The official Uncharted texbook.
The Uncharted games are so polished and well-made to the point where you just kind of know what to expect when you get into one. After all, these games have been pretty much following the same formula since the release of Drake’s Fortune back in 2007. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is the first major story expansion for the beloved series, and while it is an absolutely stunning game in its own right (as you’d expect), it also feels really safe.
I didn’t get any hands-on time with the game, but I was treated to an extended gameplay demo that was jam-packed with action, exciting setpieces, and beautifully scripted falls and scrapes. There’s a memorable bit in the demo where Chloe and Nadine are sneaking around in the bushes, trying to get the drop on two mercenaries standing near the edge of a cliff. Chloe says she’ll take the one on the right, but before she can do anything, Nadine’s already choking out one of the goons and kicking the other off the cliff without even sparing him so much as a side glance. “Well, that works too,” Chloe remarks in that iconic, snarky Australian tone of hers. The pair have this wonderful rapport with each other, and it’s just plain entertaining to watch.
After those brief moments of humor, though, the demo becomes an epic blockbuster action sequence where Chloe’s sliding down a mud path, gunning down mercenaries in her way and throwing fierce punches at anyone in her sight. Nadine backs her up, and the game becomes an adrenaline rush of climbing, running, shooting, and punching. There are, of course, explosions and crumbling structures as well.
The demo ends when Chloe and Nadine run into the main bad guy of Lost Legacy. Both sides are looking for the Golden Tusk of Ganesh, yet another mysterious artifact of marvelous power and value.
The Lost Legacy is pretty much standard Uncharted stuff. What’s really disappointing is that aside from having different fighting and climbing animations, Chloe, being the main protagonist of the expansion, seems to play almost exactly like Nate. She’s got the grappling hook introduced in Uncharted 4, and she runs and jumps and guns. Speaking to Naughty Dog, they stated that the team wanted to keep the core Uncharted gameplay intact, and that’s understandable, but it seemed like a missed opportunity to not give her some sort of unique gameplay trait or feature to distinguish her from the main character we’ve been playing as for 10 years. Not to mention the fact that Nadine, the hardcore martial arts-trained soldier, isn’t playable in the game either.
Everything about The Lost Legacy feels very textbook, and that’s not a terrible thing. It’s just safe and expected. Uncharted fans will undoubtedly love it, and I’m sure the expansion will be full of badass moments with Chloe and Nadine, and there’ll be puzzles and amazing Instagram-worthy vistas. It’s more of the same but, by all means, don’t let that turn you away from embarking on yet another heart-pumping close shave adventure.