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Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Is More Than Just A Final Bow For The Series

A new beginning?

After sitting on the sidelines for Nathan Drake’s final adventure, fan favourite Chloe Frazer is back and she’s about to find herself right at the heart of a sweeping new adventure in the Uncharted world. Chasing after the Tusk of Ganesh in the Western Ghats of India, she’s going up against a warlord named Asav, who’s waging civil war in the region. Obviously getting Drake to back her up is off the table, so she turns to a less likely figure in the form of Nadine Ross.

There’s a fascinating dynamic between these two characters. They both have different strengths and weaknesses, with Chloe being more wily, more likely to double cross and then book a ticket out when the going gets tough, while Nadine is more bullish, straightforward and, as we saw in Uncharted 4, willing to stick single-mindedly to the task at hand.

Yet their backgrounds are actually rather similar. Chloe’s father, it turns out, was an Indian archeologist, and its his research that she’s following to try and uncover the Tusk. There’s distinct shades of Lara Croft to her background, and there’s a similar degree of trying to live up to expectations and legacy with Nadine, after her family PMC, Shoreline, crumbled in the face of the Drake brothers. As you explore, similar to Uncharted 4, these two chatter, getting to know each other and pushing some parts of the narrative forward. There’s also been work done to ensure that she’s a marginally better and more accomplished companion in combat and adventuring, to the point that she found and triggered a switch for a puzzle in the first fortress I discovered.

Originally pitched as being the first single player DLC in the series, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy emerged instead as a full adventure to stand on its own merits. While Naughty Dog haven’t pinned a specific number of hours on the game’s length, it’s to be at least as long as the PS3 games at around 10 hours, which is genuinely impressive when you consider that it’s all been created in effectively one year. That will, of course, have been helped by all the foundations of Uncharted 4 being there for them to build on.

It’s the same engine, doing the same kinds of things, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive and it’s still one of the best looking games going. The Western Ghats are lush and verdant, ripe for exploring and really showing off what this game engine and the PlayStation 4 can do.

Yet that doesn’t mean that the team headed up by a new lead creative duo – Shaun Escayg and Kurt Margenau – haven’t been able to push the envelope in a number of ways. This might be a kind of “best of” compilation of Uncharted gameplay, where you have more overt puzzle temples once again mixed in with the wide linear level design and third person action gunplay mixed with plenty of stealth from Uncharted 4, but here Naughty Dog have created both the largest single area in the series and loosened the shackles of linearity even further.

Exploring the Western Ghats of India in a 4×4, what lies before you is distinctly reminiscent of the Madagascar level from A Thief’s End. However, with three temples or fortresses to try and discover in this area, each devoted to a different symbol, of course, it’s entirely up to you which direction you go first. All you have is a map of the area that Chloe can jot notes down on, her smartphone to take photos on, and Nadine to back you up when you bump into pockets of new arch villain Asav’s private army.

Some of these you can simply drive on by, though you might prefer to take them on, whether stealthily or going in guns blazing and fists punching. The reward at the end is a locked crate, for which Chloe pulls out a couple of bobby pins and gets to work in a simple unlocking mini-game. There’s further secrets in the area as well with little statues to discover that Chloe marks on her map, destructible walls and more.

Really what this game demonstrates is that there’s still plenty of life in Uncharted yet. Nathan Drake might have been waved off into retirement, but as Chloe demonstrates, there’s plenty of other characters that can fill those adventuring boots. Not only that, but there’s still plenty of ways that the adventuring can be expanded upon in new and interesting ways. The Lost Legacy might be seen by many as a last hurrah for the series, but maybe, just maybe, it’s actually a new beginning.

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