From award-winning developer Naughty Dog comes a brand new Uncharted game, starring Chloe Frazer. In order to recover an ancient artifact and keep it out of the hands of a ruthless warmonger, Chloe must enlist the aid of renowned mercenary Nadine Ross and venture to India’s Western Ghats to locate the Golden Tusk of Ganesh. In Chloe’s greatest journey yet, she must confront her past and decide what she’s willing to sacrifice to forge her own legacy.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy marks the first official Uncharted game to not star the legendary treasure explorer, Nathan Drake who met a beautiful finale in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. On that front, The Lost Legacy is successful in bringing Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross into the center of attention through a loosely written story and enjoyable gameplay mechanics. However, like a film such as Solo: A Star Wars Story, Lost Legacy brings very few new things to the table that properly justify its existence, especially after such a resolute conclusion to the Uncharted series in A Thief’s End. Ultimately, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy proves to be an enjoyable experience, highlighted by a loosely written plot, well-developed characters, and exciting gameplay mechanics, however it doesn’t innovate on a series over ten years old, and brings little evidence to justify its existence.
Like Naughty Dog’s previous works, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy has excellent writing, some of the best in the medium. All the characters are well-realized, particularly Chloe and Nadine. The duo has a magnetic chemistry that works well in creating humorous and smartly written dialogue, all of which playing a hand in fully developing their relationship. The banter between these two characters is the primary driving force behind The Lost Legacy and possibly its greatest strength. The game doesn’t innovate on the Uncharted plot formula in the same, magnificent way Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End did. But even with a repetitive and predictable plot, it is well told and with a few surprises along the way, make the story enjoyable even though it isn’t groundbreaking. Through the eight hours spent in the main campaign, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy spends little time in poorly paced moments. The excitement of the story is kept throughout the experience, outside of an early open-world level that drags the story significantly due to poor level design. It is paced far better than Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End’s occasional slow mishaps and mostly kept players enticed to the screen. However, due to the lack of new elements, The Lost Legacy feels like an unnecessary addition to the series, even though it is technically one of the most ambitious. It is the first Uncharted spin-off but feels repetitive and dauntingly similar to previous entries, particularly Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Certain plot threads and set pieces are ripped straight from previous games, weakening the excitement and potential The Lost Legacy brings to the table. After the resolute conclusion of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, The Lost Legacy poses no real reason for the series to continue with additional spin-offs. It actually weakens the emotional impact of Uncharted 4, as most of that game was spent emphasizing the conclusion and its consequences. Ultimately, the story of The Lost Legacy is enjoyable and exciting, but it poses no real evidence for existence as it poses little innovation and weakens the emotional impacts of A Thief’s End.
Like Naughty Dog’s previous work, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is beautiful to explore. The environments feel meticulously detailed and designed. Each new environment is a sight to behold that heightened each scene. Even though the art direction is similar to previous entries even with the focus on Indian culture, the game is beautiful from a technical view and runs just as well. It runs at a steady 30 fps and no sudden dips in frame rate were noticeable throughout the game. The graphics prove to be one of the best for the PlayStation 4. However, it ultimately still falls short to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End due to some spotty looking eyes that appear on character models outside of the stunning cut scenes.
Easily the aspect of the game with the largest innovation, the gameplay of The Lost Legacy feels great and familiar, especially with the lack of frame rate drops. The gameplay mechanics are practically identical to that of Uncharted 4, outside of one meagerly used lock-picking mechanic. More innovative gameplay mechanics to heighten and innovate the series’ traditions would have been welcome and prove to be a gaping hole in the experience of The Lost Legacy. Like the Madagascar sequence in Uncharted 4, The Lost Legacy features a large open-world level early on. On paper, the idea could have potentially worked, but in game, it feels weak and gimmicky. There is little incentive to roam the areas freely as there is nothing to really find. In addition, poor level design caused constant frustration in traveling the level. Overall, with this experiment by Naughty Dog, it is clear that the Uncharted franchise should not ever attempt the open-world genre.
Collectively, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is far from a poor game. It features some of the best graphics available on the PlayStation 4, a loosely written story, and exciting gameplay mechanics. However, it is still easily one of my least favorite Uncharted games. Unlike previous entries, it doesn’t bring anything truly new to the table and what it does bring, feels gimmicky and repetitive. The story retreads similar themes and events from previous games and shortens the emotional turmoil players found themselves in following Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. The gameplay mechanics are practically identical to that of Uncharted 4 and playing as a new character doesn’t bring any new mechanics to the game. Ultimately, The Lost Legacy is an unnecessary addition, that while it brings an exciting, well-paced story and well-realized gameplay mechanics to an impressively details world, becomes a repetitive and frankly dry experience that lacks real innovation to a ten-year-old franchise.
Score: 6.4 out of 10