Uncharted: The Lost Legacy review (PS4)

Although Nathan Drake’s adventures came to an end in Uncharted 4, the franchise has been brought back with Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. Here’s our review of this great new PS4 exclusive.

Gamescom typically kicks off a season of blockbuster titles that lasts until mid to late November, and this year was no exception. The Lost Legacy was released in the same week as the Cologne-based trade fair, and Sony made sure visitors noticed. Walking around the grounds, larger-than-life ads for the game were hard to miss and Sony had reserved a large amount of booth space for the new Naughty Dog title as well. Lucky for us, blockbuster season starts off with a bang.

In Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, Nathan Drake is no longer the protagonist – a role that is now shared by two familiar characters from the previous games: Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross. Working together is crucial for them, and features heavily in both the gameplay and the story/character development within the game. Their common goal is to travel through India and retrieve a legendary artifact before the game’s antagonist (an arms dealer) lays his hands on it.

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It’s unlikely that a lot of gamers will use The Lost Legacy as their first steps into the Uncharted franchise, but I’d be extremely curious to hear what they think. For veterans of the franchise, there are a lot of familiar experiences to be found here despite the absence of Nathan Drake. The set pieces are great, there are a few nice puzzles mixed in between the cover shooter portions – it’s Uncharted all the way. While the first three games kept perfecting the formula and the just to PS4 made for another leap forward, The Lost Legacy feels like “more of a good thing” rather than something entirely new.

It’s a bit shorter than the previous games (and a little cheaper at launch too), but the campaign is still filled with the incredible attention to detail we’ve come to know and expect from developer Naughty Dog. This can be seen in the visuals, but also in the subtle ways in which on-screen details provide clues as to what you’re supposed to do next – a great fusion of aesthetics and gameplay.

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This wonderful hybrid does appear to fall apart a bit in the more open sections of the game – an attempt to make the game less linear and provide the gamer with more freedom of choice. The irony here is that in many parts this freedom is an illusion – with seemingly exciting paths of opportunity turning out to be nothing more than invisible walls. Perhaps, like the great action adventure movies it echoes, Uncharted is just better served with a move on-rail approach – even if that might draw some criticism from open world fans.

The character interaction is the best so far in an Uncharted game – Chloe and Nadine grow both as individuals and as a duo over the course of the game. It mixed some of the dynamics from The Last of Us with the gameplay of Uncharted in this sense, which can’t be a bad thing in anyone’s book. The writing is excellent, the adventuring is thrilling, and it’s a must have for Uncharted fans even though it doesn’t “wow” as much as the previous entries did. This is merely due to a lack of “new” parts, as there is the usual amount of polish applied to the writing, gameplay and visuals – which are once again gorgeous and make this a joy to watch even when you’re not the one playing.

Score: 8.8/10

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