It all started in 2007 with the birth of the Uncharted franchise. Amazing to think that was some 13 years ago now. It wasn’t until a couple of years after initial release that I purchased the first game in the series and started my adventures with Nathan Drake. Since then, I’ve been a part of his shenanigans and have loved Naughty Dog for creating something truly special. The series has always been a favourite of mine but the addition of an add-on to the fourth game had me on the fence. Needless to say, I bought it, tried it only recently and here’s my review.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (TLL) throws you into your typical treasure hunting world with the main protagonist switching from good ole’ boy Nate to the wisecracker Chloe Frazer. She teams up with Nadine Ross, who players of part four of the series will recognise, on the back of the events of that particular game. The two join up to locate the Golden Tusk of Ganesh but soon find themselves competing for the prize with an individual who is hellbent on cleansing the royal bloodline by wishing to sell the relic to buy a bomb, a device which he intends on using on the local population of “peasants”. It’s your typical we want the thing but someone else also wants the thing kind of storyline but it’s the chemistry between Chloe and Nadine that really makes this story shine.
The dialogue and growing relationship milestones between the pair throughout the game is a pleasure to witness – through both the highs and the lows. Chloe’s sarcastic one-liners and optimistic nature play well against Nadine’s stricter personality and straight to the point focus. By the end of the game the two play off each other near perfectly and it left me wanting to see more of their future adventures in treasure hunting together – not what I expected upon starting the game.
Gameplay mechanics cross over from the previous instalments with climbing, rope swinging and shooting etc all included in the mix as you would expect. Uncharted games are linear by design but at the halfway mark the game extends into an open-world – of sorts. This particular section of the game lets you tackle set tasks in any order you choose, breaking you free of that straight line gameplay and allowing you some freedom. It does stand out like a sore thumb however as it is wedged between scripted sequences, but it was still nice to have such an open location to roam in.
The game features the same climbing, jumping and swinging mechanics from previous games but it also carries with that the same niggles. Despite having pre-defined ledges and hand/handholds throughout the environments, Chloe sometimes fails in finding places to grab hold or reaches out (a visual key ensuring you know when it’s safe to jump) and falls to her death after failing to grab hold. Minor niggles but they become an annoyance over time.
As you would come to expect of Naughty Dog the game visually is vibrant, exciting and in some instances genuinely breathtaking. It still ceases to amaze me how great a game such as this looks when it comes to facial animations. You needn’t listen to dialogue as facial expressions do well at conveying how characters are feeling and portraying themselves within a scene. From the lavish greens of the overgrown jungle to the intricacies of the stonework and monuments, TLL is a feast for the eyes. Naughty Dog continues to set a high bar and I didn’t expect them to go under it with this outing.
Included is a variety of bonus items and add-ons you can use through subsequent playthroughs once you’ve beaten the game. Everything from new skins to gameplay modifiers and even weapons. Has a lack of ammo got you down? Here, have infinite! Zero gravity so enemies can become floating ragdolls? Sure, why not! Fancy bagging yourself two of your favourite weapons throughout the game? We got you covered!
They’re a nice little addition and make any additional playthroughs of the game bearable and somewhat entertaining. The render modes are a particular favourite of mine, though I wouldn’t recommend playing in 8-bit or ACSII mosaic for too long. It’s worth noting that Crushing can be completed using this bonus unlocks – but you didn’t hear that from me!
Overall Uncharted: The Lost Legacy has fought its way into my top PlayStation 4 games, a list which come to think of it isn’t that big. The storyline is pleasing, the relationship between Chloe and Nadine is a joy to watch flourish and being frank with you all it’s another Naughty Dog game that you shouldn’t just pass up. There are minor niggles, as with most heavy-hitters, but nothing drastic that takes away from the package as a whole.
Some advice – ensure you play Uncharted 4 beforehand so you have some context to who Nadine is and have a better understanding going into this game.