Back in the treasure hunting racket.
[Warning: this article will spoil the appearance of a certain character who shows up midway in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.]
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy has a lot of flaws. While playing through the bite-sized adventure this week, I found that it essentially took the absolute worst part of Uncharted 4 (why the Madagascar jeep? why?) and put players in a small open world environment that the game really could have done without. For the first half, at least, the story and narrative pacing slows to an excruciating crawl because of all the driving and filler activity you have to get through before things really start to get good.
However, there was one shining positive amidst all of the complaints I have: the rapport between Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross.
Chloe is no stranger to longtime Uncharted fans. Making her debut appearance in Among Thieves, she ended up being a really fun character to watch onscreen. Her banter with Nate and Sully was sharp and witty, and she was overall just a really charismatic personality that was a ton of fun to have around. On the other hand, Nadine is relatively new to the Uncharted universe, and she served as one of the primary antagonists in A Thief’s End. She’s a tough, no-nonsense woman who gets shit done, and it’s very satisfying to watch her kick all sorts of ass in the game.
No one expected Chloe and Nadine to team up for The Lost Legacy, but it ended up being a winning formula, and I could see Naughty Dog potentially deciding to push the series forward with these characters at the helm.
Throughout The Lost Legacy, the interactions between the two women steadily evolve from a curt and professional relationship to a friendship that’s underscored by fierce loyalty and, of course, humorous exchanges that arise due to the charming clash of these two opposite personalities. Whereas Nadine is completely serious and focused on their mission at all times, Chloe’s more of a free spirit who encourages her to relax every once in a while. The relations between the pair are strained at times, but it quickly opens up for a proper friendship to blossom, and it’s actually really quite heartening to see two very capable women teaming up to hunt down ancient artifacts while kicking the heck out of The Lost Legacy’s newest self-righteous villain.
Speaking of kicking the heck out of people, a nod must be given to Naughty Dog for stepping up their AI game in this entry. While you’ll still get silly, immersion-breaking moments when Nadine steps completely out of cover but is somehow invisible to the enemy eye, the ally AI seems to be way better at helping you spot enemies in the area, and even occasionally helping you solve a puzzle or two. When you’re in combat, the two women are able to engage in awesome tag-team melee combos where Nadine will hold back an enemy, while Chloe proceeds to beat him up. The AI engagement in the game is pretty well-done, and it adds to the believability of Chloe and Nadine’s friendship. As Yami very accurately put it in our official review, this is essentially “Badass Women: The Game.”
While Uncharted 4 seemed to be a very definitive ending and close to the series, it did also open up the small possibility of being able to go on more treasure hunting adventures with Nate’s brother, Sam. And in a surprise twist of events, Sam himself actually makes an appearance in The Lost Legacy as well. When he teams up with Chloe and Nadine, even his interactions and relations with Nadine also undergo a smooth transition from hostile and aggressive to a more professional and peaceful alliance.
As a team of three, Chloe, Nadine, and Sam also end up working really well together. Sam provides even more comic relief as the hapless male who supports the women from the sidelines while also making humorous remarks, and Chloe and Nadine exchange looks and eye rolls whenever he does something without thinking. It’s an extremely unexpected and unlikely mix of characters, but it’s brilliant.
We know that Nathan Drake is out of the treasure hunting business for good, but we also know that Sam is eager to see what else is out there. And just because Nate doesn’t want to go on any more adventures, that doesn’t mean that Chloe and Nadine can’t do their own thing either. While I’m not really sure just how many ancient civilizations there are left to discover, it’s easy to imagine the start of a brand new Uncharted series featuring this team of three. As far as I can tell, they’ve got no overly concerned relatives or boyfriends and girlfriends to really worry about, so they’re pretty much free to go adventuring on their own, completely uninhibited with more comedic exchanges and interactions to look forward to.
A new Uncharted series with Chloe, Nadine, and Sam would also move away from the more intense and somber tones of the last two games, where Nate had already begun questioning his lifestyle. But these three are still relatively fresh faces, and are raring to go.
Naughty Dog has previously stated that it’s very unlikely that they’d make another Uncharted game after this, and that’s fine. A Thief’s End was such a fitting end to the series. That being said, they’ve also left the door wide open in The Lost Legacy, and it would not be a surprise if they chose to come back to this series a few more years down the road. And if they do, it should certainly be with Chloe, Nadine, and Sam.