With the release of Uncharted 4 on the PlayStation 4, Naughty Dog set a high bar for other consoles exclusives to hurdle. Impressive visuals, with unparalleled over-the-top action sequences, and second-to-none story telling has become what we expect from the developer. While Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a stand-alone expansion for that game, and a smaller experience, those who do come back for more Uncharted are in for more of the same. For better or worse, The Lost Legacy retreads old ground in terms of gameplay mechanics while taking us on a brand new adventure with characters that fans will enjoy to learn more about.
Set shortly after the events of Uncharted 4, The Lost Legacy reintroduces Chloe Frazer who forms an unlikley alliance with Nadine Ross. While Chloe played a large role in Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3, the fan-favorite character never appeared in Uncharted 4. Nadine on the other hand played a large part as one of dual antagonists of that game. Like every other Uncharted game before it, The Lost Legacy takes players on a treasure hunt. The two have their sights set on an Indian artifact and are racing against an Indian warmonger named Asav to capture it. It’s certainly not untreaded ground for the series.
It’s highly likely that the majority of people who play The Lost Legacy will have played Uncharted 4. It’s important to remember that this is essentially a piece of downloadable content for that game — Albeit a very big piece of downloadable content that offers a 7-9 hour campaign alongside access to the Uncharted 4 multiplayer suite and Survival Mode. So here’s where the problem with Lost Legacy somewhat lies. A lot of this game feels reused from Uncharted 4. While there have been some slight attempts to switch up the formula, The Lost Legacy is essentially a much more compact story that branches off of the main game. It’s big action sequences have been paired down to only a handful. It’s combat sequences much less varied. The Lost Legacy feels like a more palatable single player experience that can be completed in a sitting or two. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. One of the big complaints that many had about the main game is that the pacing was a little off, getting a little long in the rush to the finale. That all said, The Lost Legacy is a must for Uncharted fans… if just for the extra character development that we get to see out of Chloe, Nadine, and others from the Uncharted 4 storyline.
The Lost Legacy is a more compact story branching off of Uncharted 4
It’s a game that makes us think that life without Nathan Drake is definitely a possibility. Naughty Dog’s expertise in building characters and relationships shines brightly in The Lost Legacy. Despite her multiple showings in different Uncharted games, we get to see a different side of Chole than we’ve ever seen before. Nadine’s character also gets more fleshed out, showing us what the aftermath of the events of Uncharted 4 meant to her and how they impacted her life. The duo form an unlikely friendship across the course of the campaign, with all of the witty banter and heart-felt moments that we’ve come to expect from the writers at Naughty Dog.
On the gameplay front, The Lost Legacy does not re-invent the Uncharted formula. Climbing, puzzles, and combat are the core tenants of the series, and it makes up the bulk of The Lost Legacy. Naughty Dog does try some new things that could be considered “open-world.” The give players a big playground early on in the game to explore, that offers both tasks to complete that progress the main storyline and some side treasure hunting missions. This open world element reuses the 4×4 off-road driving mechanics that Uncharted 4 had. However, The Lost Legacy allows players to explore more freely than any game in the series.
The sprawling Western Ghats environment features numerous puzzles to complete and doesn’t really hold your hand on a linear path in the way that previous Uncharted games have. It’s nice to see that Naughty Dog is continuing to develop their quasi open-world experiences. Going back to compare this open area with Uncharted 4’s similar area, there appears to be more of everything. Each part of the Western Ghats has spots of dense foilage, unique rock formations, waterfalls, and plenty to make this area of the game feel alive. Where other open world games can feel somewhat sparse, Naughty Dog manages to make this both functional and fun for the player. While this explorable world mechanic isn’t entirely new, it feels like a refinement and an improvement from Uncharted 4. The other new gameplay mechanics aren’t nearly as meaningful. A new lock-picking mechanic is introduced in the game, and it’s really unclear why they chose to do that here. Regardless, the bulk of The Lost Legacy is familiar territory in the gameplay department.
The Lost Legacy is one of the best looking games on consoles today
The release of the PlayStation 4 Pro gave owners a good reason to go back and play Uncharted 4 once again. The Lost Legacy appears to take advantage of the more powerful console in exactly the same ways that the base game did. You’ll get a 1440p experience on the PlayStation 4 Pro, high resolution textures, and impressive character models. The 1080p version of the game is no slouch either. Despite being a year older, those looking for further improvements on the visual front over Uncharted 4 aren’t going to find them here. That said, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is one of the best looking games on consoles today, standing side by side with Uncharted 4. The engine that powers these games still feels best in class.
The Lost Legacy also features access to all of Uncharted 4’s multiplayer content. This includes the Survival Mode and all of the downloadable content updates that have been introduced since the original game launched. A new mode called Survival Arena Mode launches with the game, that is a 1-3 player cooperative variant of Survival Mode. This new take on Survival Mode features 10 evolving waves of enemies, boss encounters, and round modifiers that can impact the game in unique ways. As we stated in our review of Uncharted 4 multiplayer, this is a take it or leave it mode. It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but Naughty Dog seems to have something for every kind of player. Whether that be competitive multiplayer that manages to capture the essence of the single player campaign or cooperative play with friends.
The Lost Legacy is a worthy expansion for Uncharted 4. Naughty Dog pushes right up to its own high bar in terms of story telling, visuals and gameplay design. So long as you aren’t expecting an adventure of the size and scope of the base game, it’ll be hard to leave disappointed.