Uncharted: Lost Legacy is the latest in the Uncharted series from Naughty Dog. It is
a rock climbing, gun shooting, puzzle-solving adventure that lives up to what fans of
the series have come to expect.
Lost Legacy: Where It All Started
Lost Legacy uses the same engine and mechanics of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End in what is really just a DLC expansion that got a bit out of hand and needed to become its own game.
The story unfolds around Uncharted 2 character, and love triangle participant, Chloe Frazer as she hunts for Indian treasure — following the route and clues from her treasure hunter father.
That’s the legacy bit.
The New Heroes of Lost Legacy
What is most interesting about the new release is that it features long-standing NPC
Chloe Frazer as the playable hero character, accompanied by one-time protagonist
turned helper bot, Nadine Cross. The two female leads are a refreshing turn from
Naughty Dog’s list of exclusively male lead characters. Even when their main
characters are animals, they are still male.
Looking at you Crash Bandicoot!
Another thing of note is that for the last 10 years every new game that the company has created has had a middle-aged white man as the protagonist.
Nathan Drake of Uncharted and Joel of The Last Of Us. It’s great to finally have characters from minority backgrounds with different personal experiences and motives.
Chloe isn’t just treasure hunting for the thrill or money like Drake (although that is part of it!) but these artefacts are a part of her cultural heritage as a half Indian woman. Nadine’s
past would have been radically different from Chloe’s, growing up as a black woman in apartheid South Africa, shaping her into the badass warrior woman she is.
It’s a step forward for women in gaming but little to undo the fact that the whole
premise and genre of the Uncharted series was stolen from literally the most famous female lead protagonist in gaming, Lara Croft.
As awesome as is it to have Nadine on our side this time, in reality, she is a bit of a
waste of space.
The whole point of her being there in the story is as protection with a 50% share of the fortunes as her payment. Playing the game, however, Chloe definitely did more than 50% of the treasure hunting and probably more than 50% of the bad guy shooting too. What’s annoying is that all of the promo box art features Nadine holding a massive gun, yet she spends the whole game only using a pistol. It would have been such a good move from Naughty Dog to have Nadine as a playable co-op character, either online or couch co-op, but sadly this isn’t the case. The most useful things she does is run in front of bullets and draw enemy fire.
Oh, and one time she totally saved us from being killed by ten guys – but that was one time Nadine!
We’ll be keeping that 50% thank you very much.
Uncharted: Lost Legacy Overview
The cool new edition of this game is a more open world sandbox-style feel, complete with
driving around a jungle environment to different objectives. This brings in a whole
new play style, giving you greater control over your combat and movement tactics. You can drive right up to the front door honking your horn or you can go all the way around the
map and sneak in from behind. Strategically placed zip lines and rope swings even let you come in from above if you are feeling adventurous. On the flip side, it means that about 40% of the whole game is in one chapter, driving around, losing that fast-paced storytelling of the more linear titles in the series.
Along with this new driving, there also seems to be less of a focus on gunfights. The classic Uncharted free-climbing up a sheer cliff face with nothing but endless upper arm strength is still there in abundance, but solving all of your problems with bangs is a thing of the past. Where Nathan Drake seems to solve even technical, mechanical problems by shooting just the right spot on the ancient monument, Chloe Frazer is more in favour of physics puzzles and mathematical timing – using a little more finesse.
Don’t let these new gameplay elements turn you away however, as a quick look at the statistics showed we still ran further than we drove and killed about 1000 people.
Get it together, Nadine! Did you even turn the safety off?
The game is definitely fun to play, especially with a newly established character
dynamic, but there are a few small things that we found disappointing.
The first is that the game was clearly not originally intended to be a stand-alone game and as such is very short. We completed the whole thing in less than 8 hours and we were by no means doing a speed run.
The second, and SPOILER ALERT, is that after finally getting on board with the fact that Uncharted games mean we are going to have to fight some sort of zombie/yeti/immortal being, this game has none! There are no mythical beasts to be slain, meaning the difficulty curve never gets high enough to be fully satisfied. It also probably explains why the game feels (and is) so short. Also, the final treasure has no crazy superpower! Massive anti-climax.
Uncharted: Lost Legacy is a fun adventure that combines fast-paced action with brain testing puzzles, all set in beautiful locations across India. The short story mode, when coupled with the insane multiplayer (another story for another time) does have enough replay value to make the game worthwhile, but a little more time in development, with additional story and co-op elements, would have made this game something truly awesome.