When I heard that Naughty Dog were making an Uncharted game without Nathan Drake I thought it was a joke. How could they possibly craft something that could compete with the other games in the series without the main character?
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is the first in the series without Nathan Drake and I’m delighted to say it works. It was conceived as a downloadable expansion to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (season pass holders get it free) but has been released instead as a standalone game at a cheaper price point. This means you’re in for a shorter game than usual, but still a good eight hours. The shorter length is actually a good thing and results in a more focused story.
Set after the events of Uncharted 4, players are put in control of treasure hunter Chloe Fraser. If you’ve played the other games you might remember she was introduced in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Frazer is off on an adventure to track down the mysterious Tusk of Ganesh. Along for the ride is Nadine Ross who we met in Uncharted 4. It’s worth pointing out that The Lost Legacy works just as well for new players who have no experience of the previous games.
Watch the Uncharted: The Lost Legacy launch trailer:
As usual there are multiple difficulties to master. Naughty Dog has done the sensible thing and brought over the mechanics from previous games instead of re-inventing everything. Seasoned Uncharted players will find controlling Fraser second-nature allowing them to jump straight in and enjoy the story. New players will need a little time to get used to everything but should soon pick it up.
The action is viewed from a third-person perspective and Frazer can walk, run, jump, swim and climb as you’d expect. Combat involves lots of firearms but she’s also very capable in melee. The game presents you with plenty of choice during firefights and it’s possible to take cover or move around the environment and flank your enemies.
If you prefer a more stealthy approach the game also allows you to sneak around to avoid conflict. I had mixed success with this where I’d try for stealth but finish with guns and explosions. The world is littered with locked crates that you can open via a simple lockpicking game. It’s well done and adds to the tension if you’re trying to do it without being detected.
The game doesn’t always force you to complete tasks in a set order so this adds to the illusion of freedom. Getting around the large environments often involves using a 4×4 or climbing. The climbing sections are well done and sometime have multiple paths. I really enjoyed the parts when you need to use your grapple hook during a fall to swing to safety.
There are some satisfying puzzles to overcome on the trail of the Tusk. One genius one involves using light sources and shadows. Another involved platforming, timing and memory. The puzzles really help break up the action and exploration and I would like to see more of them.
The stars of the show are Frazer and Ross who are expertly voiced by Claudia Black and Laura Bailey. The pair constantly communicate with each other and there’s plenty of banter. Through the game you learn a lot about each of them by listening to what they have to tell each other.
During their adventure the duo come up against an insurgent leader called Asav, voiced by Usman Ally. If you couldn’t guess he’s the villain in the game and will stop at nothing to get to the Tusk first. He is well written and you dislike him the more you see him.
Throughout your adventure it’s worth looking out for tiny sparkling objects. Many of these are hard to find but each rewards you with a treasure. Completionists will be wanting to replay just to find them all.
Graphically the game looks incredible with huge detailed open-world maps to explore. The environments are among the best I’ve experienced in any game. The cinematics that help move the story along are also excellent.
View some screenshots from Uncharted: The Lost Legacy in our gallery:
In addition to the singleplayer campaign, The Lost Legacy also ships with the entire mutliplayer component from Uncharted 4. This is a smart move to help keep the multiplayer alive. It also brings a new Survival Arena mode that puts players up against random waves of enemies. It’s tough but addictive and something I can see me dipping into from time to time.
The Lost Legacy is a fantastic Uncharted game that shines without the inclusion of Nathan Drake. I’d happily play another game starring Fraser and Ross but equally would like to see Naughty Dog explore other characters in the same universe. If you’re a fan of Uncharted you need to play this.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy was reviewed using a digital code supplied by the publisher.
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment Developer: Naughty Dog Release Date: August 23, 2017 Reviewed On: PS4 Also Available On: PS4 Pro