Uncharted: The Lost Legacy review for PS4

Platform: PS4
Publisher: SIEA
Developer: Naughty Dog
Medium: Digital/Disc
Players: Multi
Online: Yes

To spite the long term popularity of Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider franchise (insert somewhat misguided comparison to Uncharted here), truly high profile female-driven action adventure titles have still been relatively few and far between. Of course factoring in non-white female protagonists and that list gets quite a bit shorter. So with the massive success of new IPs such as Horizon: Zero Dawn and the on-going popularity of Blizzard?s diverse Overwatch cast, is it possible we are entering a bit of a renaissance period of videogame inclusivity? We hope so.

Undoubtedly, since Uncharted 1, fans were considering the possibility of Elena Fisher starring in her very own treasure hunting adventure. Well, that never happened. Then following the events of Uncharted 4 we were thinking that Cassie, Nathan and Elena?s daughter, would maybe pick up the torch. Who knows, maybe that will happen. So we were surprised as anyone when Naughty Dog revealed that the next Uncharted adventure (which began life as an Uncharted 4 DLC expansion) would be lead by two notable females from past installments: Chloe Frazer, of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves; and Nadine Ross, of Uncharted 4: A Thief?s End. Both women have had interactions with the Drakes in one way or another in the past, whether it be violence or romance, so they are relevant players in the Uncharted universe. Having them somehow team up in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy was apparently not much of a stretch, and it makes sense in the context of the backstory that Naughty Dog crafted for the game.

Long story short, in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, Chloe is in search of the Tusk of Ganesha which her father had previously been hot on the trail of when he disappeared. In typical Uncharted form, a team of well-funded treasure hunters, lead by a war profiteer known as Asav in this case, also happens to be working on locating the same treasure. (What a coincidence!) Chloe then seeks out the assistance of Nadine Ross and her butt-kicking mercenary skills to help track down the invaluable tusk.

There are a few plot twists and turns during the 6 – 10 hour long adventure (depending on difficulty and play style), but most of your time will be spent working through several chapters set in the lush south west coast of the Indian peninsula. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a little less story heavy than Uncharted 4, and in general, the pacing is more brisk, with well timed action, exploration sequences and fantastic series-signature set pieces dispersed throughout. The exploration framework is definitely built on top of Uncharted 4, with very similar gameplay mechanics, the ability to drive a Jeep in an open environment, the grappling hook, and some stealth elements.

I?d say that Chloe is a little more adept at stealth than Drake was, and she frequently gets access to a silenced pistol and encounters that lend themselves well to quiet takedowns. That?s not to say that she won?t be picking up a grenade launcher, C4, or an array of heavy weaponry depending on the scenario. There?s definitely more reasons to use the grappling hook in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy too thankfully. Considering that Nadine is your A.I. partner through most of the chapters, thankfully she?s good at what she does, never gets in the way, and is never a burden. A lot of the backstory of both characters is exposed during casual conversation throughout the game, and even without a lot of lengthy non interactive cut scenes, by the end, players should have a solid understanding of Chloe and Nadine?s lives and motivations.

It sounds like a strange aside, but I usually have a difficult time playing any Uncharted game until I?ve scoured every square inch of the environment for treasures and artifacts which are scattered throughout the chapters. Without spoiling too much, in The Lost Legacy, I absolutely love that Naughty Dog found a way to help streamline that experience by offering a side-quest for an item that assists in locating hidden treasure. This item took alleviated the stress of being a collectible completionist to an extent and allowed me to enjoy playing through the game at a more normal pace. Now if they could only patch that feature into previous Uncharted games and make sure to include it in potential future installments, then we?d be golden. But I digress.

So yeah, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is an absolutely gorgeous PS4 experience, no matter the platform you play the game on. For the purpose of this review, we primarily used a PS4 Pro on a 4K HDR-capable set, and it generally looks and performs on the same level as Uncharted 4 on the same setup. Honestly, after being spoiled by dozens of hours of Horizon: Zero Dawn, I kind of forgot how great looking the Uncharted visuals were. There?s no shortage of lush, interactive vegetation, super detailed character animation, and striking lighting and effects all around. Even the more wide open free roam chapters hold it together really well.

The action sequences and puzzle solving are not insanely difficult in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy , and most average players will breeze through the default setting without a ton of restarts. There were one or two semi-confusing ?where do I go next?? scenarios (there are on-screen hints, if needed), but that was a relatively rare occurrence. As alluded to earlier, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy fits somewhere between a single player DLC expansion and a full blown game, and at $40 for around 6 – 10 hours of gameplay we have no complaints. Factor in the full-featured Uncharted 4 multiplayer experience, complete with the competitive and co-op survival modes, and you have many additional hours of Uncharted fun. Uncharted 4 multiplayer has withstood the test of time thankfully, and Naughty Dog has had plenty of time to fine tune the unlocks, challenges, maps and abilities.

Overall, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a fun romp through a little more of the Uncharted universe and I can’t imagine that players invested in the franchise will disagree. Naughty Dog did a really nice job fleshing out a pair of once-supporting characters and made us care about who they are and where they came from, and not just because they are women and/or persons of color. Check it out.

Grade: A-