Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Review
Travel to the jungles and ruins of India and discover the secrets of the Hoysala empire to find the long lost legendary Tusk of Ganesh, hidden to the ages, that is, until Chloe Frazer appeared.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is Naughty Dog’s (apparently) final installment to the Uncharted series. Development started soon after the release of Uncharted 4, and focuses more on Chloe, a supporting character from 2 previous titles in the series, giving us deeper insight into her character and story. The game was announced in December 2016, and afterwards in April 2017, we were given a gameplay video, revealing the release date (23 August 2017) as well as the pre-order bonus – Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy – for PS4. The game was at first intended to be DLC for Uncharted 4, but soon got “stand-alone” status after they realised the game would be larger than originally envisioned, and aren’t we glad for that.
The game is shorter than the other Uncharted games, but it doesn’t diminish the experience whatsoever. We’re given a better insight into Chloe as a character now that she is the protagonist, and I must say, I quite enjoyed her story. Chloe Frazer enlists the services of Nadine Ross, a mercenary, who had previously worked for a rebel group’s leader, Asav – who is also the main antagonist in this game – to help her find the tusk of Ganesh, an artifact that Chloe’s own father had been in search of before her, which eventually led to his life being claimed at the hands of bandits. Chloe and Nadine sneak into the rebel leader’s office to steal a map and a disc that will be key to leading them toward the tusk hidden within the ancient Hoysala Empire, but not without a lot of resistance and complications being caused by Asav and his forces. Together, Chloe and Nadine unlock the mysteries of the Hoysala Empire, solving puzzles and barely escaping death together. The two make quite a combo!
The dynamic between Chloe and Nadine works amazingly well, and is certainly one of the big reasons for what makes this game enjoyable. Watching the two grow during pressure-filled situations, covering each others backs, is great to watch. Naturally, both of these characters have a rocky past with the Drake brothers, especially Nathan Drake, more so Nadine than Chloe (if you know what I mean). The two make reference to these things a few times as they talk during car drives from one location of the map to the next, Nadine often laughing at the expense of Chloe for her “history” with Nathan, to which of course Chloe has a witty comeback, ready as always, in response to Nadine. The two share with each other their backgrounds, their motivations, and sure enough, the two end up developing a bond of sorts. Their initial interaction was quite uncomfortable and it’s like that for a while, which is realistic. Even though this is an Uncharted game, at no point did I ever think that an appearance by Nathan would make it any better. His presence would actually have spoiled this game, as the focus for this title was for these two “side”-characters, and I really enjoyed it. Nathan will need to share the spotlight with these two awesome ladies now!
After the first part of this Uncharted title, we make our way to the Western Ghats, where we spend a good amount of time, solving puzzles and finding lost treasure items (for those who like to unlock the Game Trophies), but what makes this part the most exciting is that the entire area becomes semi-open world. Here we are given the largest expanse of explorable and playable space that the Uncharted series has ever had, and I would encourage players to make the most out of what the area offers. It doesn’t take long to explore and the rides don’t feel as tedious while Chloe and Nadine have their back-and-forth banter. I enjoyed Chloe’s humour the most during these moments… and all other moments too, in fact. Her attitude and sass makes her an even more intriguing character than before. The jungles and ruins are amazing to explore and pleasant to the eye, often leading to one jumping into the Camera Mode and manipulating the sun’s position to shine light on the environment for a picture perfect capture. Chloe herself seems to like taking pictures of the environments, as you often find opportunities for her to take a photo with her phone (where you will also unlock trophies).
The puzzles themselves are well thought out and satisfying to solve. You need to have a keen eye for the traps during certain situations, like jumping on platforms, where each jump leads to a statue moving with a weapon, and it repeats its movements as you jump. You need to be careful, because the statue can end up knocking you off the platforms, which will require that you redo the puzzle entirely. Other times, there are objects that need to be shuffled in specific order, or (without giving away too much) you need to do what Quasimodo does. Asav’s troops like to spoil your fun during these moments, and of course you have one of two ways to take care of them; Sneak kills, where you take down every enemy without ever being discovered (my personal favourite), or go in guns blazing, lobbing grenades as you go and using your knockout punches and team attacks that you can initiate with Nadine if she is close enough. These team combo attacks are automatically initiated and quite entertaining to watch. The areas are so well designed, allowing you to come up with many strategies to flank and outsmart the enemies. You’re limited to two guns, a pistol and a rifle, and four grenades. Whenever you encounter Asav’s troops, they’ll usually have a chest inside one of their trucks or in the middle of the field containing guns, ammo, grenades, or a treasure collectable, so make sure to open them as soon as you come across any. Chloe is a master lockpicker, and the lockpicking mini-game is pretty fun too, utilising the vibrate function in the remote control to locate that sweet spot in the lock.
Lastly, I should mention that Uncharted: The Lost Legacy includes a full multiplayer component, much like what you found in Uncharted 4, but now there is a new feature that has been added, called “Survival Arena Mode.” I will be honest, I saw little point in the multiplayer aspect of these games, whereas they’re not terrible, they’re not fantastic either. I was a lot more drawn to the Single Player campaign and felt no compulsion to play the Multiplayer as a way of “extending the Uncharted experience.” I know that there are some that enjoy this though, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to find anybody to play with, but my experience ended with the Single Player campaign, and my word, what an ending we were treated with. The story with Chloe and Nadine has potential to give us new games from different perspectives, which I’m not saying will happen, but if we get more titles featuring Chloe as the new treasure hunter, partnered with Nadine, will still give us the Uncharted gameplay we know and love.
The Lost Legacy has been a great experience, filled with moments of awe at the sceneries, laughs at Chloe’s approach to any situation, and the dynamic between her and Nadine. The combat is one of the things I ended up enjoying a lot, but I enjoy the exploring and puzzle-solving the most. What made me favour Chloe even more was finding out who was the voice actress: Claudia Black – who also voiced Vala from my all time favourite TV Series. The voice suits the personality perfectly and once I found out, I enjoyed the experience even more. Good job Naughty Dog, you chose the right voice actresses. Lest we forget who voiced Nadine; Laura Bailey. Credit needs to be given to these two and their fantastic performance. The game way of communicating with the players was fun too, telling us that we won’t find any more “Box” puzzles when Nadine comments at Chloe after a mishap that they need to avoid boxes from now on. The graphics were amazing, the music fits the theme, and the gameplay is awesome! The game is fairly short in comparison to the other games, but the experience was good, and I recommend this game for any fan of the Uncharted series. The price, at the time of this review, is R555.00 at BTGames. It would seem that the overall playtime was considered in the process of choosing the price.