In May of 2016, developer Naughty Dog released their fourth and final installment in the Uncharted franchise, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. When I reviewed the game here at Darkstation I gushed about it being an “absolute treasure that combines action and story in a beautiful concert that I never wanted to end.” And a year and a half later after replaying much of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End again I stand strongly by my adoration of the game. And although I thought it was a perfect bow to put on the highly praised franchise I was excited to see what Naughty Dog would do with an Uncharted game that didn’t star Nathan Drake. The good news is, it’s still pretty great.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy instead focuses on two side characters we’ve met in past Uncharted games, Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross. The two come together to find some more treasure in India. The game throws you straight into a very Uncharted-esque chase scene, with Nadine and Chloe running for their lives through an Indian city. This first chapter or so sets the stage for an adventure that although feels familiar is able to differentiate itself with the two lead characters. Nadine and Chloe are characters that work exceptionally well together. They have banter that hits many different beats than that of Drake and Sully. In fact, if I had to nail down what I enjoyed most about The Lost Legacy it would be that an Uncharted game is still great without Nathan Drake as the lead.
Much of the gameplay in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy will feel familiar to anyone that had played Uncharted 4. There are a lot of reused mechanics, although Naughty Dog does try to flip the formula a bit. Pretty early on in the game, you get to a stage that completely opens up and allows you to tackle a dozen or so objectives in whatever order you want. For those that played Rise of the Tomb Raider it’s sort of like that game’s quasi-open world. Sadly, though this was far and away the weakest moment in The Lost Legacy. Although the open-world is absolutely gorgeous, it’s hollow with very little to do. There are also a ton of moments that you think Chloe and Nadine will be able to traverse a location only to find you not able to or slipping down muddy roads. There’s huge potential for Naughty Dog to dive further into open-world concepts in future games, but in The Lost Legacy, these two chapters left me more frustrated than I would have liked.
Luckily the open-world section is a short interlude in what is otherwise a very highly polished and exciting Uncharted experience. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Uncharted puzzles but The Lost Legacy really impressed me in that regard. None of the puzzles were obvious, but they were expertly crafted and given enough time are not impossible to figure out. Having played this game pre-release, I was able to get through all of the game’s many environmental puzzles without any sort of guide or assistance.
I’m fortunate to have both a 4K TV and a PlayStation Pro. In the time, I’ve had both there have been very few games that I’ve asked my wife to come over and look at. I must have done that at least a dozen times in The Lost Legacy. Much of the game takes place in lush jungle environments that pop beautifully in 4K HDR. If there was ever a game to show off this technology, The Lost Legacy would be that game.
When I wrapped up the 7-8 hours of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy I was sort of blown away with how polished and enjoyable the experience was. At times, Uncharted 4 felt a little combat heavy for me, but The Lost Legacy feels like it does a better job of balancing traversal, combat, and puzzles. Although there were two chapters that comprised the open-world segment of The Lost Legacy that didn’t do it for me, the rest of the experience is so polished and so enjoyable that it more than made up for it. Not to mention that Nadine and Chloe are fantastic characters that make for a truly memorable Uncharted experience. Uncharted 1-4 may have been all about Nathan Drake, but this game proves without a doubt that Uncharted can live on without him.
I'm the Owner & Editor in Chief of Darkstation.com. After spending seven years as the reviews editor I took over the site in 2010. The rest is history. Now I work with our amazing staff to bring you the best possible video game coverage. Oh and I really like sports games.