The Uncharted series returns once again on the Playstation 4 in the form of Uncharted: Lost Legacy; a standalone expansion to last year’s fantastic Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Unlike most downloadable expansions, Lost Legacy stands on it’s own as a full retail package much more than it was originally designed to be. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love the series, but I’ve always criticized it more than most people. A Thief’s End was one of the best games from last year but it suffered from serious pacing issues. I also found that I enjoyed my time more outside of combat than within it. Thankfully, Uncharted: Lost Legacy’s better pacing and shorter length makes for a perfect Uncharted adventure that never overstays its welcome.
This time around, Nathan Drake sits aside and allows Chloe Frazer to take the helm. We haven’t seen Chloe since Uncharted 3 and she’s a pretty popular character, so it’s nice to see her return. Nadine Ross, a sudo-villain from Uncharted 4, joins Chloe in a quest to find the fabled tusk of Ganesh hidden deep in the jungles of India. As with any Uncharted adventure, we have an antagonist equipped with an army chasing down the same artifact, who aims to stop Chloe and Nadine from getting the tusk first.
The narrative in Lost Legacy is much lighter than the one found in Uncharted 4 but still manages to be fun. Chloe makes for a great protagonist with her own style and sense of humor that contrasts Nathan Drake’s well. Nadine wasn’t the most interesting character in A Thief’s End but Naughty Dog fleshes her out much more in Lost Legacy, strengthening her character in the process. The duo works extremely well here and I would love to see the series continue with these two in the limelight.
Lost Legacy begins with a thrilling urban set piece and moves into an open-world environment, followed by a series of linear areas leading to its conclusion. The open world portion of the game is similar to Uncharted 4’s Madagascar segment but lasts a little longer. What’s surprising is that both games manage to make the concept of an open world Uncharted game much more appealing, since these segments work very well in both games. There’s even an optional side-quest included here. The game concludes with another exciting set piece that channels Uncharted 2 in particular and manages to go out on a very high note.
I’ve always been critical of Uncharted’s combat. It wasn’t until Uncharted 3 that I began to notice flaws in the combat design. Many enemy encounters feel bloated, especially later in the game, which become frustrating by using the ‘throw everything but the kitchen sink’ philosophy at the player. Luckily, Lost Legacy does not suffer from this and instead spaces it’s combat segments out more and in smaller chunks. I still feel the combat lacks weight or punch, but the inclusion of the grappling hook from A Thief’s End makes for some awesome possibilities for dispatching bad guys. Overall the game feels like it has the perfect balance of action, exploration and puzzles that makes the pacing feel better than any game in the series before it.
Speaking of puzzles, Lost Legacy includes some of the smartest puzzle design the series has seen. None of the puzzles included here are frustrating, confusing or overly simple. Naughty Dog designed these puzzles so intelligently that I always understood how to solve the puzzle but getting the solution took some thought and effort. Normally, I find myself looking up the puzzle solutions online and moving on whenever I would get stuck, but Lost Legacy’s puzzles kept me engaged until I solved them myself.
Visually, Lost Legacy is a huge treat to the eyes. The art design is stellar and the environments are some of the best I’ve seen included in this series. The game uses the same graphics engine as Uncharted 4 but a boost in the art design really helps create a more attractive looking title. Performance is solid with a steady 30 frames per second that rarely ever dips below that threshold. The implementation of PS4 Pro is pretty good too with a bump in resolution to 1440p and some beautiful use of HDR lighting (if you’re TV supports it). Just an excellent looking game with some jaw-dropping vistas.
Uncharted: Lost Legacy lasts around 6-8 hours, depending on the difficulty selected and whether or not you complete the side content and find the collectibles. All of the unlockable game modifiers and graphical filters from Uncharted 4 are included in the game too, making replaying the story more attractive. I was surprised to see the entire multiplayer suite included in this package, with the inclusion of a fun survival ‘horde’ mode to give players more to do. Overall you get a lot for $40 here and I feel Naughty Dog may have under-priced the game. Isn’t like I’m complaining though!
Lost Legacy is an excellent Uncharted game and may possibly be my favorite in the series. The story is fun and the game is paced so perfectly that it begs to be replayed. Chloe carries the game extremely well to where I didn’t miss Nathan Drake at all. This game feels more like a legitimate Tomb Raider game than the actual Tomb Raider games do. The return of the big budget set pieces were a joy to see and the environments and locals are some of the most gorgeous we’ve seen in the series. Uncharted fans will eat this up and it’s critics may find more to love here. Highly recommend adding this one to your PS4 library.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
- Chloe and Nadine are great leads
- Much better pacing than previous entries
- Amazing locales and vistas
- Great puzzle design
- Antagonist could be better
- Open world segments were short
- Combat is largely unchanged