Nine years after the original Uncharted took the PS3 by storm, Naughty Dog finally brought the story to its conclusion with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End in 2016. It was not only the best game in the series, but also my favorite game of 2016. It was also a rare final chapter that left me completely satisfied — I was not dying to find out what happened next. I was content that Nathan Drake’s story had come to an end.
But Nathan Drake was just one character in the Uncharted universe. In fact, he wasn’t even the most interesting character in the Uncharted universe, which is why a spinoff starring Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross — a former love interest and a former foe of Drake, respectively — manages to serve as the perfect epilogue to the franchise without overstaying its welcome or stepping on any toes.
In spite of its new main character, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a fairly traditional Uncharted game. You climb ruins, solve puzzles, shoot bad guys and listen to two death-defying adventurers make witty quips from start to finish, but Naughty Dog has introduced enough original elements to keep the game fresh. But before we get into any of that, the real strength of the game is its characters.
Following the events of Uncharted 4, Chloe Frazer — a fan favorite introduced in Uncharted 2 — is on the hunt for a for an ancient Indian artifact hidden in the ruins of the Hoysala Empire. But she can’t do it by herself, which is why she enlists the help of Nadine Ross: the former leader of the private military group Shoreline that stood in the way of the Drake brothers in Uncharted 4.
Together, Chloe and Nadine trek into India’s Western Ghats, where the promise of riches awaits them. But a warlord named Asav is hot on their trail, so it’s a race to see who can obtain the treasure first.
Asav is not an especially memorable villain, but the dynamic between Chloe and Nadine breathes new life into a series that has seemingly run its course. Chloe and Nathan Drake have their similarities — a sharp wit chief among them — but I found myself far more invested in the relationship between Chloe and Nadine — a stern mercenary with a lighter side — than I was in the relationship between Nathan and his wife in A Thief’s End. The two pair exceptionally well together.
Chloe and Nadine were both strong side characters throughout the series, but giving them center stage pays dividends for Naughty Dog. Even if you don’t know their back stories, you’ll learn everything you need to know about them as their friendship and partnership evolves over the course of the game.
Another way that The Lost Legacy diverts from the mainline Uncharted games is by dumping the players into a sizable open world for close to half of the game (or more if you decide to complete all the side quests and find all of the collectibles scattered around). Chloe and Nadine drive from one destination to the next in a 4×4, hopping out to explore a new ruin or solve a puzzle to advance. It’s a nice balance between the more linear segments that bookend the game’s story.
As with all of the Uncharted games, gun fights break out fairly frequently, and while some encounters were more enjoyable than others, I was almost always desperate to get back to the climbing and jumping by the time the fight was over. The set pieces are still as exciting as ever, especially the final one (which I won’t spoil here), but Uncharted still hasn’t quite nailed shooting.
Once you’re done with the campaign, which took me six hours to complete (although I missed plenty of collectibles along the way), you can play the entire suite of multiplayer content from Uncharted 4, including the coop survival mode and the competitive multiplayer mode. It’s not my cup of tea, but if Uncharted combat is your thing, you can play it all with The Lost Legacy.
Going in, I really didn’t have any expectations for the Uncharted spinoff. But having played it, I now think it’s a vital piece of the puzzle for the popular PlayStation franchise. If you’re a fan of the series and want to go on one last adventure, The Lost Legacy serves as a perfect postscript to A Thief’s End.
Sony provided BGR with a copy of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy on the PS4 for the purposes of this review.