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Game Review: Uncharted: The Lost Legacy has New Leads and a Few New Tricks

Photo courtesy of Sony Interactive Entertainment

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy by developer Naughty Dog was originally announced as a sort of story DLC for last year’s amazing Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. While a bit shorter than a main series Uncharted game, The Lost Legacy  manages to capture that Uncharted feel without sacrificing story, cinematic storytelling, and the grand sense of adventure that the Uncharted series is known for.

Photo courtesy of Sony Interactive Entertainment

Nathan Drake’s story may be over, but there seems to be a lot more adventure to be had for Uncharted series regulars. Taking the helm is the morally dubious Chloe Frazer. This is Chloe’s story – much like Nathan’s search for Francis Drake, Chloe’s journey has a familial root and serves as a humanizing backstory to a sometimes unlikeable character.  Another Uncharted series regular and sometimes villain, Nadine Ross, formerly head of mercenary group Shoreline, joins Chloe’s treasure hunt and adventure is set. A lot of characters and even gameplay elements are taken from previous Uncharted games, but Lost Legacy manages to stand on its own even if it only has a few unique ideas.

Photo courtesy of Sony Interactive Entertainment

Honestly, I was a bit weary of Chloe Frazer’s ability to stand as a lead character, but she shines without Nathan Drake hogging the spotlight. Chloe’s moral ambiguity has the advantage of actually fitting the story being told. Instead of killing dozens of men only to have moral quandaries during a cutscene à la Nathan Drake, Chloe is consistently ruthless. She isn’t really painted as an anti-hero, though, more like a survivor – one that could give Lara Croft a run for her money in both archeological expertise and climbing skills. The dynamic between Chloe and her new partner Nadine  might not be as amusing as Nathan and Sully, but they make a capable duo and the exploration of their misguided past makes for an interesting look at the characters. But most of the actual story itself is a retread of previous Uncharted games:  a guy with an army at his disposal wants to get a priceless artifact and the player has to race against time to get it before him. It’s a capable vehicle for Indiana Jones style adventure, but the Uncharted stories playbook must be worn out by now. In fact, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy doesn’t do much but reuse ideas that were found in previous Uncharted games, but developer Naughty Dog is so good at making this type of story that it never feels cheap and even remains a little exciting.

Photo courtesy of Sony Interactive Entertainment

Like any Uncharted series title, The Lost Legacy has gun fights, insane chases, vertigo inducing jumping sections and puzzle solving. While not doing too many things new, The Lost Legacy does some of the most fun things from the main series titles and even manages to have better pacing. I was never fed up with the amount of time stuck in a gunfight or stuck too long on a puzzle. The puzzle sections in The Lost Legacy not only seem to come up more frequently than some main series Uncharted games, they seem to be a little bit more fun. While Uncharted: The Lost Legacy doesn’t deviate too far from the established formula, it does have a few surprises that are worth experiencing. The final chapter of the game is a white-knuckle, balls to the wall chase and gunfight that is one of the best in the entire series – and that is one of many great action set pieces.

Photo courtesy of Sony Interactive Entertainment

When you are done with the story mode, there are a few ways to get some extended playtime out of The Lost Legacy. Like Uncharted 4, there are a series of unlockables such as different game modifiers – like no gravity mode, or inifinite ammo, and a series of different rendering modes to make the game look like you’re playing it through a photo filter or even rendered in 8-bit style. These are unlocked as you accrue points during your playthrough by collecting treasures, having optional conversations, etc. All of these are fun ways to mess around when you’re done with the main game, with some modes significantly altering gameplay. Also included is access to Uncharted 4’s multiplayer mode, with a survival mode where you’ll cooperate with other players to fend off waves of enemies, and a player vs. player mode.

Photo courtesy of Sony Interactive Entertainment

There isn’t much to say about Uncharted: The Lost Legacy if you’ve played an Uncharted game, especially Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Naughty Dog hasn’t disappointed with their delivery of another graphically impressive, cinematic, grand-adventure game in the style of Indiana Jones. If Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is used as a launching pad for a series of Uncharted games not focused on Nathan Drake, I’d  definitely welcome it. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is available now on PlayStation 4.

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