Originally billed as single player DLC for Uncharted 4, The Lost Legacy broke away from last year’s sequel to become its very own standalone instalment, though still there for those who bought the season pass. Benching the Drake brothers for fan favourite Chloe and Uncharted 4 villain Nadine, this turned into more than a three-hour thrill ride packed with set pieces. As good as that would be, The Lost Legacy is way bigger with more than one surprise up its sleeve.
Picking up a short time after the events of Uncharted 4, seasoned thief Chloe Fraser is on the trial of an ancient relic: the Tusk of Ganesh. Little is known about this precious artefact that once belonged to a lost kingdom deep within India’s stinning Western Ghats. Realising that it’ll take more than her research and smooth-talking, Chloe enlists the help of combat-ready mercenary Nadine Ross. Stoic, professional, and to-the-point, she isn’t exactly a perfect match for Chloe’s more carefree approach, and these clashing personalities being a plot device Naughty Dog leans on throughout their adventure.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an Uncharted game without a maniacal villain in tow. It isn’t long before Chloe and Nadine come face-to-face with Asav, the unassuming, softly-spoken militia leader who hounds them on their Indian excursion. Although he plays off existing archetypes, Asav makes for a great antagonist, combining the smarts of smarts of Rafe with the physicality of Lazarevic. The fact that he’s a racial supremacist, a pureblood obsessed with ancient Indian culture, makes him all the more interesting as a villainous character.
Despite a clear change in focus, The Lost Legacy isn’t a complete departure from Uncharted 4. The minute to minute gameplay still hinges around combat, exploration, and puzzle solving, each component as fluid and refined as they were in A Thief’s End. That said, there are some notable changes including the heavily-publicised hub world, breathing some open world magic into the series.
Here players are free to explore a sizeable open area at their own pace, taking in the scenery, battling patrols, and hunting for treasures on the way to visiting three fortresses in the area. It’s a freer approach fans than fans will be used to, but it’s a further evolution of the broader levels that featured in Uncharted 4, and in particular the Madagascar level that had you driving around what felt like a huge open area in the jeep. In The Lost Legacy, it actually is an open area, with nothing more than the jeep and a map to guide you.
This only accounts for a small portion of the game, however. It isn’t long before the series returns to its roots, layering on one explosive set piece after another with plenty of story-driven moments and surprises in between. Again, it builds on what went in Uncharted 4, with a stealthier approach often preferred in combat situations as you sneak through foliage and try to get the drop on enemies, and with Nadine there to back you up once it all kicks off.
What’s just as surprising is the game’s length. If you were expecting The Lost Legacy to last just a few hours then you are very much mistaken. From start to finish, our initial playthrough clocked in at around the eight-hour mark – the same amount of time it takes to beat some previous games in the series. While some may have questioned Naughty Dog’s decision to release The Lost Legacy as a standalone game, it’s more than justified.
That’s without even mentioning online multiplayer. This game bundles in the excellent multiplayer from Uncharted 4, looking to bring players in to join those still playing through through that game and adding content for all. The biggest change is the newly expanded Survival Arena co-op mode, which adds to the existing Survival mode with new stages and new enemies.
Forget Nathan Drake and Chloe Fraser, if you managed to bag The Lost Legacy as part of Uncharted 4’s season pass then you’re the real thief here. There’s a staggering wealth of content to explore, the quality of which is easily on par with A Thief’s End. The stakes may not be as high, but it’s impossible not build a connection with Chloe and Nadine or revel in the set piece action and story surprises. As far as standalone expansions go, they don’t get more epic than this.
Version tested: PlayStation 4 Pro