Being a huge Uncharted fan and having played the five previous games in the series, I was equal parts excited and nervous - nervocited as Pinkie Pie would say - for this spin-off game because it would mark the first time Nathan Drake has not only not been an Uncharted game's protagonist but completely absent from the game entirely. I saw this as a real make-or-break moment for Naughty Dog; if the game went well, it would prove that Uncharted can exist and thrive without the Nathan Drake character, but if it flopped, it would most likely be the nail in Uncharted's coffin.
At the end of the day, Lost Legacy is less its own game and more standalone DLC for Uncharted 4. As such, the game looks and plays more or less exactly like Uncharted 4. Those who have played the series' most recent main installment, however, will know that such a statement is far from a criticism. I played on PS4 Pro, and the game looks stunning running at 60 frame per second in HDR at a beautiful 2160p resolution (although, in fairness, that resolution is achieved through checkerboarding from a native 1440p). Having played Uncharted 4 back when it first launched on the base PlayStation 4 hardware, the addition of HDR and a higher resolution with the Pro's added horsepower gave a noticeable visual improvement. It's not like jumping from 480i to 1080p, mind you, but the world definitely has more detail and vibrancy with HDR and the added resolution.
In Lost Legacy, you play not as Nathan Drake but as Chloe Frazer who is accompanied on her excursion by Nadine Ross. Those of you who have played the Uncharted series will recognize those names; for those who haven't, they're badass women who can definitely beat the hell out of you blindfolded with both hands tied behind their backs. I, personally, love seeing strong female leads who aren't just hypersexualized eye candy in games, and while some probably say that this just took series from being Tomb Raider with a dude to being an actual Tomb Raider rip-off, I loved seeing the change in protagonist. It gave the game's story a different feel since it's told from a different character's perspective, and while there might be some validity to saying that it's now little more than a Tomb Raider clone, I think there are still enough aspects differing between the two to prevent that from being a real bane.
Without spoiling anything, the story revolves around Chloe's quest to find the Tusk of Ganesh, a relic from an ancient Indian kingdom, and her struggle against an Indian insurgent warlord who seeks the tusk for his own gain. The gameplay is your typical Uncharted fare - abundant platforming, some fairly straightforward puzzle solving, and dozens of dudes to massacre with a variety of weapons. Nothing really breaks the Uncharted mold (aside from the female protagonist), but that's not a bad thing. Naughty Dog has more or less perfect the formula over the various Uncharted releases, and as a result, this latest installment is an exceptionally well polished even if not entirely original product.
Being a standalone expansion to Uncharted 4 rather than entirely new game built from the ground up, The Lost Legacy retailed for $40 vs the standard $60 and comes with full access to Uncharted 4's multiplayer much the way Bungie handled Halo 3 ODST. While I very much doubt many people who picked this up haven't already played Uncharted 4, it is nice that the price matches the nature of the product and that the multiplayer was included. That 33% lower price tag also makes it an easier decision for Uncharted enthusiasts like me who wanted to experience the new story but weren't thrilled about shelling out another $60 for an add-on even if it is a standalone.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is an extremely competent follow-up to the magnificent Uncharted 4 even if it plays it safe and follows in its predecessor's footsteps. It's simply outstanding visually, and the writing and voice acting is every bit as top notch as one would expect from Naughty Dog. It's clear that, despite being an expansion, a great deal of love and care was put into the game. Truthfully, my only complaint is that the textures' rendering lags behind some of the models at times. On a few occasions, I found myself standing on ground or holding an artifact that was a vaguely correctly colored blur with no texture until it popped in a few seconds later. That's seriously pretty mcuh the only real flaw I encountered with the game. If you're a fan of Uncharted, this one's a no-brainer.
My Rating - 4 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.