Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is like a mega mix of iconic Uncharted moments. We’re roughly halfway through the standalone side-story – it’s meatier than you may imagine – but an early embargo means that we can share our impressions so far. And it’s good – like, really good. Make no mistake, the mechanics (aside from a new lockpicking system) have been lifted wholesale from Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, so playing it does feel familiar. But if you were a fan of that game – we happened to like it a lot – then the brand new plot here starring Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross should pull you in from the off.
The introductory sequence – set in a bustling Indian marketplace – serves as a reminder of two things: Naughty Dog’s engine is in a completely different league to what you typically see on the PlayStation 4, and its eye for cinematography is a cut-above, too. As Chloe haggles with a youngster over the price of a traditional garb, the studio sets out its stall. Essentially, the protagonist is in pursuit of the Tusk of Ganesha – but she’s not the only one. Nadine, who’s had private military company Shoreline wrested from her control, has been brought along for the ride – but she has history with antagonist Asav, an unhinged warlord who’s also after the artefact.
Uncharted has always done digital tourism well, and whether it’s sneaking through the rain-slicked urban areas of India or exploring the more rural Western Ghats, the game transports you to these faraway, foreign locations. This may be a spin-off, but the developer’s art department is dazzlingly on-point – the game plays host to arguably some of the best vistas that the series has seen to date, and it’s possible that it’s upgraded its engine to cope with some of them. Seriously, some of these views stretch on for literal miles – it’s impressive.
But, in the case of the Western Ghats, it’s not just an illusion: this, as reported previously, is the largest location in the brand’s history. And using a familiar-looking 4x4, you’re free to explore it as you see fit. There are landmarks you need to hit in order to further the story, but there are also dozens of standalone puzzles that you can complete in order to collect tokens which feed into a secret item that we won’t spoil. This level alone took us just over three hours to complete, which perhaps gives you an indication of its scale.
But while such a large environment may sound pace-sapping, the studio does a good job of keeping the story moving. Chloe and Nadine barely know each other at this point in the plot, and so any “downtime” is filled with banter. It’s during these moments that the pair share backstory, even touching upon old relationships – including that one with Nate. “How did you decide who talks?” Nadine quips. “Or did you just talk over each other?” The writing is cheeky throughout, even poking fun at past games: “Sam seemed to appear out of thin air,” Chloe winks.
The neat thing about this narrative development is that it ebbs and flows around the action. Shootouts occur regularly in the Western Ghats, and if you need to take time out to deal with some mercenaries, the pair will temporarily pause their conversation, only to seamlessly pick it up again when the coast’s clear. It means that you’re always doing something while the relationship between the two characters is being built, and seeing as the “walking simulator” portions of A Thief’s End proved so divisive, we suspect that this solution may be better received.
But if you didn’t like the gameplay in Uncharted 4, then nothing’s going to change your mind here. It does feel, as you’d expect, extremely familiar – with the same mudslide mechanics and rope-swinging platforming lifted from the main game. Chloe, being a woman, does animate slightly differently to Drake – but her abilities are absolutely identical, aside from the fact that she can pick locks as part of a simple minigame. This system is used in a variety of ways, but mainly you’ll be leveraging it to open up supply boxes for new weapons and treasures.
But that’s why it feels a bit like a mega mix, as we alluded to at the start of this article. In around five hours of play thus far, we’ve scaled collapsing towers, engaged in vertical shootouts, sneaked our way through a city, ran across a rooftop, driven a jeep through a waterfall, and hovered up a dozen or so trinkets scattered across the world. This is everything that makes Uncharted good condensed into a single campaign with a brand new story involving two of its more mysterious characters. And if any of this paragraph appeals, then The Lost Legacy has been made for you. We’ll have a full review soon.
Are you tempted to give Uncharted: The Lost Legacy a try? Are you ready for more of Naughty Dog's adventuring series, or have you been burned out by the brand? Invent a secret sibling in the comments section below.
Good to hear that this is shaping up into what I expected - a new Uncharted 4 campaign which is a good thing. I think I was most concerned about story being skimped on but it sounds like this has that down too!
@got2sammyb Glad to hear its playing well - and a meatier game than expected - my big concern about this was that it would be over too quickly (we have all heard devs talk about their games lasting 8 hours when in reality they have been over much more quickly). Day one for me.
Genuinely interested to see what happens next with this franchise. Is this the start of a new beginning for naughty dog with uncharted; or is this their farewell lap before the reigns are passed to another developer. One thing is for sure, Sony definitely wont let it go out to pasture - there is simply too much potential left to explore.
I'm glad you're not really dinging it for being similar to Uc 4 like a couple other reviews I've seen because of course it is. I mean it was originally dlc for that game and was made in just over a year after Uc 4 released it was never going to be some series reinvention. Just wondering if you had to score it now what would you be leaning towards.
@dark_knightmare2 Based on what I've played, I'd give it a 9 right now.
@get2sammyb cool thanks for the reply that's what i was thinking it sounded like after reading the article
Hmmmm. This is the first thing in a while that's had me even slightly excited about this. I'm still on the fence, but if it reviews well I'll pick it up.
This is sounding great Looking forward to playing!
Naughty dog game is always day one for me, not just for buying it, but also playing it. Playing any other games is postponed for this game
Uncharted 4 is just sat in my draw gathering dust and sock fluff sadly. Working nights is a real bummer. I want this but doubt ill ever be in the mood to play. Sad times 😪 also not good at emotes im in my mid 30s
Great news so far
@verynaughtyboy We had the same embargo as everyone else, it's just that Sammy's taking his time with it instead of rushing to get the review done. We got the code in quite late, and the game isn't out until next week anyway, so no harm done.
@ShogunRok transparency and ethics. That's what I like to hear!
@verynaughtyboy Yeah, what @ShogunRok said. Bizarrely I've seen a couple of reviews note that they finished this game in six hours — but that's roughly how much I've played and I'm about halfway through.
They must have raced through it TBH.
From some reviews I've read it seems way short compared to Uncharted 1-4, but it's also $40 so it's a trade off. I expected it to get mostly mid-8s from reviewers and that's exactly where it's at (85) after 45 last I looked on metacritic. Still very strong for a sidestory and it was always going to get knocked down a bit because of that. Still can't wait, it's my third most-wanted game for the rest of the year after Super Mario Odyssey and Yakuza Kiwami. Have my pre-order paid off and will be at the store as soon as it opens on Tuesday.
@Gamer83 It's honestly no shorter than Uncharted 1, so I wouldn't worry about the length. I'd also argue it's potentially better paced than Uncharted 4 from what I've seen so far.
Sounds good. I'm really not concerned. Even if I do get through it in 5 or 6 hours - which I won't because I like to explore - it's still a budget release and 5 or 6 hours of Uncharted, imo, is better than 95% of other games on the market anyway. I loved Golden Abyss and that's also considered a 'lesser' Uncharted, so there's no doubt in my mind this is going to be one of my favorite games of 2017 right up there with the likes of Horizon, the Yakuzas and Nintendo's exclusives.
I completely forgot this comes out next week. Time flies!
I have been platting the PS3 Uncharted games but 4 plays different enough to make it feel fresh. And this plays like 4.
@get2sammyb You sound like you're enjoying it from this article, but does it make you hungry to play more Uncharted games beyond Lost Legacy? Would you like the series to continue beyond this chapter? I guess you may not be able to answer that until you finish the campaign, but I was just curious. I feel more open to the series continuing, whereas my feeling last year was that UC4 wrapped things up nicely and no more chapters were necessary.
@Gamer83 I prefer opencritic myself just because they don't use some ridiculous,super secret weighting system which is dumb and it's doing great there too with an 87. Regardless ND knocked it out of the park considering only a small part of their team worked on this and it's only their second standalone expansion ever
Honestly I'm more excited for the free Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy game that you get when you preorder.
@Bluetrain7 I do think the series could do with a bit of a rest just for the sake of not burning the franchise out. But yeah, I'd be happy with more non-Drake games in the universe TBH.
This game "feels" very Uncharted, despite the protagonist not being present.
I find the main characters in the uncharted series off putting. Its just too indiana jonsey for me lol. But i can get behind a female team lead. And the shorter game length will let me actually get through it as i find i often lose interest in games part way through.
@get2sammyb Thank you for always being so responsive. That is encouraging that you feel that way. I agree that a short break for the franchise could be in order, but I hope the series continues. I am sure that if it does then there will be further iterations on the game mechanics, which could keep it fresh, as Lost Legacy seems to be pretty directly built on the UC4 model.
@get2sammyb After ND releases TLOU2, what do you think their next project would be? Uncharted related or something completely new? 😮 Obviously we would have no clue...but interested in what everyone would like to see from ND.
If we are gonna get more from the uncharted franchise, a game about sully would sound great. His early years with him bluffing and shooting himself out of bad situations
@ArkhamKnerd I think it would be the right time for something new, but I'm pretty sure they'll be given the freedom to do whatever they want to.
Do I need the Disk for U4 to play this?
@SajidAmin no its a complete stand alone game.
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