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Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Review

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On 09/06/2017 at 09:00 AM by Casey Curran

Vishnu Tested, Ganesh Approved

If you’ve ever liked any Uncharted game, this one will deliver what you loved from the past games

If Uncharted 4's subtitle “A Thief’s End” didn’t clue you in, main character Nathan Drake ended his adventures with the last entry. However the series has continued with Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. This entry follows the adventures of Chloe Frasier, Drake's former partner and love interest as she teams up with Uncharted 4’s villain Nadine Ross to find an Ancient Indian treasure on some grand adventure full of climbing, explosions, and wonderfully corny jokes.

Rather than deliver this through a true sequel, however, the game instead opts not to tweak 4’s graphics or engine with a shorter game at a $40 price tag. This ends up being a brilliant move. While I enjoyed Uncharted 4, I was fairly critical of the game. However, my issues were in terms of pacing, not polish, issues which are not really present in The Lost Legacy. The glitches I encountered in 4 are nowhere to be seen, the game is still unbelievably gorgeous with the best production values in the industry. Yet 4 was an adventure of about 7-8 amazing hours sandwiched between some lengthy portions that dragged on. Here there is just an amazing 7-8 hour adventure.

Chloe ends up a strong stand in for Nate, as she shares his encyclopedic knowledge of ancient civilizations, ridiculous combat skills allowing her to take out an entire mercenary faction, and throwing smart ass quips the whole way. Granted, she stands out as her own character, especially in how she interacts with other characters. This is especially apparent during banter with Nadine. I thought she was a decent villain in 4, but she works much better as a companion in TLL. She has very little patience and ends up pointing out how ridiculous many series conventions are, which provide some great banter. Her personal motivation is interesting as well, even shedding some light on some of her shortcomings as 4’s villain.

The story is my favorite since 2. It cuts out much of the filler that plagued 3 and 4 while still keeping their strong points. I'll admit some bias towards Ancient Indian culture, as I was hooked by the treasure the second Chloe spoke of Hindu gods and the Hoysala Empire. However, there were still a great number of twists fueling a fun roller coaster ride. While I do not want to give too much away, rest assured, there are no supernatural enemies once again. These are complemented well by the villain, who takes on a gentle persona until he needs to show how threatening he can really be.

4’s sandbox levels make a return as an early portion has plenty of hidden temples to explore complete with a reward for finding every treasure. Combat is still better than ever, offering more open arenas that actually require strong stealth skills to plow through on a harder difficulty. Try to start a firefight too early and enemies will quickly flank the player from behind, rendering cover useless. Overall, I felt the arenas were a bit better designed than 4’s, though unfortunately there were fewer combat scenarios than ever.

These bouts of combat are complemented well with puzzles and climbing sections. The puzzles can occasionally just be about finding the right ledge to climb, yet a good portion also revolve around scanning and analyzing a room with others revolve around pictures placed by the ancient civilization. Climbing is still not the most engaging platforming, but the grappling hook and moments where ledges break apart keep them feeling engaging.

There are also some slower moments without any of these elements, yet they were generally shorter and served the story better than similar moments in 4 so they fit in well with the game’s pacing. The game balances these moments well with its other aformentioned gameplay elements creating an experience that never gets dull. No portion of the gameplay ever outstayed its welcome or felt shoehorned in. Some may miss the more varied locations of the globe trotting Uncharted adventures, but I prefer the more compact adventure for the same reason Temple of Doom is my favorite Indiana Jones movie.

Honestly the only complaint I have is the Uncharted formula is somewhat predictable at this point. I can almost call out when a ledge Chloe is grabbing will fall apart or when a group of enemies are about to show up. However, The Lost Legacy throws just enough twists and keeps the game going at a fun enough pace that these moments never pulled me out of the experience. I was still excited and having a blast the whole way through.

Past Uncharted games have felt like a ribeye or porterhouse steak. Plenty there it to fill you up, but with varying degrees of fat that you could have done without. The Lost Legacy, meanwhile, is more like a filet mignon. Not as much, but what is offered is prepared as perfectly as you could ask. Some may be fine with or prefer that porterhouse and even enjoy the fat. But that filet still stands out to me more when all is said and done that all I can do after is ask Naughty Dog for some more. 

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:

All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.

These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.

This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.

Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.

Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.

A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.



Super Step Contributing Writer

10/26/2017 at 05:07 PM

So if I think you're crazy for thinking 4 has "pacing issues," and really appreciated the way it let the game and story breathe, but also think Uncharted is fairly predictable at this point ... what do you think my experience will be when I inevitably buy this game because screw it, I've played all the console ones so far?

Main point: is it as awe-inspiringly gorgeous as 4? Because I think like 80% of my enjoyment of 4 was never having to go outside again to experience nature. 

Casey Curran Staff Writer

10/26/2017 at 10:54 PM

It's definitely as gorgeous as 4. IMO TLOU is a much better example of letting the game breathe. The opening isn't too long and functions well for world building, the interludes stay with the flow of the game rather than grinding it to a halt, and it follows the quieter moments at the right spots rather than at more random times like in 4. There's a right and wrong way to execute every concept and 4 definitely did it wrong IMO.

Super Step Contributing Writer

10/30/2017 at 02:38 PM

We'll have to agree to disagree there, cause TLOU was kinda "meh" for me in general, whereas I got a lot out of 4. Different strokes, I guess.

Casey Curran Staff Writer

10/30/2017 at 03:36 PM

Yeah, but the two also had fundamental gameplay differences, not just differences in pacing. I think TLOU is more my kind of gameplay while Uncharted is more of yours which gives us each our own bias towards one. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

11/03/2017 at 01:37 PM


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