Even though Nathan Drake is no longer in the picture, do not disregard The Lost Legacy as a side project. It is a full blown Uncharted game, with its own marquee set-piece. Chase sequences, ancient structures collapsing all around you, ledges crumbling as soon as you would grab them; its all there.
Chloe and Nadine are off to India in search for the legendary Tusk of Ganesh. Both central characters have their own reasons for pursuing the Tusk, but on their journey they must deal with Asav, a rebel leader who will stop at nothing to find it. Over the course of the game, I never really cared for the antagonist. He did not have a unique personality which would differentiate him from other warlords in the series, and his actions were not that memorable when compared to fan favourites like Lazaravich or Rafe. As expected the acting and facial animations were exceptional, but his motives and mannerisms were lacking.
Chloe, on the other hand, finally gets her shot at being the lead and plays that role perfectly. The banter between her and Nadine is entertaining throughout, and their relationship feels just as organic as any other duo in the series. They fight and argue more often than not, but do come together to aid one another, sometimes for the sake of the treasure and other times as proof of friendship.
For a game starring Chloe, you may find the tone a bit too serious. It worked with Nathan Drake because it was the final game in the series and that was the end of his story, but players don’t have the same investment with Chloe because they would be playing as her for the first time. So when the tone does change to more light-hearted and chaotic fun, I can only dream of what could have been, if Naughty Dog had taken this approach for the entire game. Nevertheless the more serious portrayal is extremely well done and in-line with what you can expect after Uncharted 4. Both characters get more than enough screen time to make you care for them, even if you did not connect with them in previous games.
Let’s get one thing out of the way, there are little to no gameplay additions in The Lost Legacy. If you were hoping for more combat options, improvements to melee or even the ability to whistle during stealth; you will not find any changes. Thankfully, combat in Uncharted 4 was a blast and that remains the case here. The shooting still feels great, using the rope is as exhilarating as ever and the level design for combat encounters remains excellent throughout. The only major change comes in the form of lockpicking, a simple mini-game which allows Chloe to open enemy crates and gain access to power weapons. You can also find a silenced pistol, but I rarely ever used it.
The overall structure and look of the game are also identical. While most of the game is linear, there is one big open area which allows players to solve optional puzzles and search for treasure. As expected, it is not meaningless since the amount of treasure you find determines how many points you have to unlock skins, render modes and gameplay modifiers after you’ve beaten the story.
The Lost Legacy is certainly better paced than Uncharted 4. There are no more crates on wheels and I encountered fewer instances where you and your partner must pull a ladder or find a box to climb. It moves from combat scenario to cutscene to puzzle solving to platforming at a steady rate. This is not to say The Lost Legacy is filled with room after room enemies, everything just flows better.
Since it plays and looks so similar to Uncharted 4, the set-pieces don’t have the same impact and don’t feel as fresh. The quality of set-pieces is still incredibly high, just that they feel played out. You kind of see them coming too, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t put a smile on my face every time I would seemingly betray all laws of physics to do some spectacular.
After saying goodbye to Nathan Drake last year, The Lost Legacy is exactly what one would expect from a standalone expansion to Uncharted 4. It is a condensed version of the game, lasting around 6-7 hours provided you don’t spend too much time exploring, solving the optional puzzles or looking for treasure. While Left Behind was a breath of fresh air, you have already seen everything The Lost Legacy offers. Though for most of the audience, this will not be an issue. If you want more Uncharted 4, it is exactly that, minus the globe-trotting part.
Aside from the story, the game includes the entirety of Uncharted 4 multiplayer. All modes, maps and co-op survival are available with the same pool of players. The new survival arena mode will also be accessible to everyone.
Uncharted 4 ended perfectly and I was sure I was ready to take a break from the series. That said, I’m glad to have played The Lost Legacy and to finally see Chloe in the spotlight. While it doesn’t have the same impact as Naughty Dog’s other recent games, including Left Behind; it’s an explosive adventure that will keep you engaged throughout and leave you wanting more.