Life After Drake - Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (REVIEW)
written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
After the final credits of the phenomenal Uncharted 4, I found myself wondering “could Uncharted still deliver in a post Nathan Drake world?” The ending of Uncharted 4 had a feeling of finality, closing out the long journey Nathan Drake, Victor Sullivan, and Elena Fisher started when they were looking for the treasure of El Dorado.
That answer to my question was found here, in playing Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, with a familiar face taking the lead role. Lost Legacy follows Chloe Frazer, someone who strangely was absent from Uncharted 4 despite playing such a large role in the previous two entries. Joining Chloe is Nadine Ross, the secondary antagonist from Uncharted 4 and the former head of the Shoreline mercenary company. This unlikely duo travels to remote parts of India to discover the lost capital of the Hoysala Empire and locate the Tusk of Ganesh. With the country gripped in civil war, Chloe and Nadine race against the clock as Asav, an infamous war-monger, also seeks the same treasure. It wouldn't be Uncharted if there wasn't a charismatic lead (check), lost city (double check), and an unhinged antagonist (triple check).
If you played Uncharted 4, the gameplay will feel similar. Please refer to that review to get a more in-depth look at the gameplay. Combat is played out from a third-person perspective, incorporating much of the improvements made to Uncharted 4's combat system. Gunplay is just as tight and incredibly satisfying as well, also the multi-tiered levels encourage creativity when faced against an enemy encounter. Chloe can swing around using her grappling-hook, sneak around tall grass, or just go full on Rambo and mow down the opposition in a hail of gunfire. Throughout the whole thing you only get to control Chloe with Nadine acting as a support character. Your support is actually pretty intuitive, if Chloe is hiding in tall grass then Nadine will do the same... even going so far as to stealthily dispatch foes when they get too close. Marking your enemies during an engagement also help greatly when playing stealthily.
Lost Legacy's story is mostly linear, delivering a clear and concise narrative while encouraging some exploration. What Lost Legacy does a bit differently is during the mid-point of the game; after meeting with Nadine and outrunning Asav's men, the world opens up as the duo venture to the Western Ghats, a mountain range that runs parallel to the western coast of the Indian peninsula. Here they attempt to get a leg up on Asav as they chase down three mysterious towers emblazoned with the weapons of Ganesh (trident), Shiva (bow), and Parashurama (axe). This part of the game opens up a huge area you can explore, which tower you hit first is entirely up to you and the Western Ghats also house several sidequests that add more to experience while not detracting from the overall game.
Each tower comes complete with several puzzles that are just as challenging yet not overwhelming. Given enough tries I eventually figured out each one with ease... some were harder than others... but that's all part of the Uncharted package. The Western Ghats plays out as the largest chapter depending on your level of exploration; the game still employs the chapter based system of previous titles... something I've always applauded it for. Uncharted proves that a game doesn't have to shoe-horn in a forced RPG system or an open world that encourages wide exploration to be engaging. Linear story telling in video games isn't a bad thing when the story being told is incredibly engaging... something the Uncharted series has in spades.
Visually, Lost Legacy is as gorgeous as previous entries in the series. From a war torn urban environment to the lush landscapes of the Wester Ghats, everything is rendered beautifully... pushing the PS4 to its absolute max. I don't have a PS4 Pro but even with my launch PS4 on a 1080p HD TV, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy still looked beautiful. The included photo mode made grabbing screenshots a breeze while letting me channel my inner shutterbug when gaming. Uncharted games are always very visually impressive, so that was never a worry to me. My one complaint came from the soundtrack, something that has less to do with this title but more to do with how iconic the themes from Uncharted have become. Lost Legacy's original score was forgettable, while it did fit the overall theme of the narrative... it lacked the gravitas I normally expect from an Uncharted title.
Lost Legacy sits at a good medium-groundfor length. My initial playthrough clocked in at about 7 ½ hours; I completed the entire story but left many sidequests and collectibles behind. It was satisfying, very satisfying. This isn't a full retail release... but at the same time it is way more ambitious than just a bit of DLC. Less than the cost of a full retail title but more than your typical DLC expansion, it fit and made for a good way to spend a lazy weekend.
Included in the package is the Uncharted 4 multiplayer with some Lost Legacy add-ons. Still a fun mode, though I do wonder how many are still playing Uncharted multiplayer.
If there was any concern that Uncharted couldn't survive without Nathan Drake... let this be the example that it can. While Drake made the series what it has become, Uncharted as a series has so much potential... so many stories to tell... that it would be a shame if this wonderfully fleshed out world of interesting characters can't continue just because Nate found his happy ending. There will always be a treasure, always be a lost city, always be a mad antagonist... all we need is a hero.
4.75 out of 5
DOPE! Proves that there is life after Drake!