UNCHARTED: THE LOST LEGACY
OUT NOW FORMATS PS4
DIRECTORS Shaun Escayg, Kurt Margenau CAST Claudia Black, Laura Bailey, Usman Ally
PLOT Set after the events of 2016’s Uncharted 4:
A Thief’s End, The Lost Legacy shifts the series’ focus to characters that previously had supporting roles. We follow Chloe Frazer (Black) and Nadine Ross (Bailey) as they search for a priceless treasure from India’s Hindu past, encountering challenges of brain and brawn along the way.
UNCHARTED DIDN’T NEED The Lost
Legacy, but at the same time, this Uncharted 4 epilogue-cum-new adventure is a mostly welcome addition to the Sony series’ overarching story — one that’s so far been stretched across four main games. And it’s really the story that’s going to make you fight, climb, swim and drive your way through The Lost Legacy, as there’s very little innovation on display here in terms of how you actually play the game.
While this adventure casts you as Chloe Frazer (Black) rather than series staple Nathan Drake — her last appearance came in 2011’s
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception — she slips and slides, rolls and leaps much like the wise-cracking, shirt-half-tucked hero of old. In hand-to-hand combat she’s evidently schooled in martial arts, whereas Drake would simply slug it out; but truly, the moment-to-moment stuff here is almost every second alike to what preceded it.
This, and the repetition of mechanics, is acceptable, given The Lost Legacy’s roots — it was intended as downloadable content for Uncharted
4, before Naughty Dog realised it could go bigger and created a standalone experience. And with an eight-to nine-hour duration — Uncharted 4 ran over 15 hours — you’re unlikely to feel fatigued by doing the same stuff, several times.
Frazer is joined on her quest into rural India, in pursuit of a precious relic, by Nadine Ross (Bailey), a not-quite-reformed mercenary who served as an antagonist in Uncharted 4. The two become convincingly closer over the course of the game, occasionally commenting on what they’re seeing in a very nudge-wink fashion. “Everything always comes in threes,” is one such remark — and yes, don’t they just, from antique puzzles to rockets needed to take down an attack chopper.
Cutscenes carry the plot onwards, interactive elements typically comprising either combat against insurgent forces, traversal of often-vertical environments (always look for the white ledges, of course), and elementary brain-teasers that have to be cracked to unlock both progression-essential pathways and trophyticking extras. One of the game’s nine chapters is set in a modest open-world area, offering a few hours’ worth of 4x4 exploration.
As is standard with Naughty Dog productions, the voice acting is top-notch, and everything moves swiftly enough to keep the player engaged, even when wearing their triangle button out with persistent quick-time events. Yet, some things don’t quite click.
The main villain, the bespectacled Asav (Ally), rarely feels genuinely threatening due to a shortage of screen time. And when The Lost
Legacy properly refers back to Nathan Drake and his brother Sam, it feels like cheap fan service. It would have been sweet to see these girls get on with it, largely forgetting the men who were negative influences on their past lives.
But then, the weight of precedent was always going to be baggage here — and perhaps the real story of Frazer, a likeably sarcastic and eminently resourceful character, is yet to come in a Drakes-free Uncharted of the future.
VERDICT The Lost Legacy wears its series history on its sleeve, for better and worse. Its repetition could impact on what’s an enjoyable story, albeit one that’s never as blockbusterproportioned as Drake’s adventures.