall. Another required me to move circular pieces around, removing and adding new pieces to a board so I could create an image of a giant horse. They're clever brain teasers that made me stop and think without impeding my progress too much.
When you're not messing around in one of the above activities, you can explore for the game's many collectibles. As usual for an Uncharted game, there are around sixty treasures that can be found in out of the way locations. New types of collectibles include Chloe's ability to pull out her camera and take pictures in certain parts of the environment. There are also eleven tokens hidden in the open world section of the game and finding them all leads to a special reward. The tokens are a cool collectible in particular, as each token has a challenge behind it that will see you doing some extra platforming, fighting, or puzzle solving before you can get them.
As for multiplayer, The Lost Legacy comes with Uncharted 4's multiplayer in its entirety. If you enjoyed the fast-paced climbing and shooting when Uncharted 4 came out last year, then you should still enjoy it now. If you missed it, the multiplayer plays a lot like the single player. As you perform kills and complete objectives you'll earn money which you can spend on special abilities and summonable NPC allies during a match. You can also earn supernatural abilities that let you do things like slow down time in a specific area and teleport to your teammates. It's a fun system, and it's easy to lose a few hours to a string of matches. The multiplayer scratches a fast paced third person shooter itch that I don't see get scratched nearly enough. Smart map design assists in this, with many maps featuring vertical platforming so you can climb around and find places to ambush other players.
The new game brings in a new mode called Survival Arena where you and two other players need to hold out against waves of enemies, plus there's a new playable character with The Lost Legacy's Asav being added to the villains' roster and new costumes for both Chloe and Nadine. Since owners of either game can play against each other, the community doesn't split and it seems like there will continue to be more free maps and items added going forward. You don't need to buy The Lost Legacy for any of this either, as owners of Uncharted 4 will get it all for free.
Uncharted is also known for its stellar graphics, and The Lost Legacy is no exception. The game is an absolute treat to behold at times, and I would lose myself just staring off into the amazing landscapes. The set-pieces are equally impressive, featuring the levels of intense destruction you'd expect to see. Watching an entire train plunge off a bridge or a tower fall down while you're climbing it is a completely different wonder from the environment, but one I enjoyed just as much. The one downside to this is that, while Uncharted usually features some fantastic soundtracks to go with the games, The Lost Legacy's soundtrack is just completely forgettable. I can hum songs from every other Uncharted game by memory, but I can't even remember a single track here.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is another fantastic entry into the series, taking quite a bit of what made every other entry stand out and condensing it all into one seven hour package. While the open world may ultimately be a letdown, it's more than made up for by everything else here. Intense combat, wonderful character development, smart puzzles, and an impressive visual package does more than enough to make it worth finding this legacy.
Our Uncharted: The Lost Legacy review was conducted on PlayStation 4 using a copy purchased by the reviewer.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a shorter but still extremely well made Uncharted game that plays up all the strengths of the series.
- Great Character Development
- Intense Combat Encounters
- Fun Platforming Segments
- Smart Puzzles
- Beautiful Graphics
- Predictable Story
- Open World Doesn't Really Pan Out
- Forgettable Soundtrack