Review – Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a six hour long story DLC for Uncharted 4 that features Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross as the protagonists. And that’s really the essence of the game. It’s no more and no less than that. This isn’t the secret fifth Uncharted game that some people made it out to be when pointing out that the game is nearly the same length as the first Uncharted. And this isn’t some foray into a new genre with characters we’ve seen previously.

Right from the opening sequence as you sneak through a crowded market you can feel the Uncharted essence just oozing through the game. And that’s really the crux of where Uncharted: The Lost Legacy succeeds and fails. It gets right everything that the previous games in the franchise (especially Uncharted 4) got right and it fails in the same spots as the others (once again, namely 4) failed.

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Off the bat the sound and voicing is fantastic. The strength of the Uncharted franchise has always resided in the dynamic between the different characters and the ability of the actors who portray them, and it’s no different here. The Lost Legacy adds both Chloe and Nadine in as partners, and their similarities and differences are what make this game most fun to watch and play. Their banter is on the level of Sully and Nate’s, but very much their own flavor. Nadine’s militaristic by-the-book attitude clashes frequently with Chloe’s more improvisation based method of decision making. But at the same time this is also a story of friendship, and the moments where they get along are genuinely enjoyable to see.

And speaking of seeing things, The Lost Legacy is a Naughty Dog game, which means there’s plenty to see and it’s always beautiful. The graphics and facial animations are top notch, and the detail in the city is expectedly staggering. Not to mention the Indian jungle is just as beautiful, if not more so, than every other jungle in the franchise. But that in and of itself is where the problems in The Lost Legacy make themselves apparent.

Most of this game takes place in a jungle environment that seems to be a combination of every jungle and forest in the Uncharted franchise mixed together with the open Madagascar plains we drove through in Uncharted 4. As interesting as the dynamic between the characters is, virtually everything else is heavily recycled from the previous games. All of the guns are the same as previously or are just reskinned versions, and the gameplay is the exact same as Uncharted 4, except for different character animations for the women. The locales have their own flavor, but they’re not significantly different from ones we’ve seen in the past. And the premise of the game is nothing new either. You need to find a secret and ancient treasure while racing against a paramilitary group to get to it first. It’s the same concept as every other game in the franchise. But this time with a villain who, if given enough time, could’ve been one of the best the Uncharted universe has seen.

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The grappling hook returns.

In terms of gameplay and environments there’s nothing special to set The Lost Legacy apart from any of the other games. The combat has a slightly heavier slant towards stealth and more options for it (even bringing back the suppressed pistol in some areas), but it hasn’t changed much from Uncharted 4. Even the large final action set piece is essentially a combination of two that we’ve seen in the past. The biggest change was the addition of a couple puzzles that were probably the most challenging in the entire franchise (but that’s not exactly saying very much). The only other noticeable gameplay changes were the addition of lock-picking (a kind of questionable mechanic) and collectibles in the form of pictures. Yes, there are certain areas where you’re given a prompt and Chloe can pull out her phone and take a picture. Sure it makes sense given how those of us in the 21st century act right now, but it was an unnecessary addition that doesn’t particularly add or detract from the experience.

One addition to the game that does have an impact, however, is the inclusion of the Uncharted 4 multiplayer. So, if for some reason, you have this but not Uncharted 4, then you can still dive into the fast-paced high flying multiplayer.

In the end, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is just story DLC for Uncharted 4. If you love the franchise and particularly love Chloe and Nadine then you’ll enjoy this game. On the flipside, if you’ve never particularly liked Uncharted then this isn’t going to change your opinion on the franchise.