Over the top action scenes, incredible characters, and cinematic quality storytelling are all things that have come to be expected of the Uncharted series. And while Uncharted The Lost Legacy has all of these and then some, a poorly paced first couple of acts keep it from reaching its full potential. Leading to a final product that feels more like a greatest hits album rather than an all new adventure.
Hanging by a Ledge
Taking place after the events of Uncharted 4 ,The Lost Legacy puts Nathan Drake on the back burner and instead focuses on Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross while on their search for the Tusk of Ganesh. However, in typical Uncharted fashion a dangerous militaristic operation is also in pursuit of the treasure and it soon becomes an epic race of reaching the Tusk first.
Unlike previous Uncharted games, The Lost Legacy‘s opening starts very abrupt and doesn’t give us much information at all as to where Chloe has been and why she is searching for the Tusk. Some of this does become clear in conversations the characters share with each other when exploring the game’s open environments, but nothing very compelling is revealed by either Nadine or Chloe. By the end of the game I felt like I knew nothing more about these characters than what I did going in. Which is rather disappointing considering I spent close to nine hours with them during the campaign.
That is not to say the story is a complete waste. Chloe has plenty of funny dialogue moments that always kept me tuning into optional conversations with other characters and the games villain, Asav, was surprisingly intimidating in the few scenes he was in. The short run time does keep the story simple and it never has the chance to reach the heights of some of the greater adventures in the Uncharted series.
Driving Me Insane
Playing as Chloe this time around really doesn’t change any of the game play. A majority of the combat still relies on cover based shooting with the occasional roundhouse kick thrown in for good measure. In fact, Chloe plays in every way just like Drake does, which is a kind of a double-edged sword. On one hand, the game play in Uncharted is great and doesn’t need to be altered, but it would have been nice for Chloe to have some different abilities to make her feel a little less like a re-skinned character.
However, one of the games early chapters decides to do something new for the series by offering a huge open area to explore with the jeep. This is easily the worst chapter in the game as it is littered with walls that appear to be climbable, but leave you feeling frustrated when you can’t. Sure the area is big, but it is hardly populated with any sort of life and traversing it is often more of a chore than anything else. Luckily this is only one chapter of the game, but due to this chapter’s length, it is where I feel like a lot of players will lose interest.
That is a real shame because right after you conquer that section of the game everything picks up. You will be climbing huge monuments, solving intricate puzzles, and even battling in some epic set pieces that are obvious nods to some of Nathan Drake’s previous adventures.
Welcome to India
One thing that I can say about The Lost Legacy’s setting is that it is downright gorgeous. Usually in Uncharted games the setting changes several time as you are trekking the globe in search of the destination. Here we start in India and we never leave and I am so glad because the lush forests of India are breath taking. I found myself playing around with the photo mode quite a bit and experimenting taking pictures of the amazing landscapes.
For some reason though the cut scenes don’t seem to have quite the same polish. Uncharted 4 has some of the most impressive graphics on the PS4 especially in the cut scenes, but here the characters don’t quite have the same level of detail in their facial animations. While it wasn’t enough to ruin the experience for me it was noticeable in certain sections and seemed like maybe something that the developer had to sacrifice for lack of time.
Overall for a DLC expansion to Uncharted 4, The Lost Legacy is quite impressive. That’s not to say it is without its flaws. The opening four acts are very slow and it’s not until act five (halfway through) that the game hits its stride. Even then some of the big action moments do feel like cover songs of the previous games and while they offer some cool callbacks to fans, there isn’t much that feels very new here. This is probably the weakest game in the series, but fortunately the worst Uncharted has to offer is still better than most games out there.