I am a sucker for action/adventure games, and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy sucked me right in! The latest installment to the Uncharted series was supposed to just be DLC. But then it somehow turned into a full game.
Well, I say full game. I managed to finish it on Hard in just over eight hours. It’s not as long as the previous four Uncharted games, but seeing as it wasn’t supposed to be long in the first place – it’s pretty long. And it feels full, which is the main thing. It seems as though Naughty Dog couldn’t help but showcase their amazing craftsmanship, their storytelling capabilities, and their capacity to just make a damn good action adventure game.
Actually, I’m almost disappointed I gave Uncharted 4 a 10/10 because I definitely enjoyed The Lost Legacy a whole lot more. Perhaps it’s because you’re no longer Nathan Drake, but Chloe Frazer, and so you end up playing a game that’s both familiar and fresh at the same time.
Alongside Chloe is former mercenary Nadine Ross, making the vast majority of the game’s dialogue between two women. (Surpassing the Bechdel test with ease – and the only Uncharted game to do so.)
I … I really liked this. I enjoyed their conversations, their jokes, their banter, and their awkward friendship more than those between Nathan and whoever in previous games. And that’s saying something, because I have always been impressed by Naughty Dog’s writing. But I’ve laughed out loud more times in the first five hours of this game than in a whole Uncharted title.
Combat is way more exciting, too. The girls give a flair to their melee attacks that the Drake brothers and Sully never quite had. All the boys did was throw their meaty arms about, but Nadine and Chloe give you a show with kicks, spins, and epic buddy takedowns.
But I have to say that the best part about the game is that they don’t play down (or play up) the fact that their main protagonists are women. They didn’t write the story for Drake and then just sub Chloe in. Nor did they use tropes and stereotypes to make it super obvious that Chloe and Nadine are female. The women simply talk and walk like normal people, but there’s still that subtle touch of femininity that makes everything feel familiar and comfortable to me – me, being a woman too.
Which allows me to segway onto the beautiful and awkward chemistry between Chloe and Nadine. These are two characters that haven’t been given the scope of four full games to develop, unlike Nathan, Sully and Elena. And so, with all the lessons Naughty Dog have learned from their previous games, The Lost Legacy holds some of the most entertaining character development I’ve seen in a game.
Chloe, who is reckless and chill about everything, and Nadine, who’s militarised and risk aversive, obviously begin the story at odds with each other. Their relationship goes through a couple of bumps and snags, but (without spoiling anything) by the end of the game there is a tentative desire to do the whole thing together again in some sort of professional capacity.
And I sincerely hope they do.
What I wouldn’t give to see more beautiful environments, figure out mind-racking puzzles, and hang out once more with characters I’ve fallen in love with all over again.