Set in the jungles of India, the latest iteration of Uncharted is fresh and involving, writes PAT PILCHER.
It’s hard to believe but there’s now close to a decade’s worth of Uncharted gaming. Nathan Drake may have retired but Naughty Dog have taken Uncharted in a fresh direction. This happens with treasure hunter Chloe Frazer and ex-mercenary Nadine Ross. It feels similar but different. It also adds some much-needed freshness. Both characters are well voice-acted and animated and make up an entertaining combination.
The two characters’ differing backgrounds makes for an interesting in-game dynamic. Things kick off when they start hunting for an artefact called the Tusk of Ganesh. This sees them pitted against Asav. He’s a pissed off warlord who oozes menace and nastiness.
This gets helped along thanks to well-crafted repartee between both Chloe and Nadine. Their small talk fills in some of the quieter moments. It also gave me some welcome giggles during in-game tensions. There’s a whole side story that revolves around Chloe’s ambitions to get her mitts on the tusk. Even though it felt a tad preachy in parts, it does flesh out Chloe, adding a measure of depth to Lost Legacy’s gameplay.
Based in India, Lost Legacy feels similar yet different to previous Uncharted titles. The jungles are lush and the remains of ancient civilisations are very detailed. It also leads to some insightful archaeological conversations between Chloe and Nadine. Aside from being interesting, this chit-chat is also important for puzzle solving. Either way, the dialogue between our two characters is rich, and adds to the game.
Lost Legacy piles Uncharted-style action into gameplay. In practice, this translates into a tonne of crazy acrobatic parlour stunts. As with Thief’s End, there’s also a stealth component. Climbing still involves a heap of puzzle solving too.
I also liked how gameplay sections are well paced. There’s plenty of white knuckle moments. These get followed by opportunities to take a much-needed breather.
Like Thief’s End, the jungle of Lost Legacy gave Naughty Dog a means to showcase open-ended level designs. While this runs the risk of lots of repetition and boredom, in play they weren’t a chore. This is due to the many options for exploring, which breaks things up. It also plays to one of Uncharted’s key strengths – its varied game play. It also felt a lot like the mini-games missing in Thief’s End had been reinstated.
Combat is both fun and difficult. No two shootouts felt the same. I can say this because death and retries soon became frequent. Each time I went back the combat felt fresh (and tricky). Sharp AI meant outflanking and stealth paid dividends instead of going in head-on. Either way you’re able to mix it up without things getting too predictable. Speaking of AI, I often found myself outflanked and/or attacked from above. The AI is smart. I died often.
The stealth element is something I came to appreciate. Being able to dispatch a guard on the sly felt satisfying. Also pleasing is annihilating a whole squad of baddies with gunfire and grenades. Combat can be strategic and slow or tactical and fast. Either way, it’s a rush.
This is what makes Lost Legacy great. Like earlier versions there’s a real mix of gameplay. This can consist of puzzle solving, jaw-clenching combat, and open-ended exploration. That said, some puzzles involved little more than finding and activating switches. This got lame real fast. This was offset by more complex puzzles. These needed some research. Be it listening to character dialogue (or if I am to be honest, Googling) around Hindu mythology.
The variety of game play combines with good pacing to make Lost Legacy enjoyable. I’d start playing in the afternoon only find it was late in the evening in what seemed like the blink of an eye.
Further adding to Lost Legacy’s appeal are multiplayer and Survival modes. Firearm and Melee combat is nuts. Some of the other players were so good that survival was tricky. Power ups and add-ons were also there. I’d love to tell you what they did but I kept getting my ass handed to me by 12-year-olds with fast trigger fingers.
Moving to Chloe and Nadine over Nathan is a gutsy move that seems to have paid off. While you get familiar gameplay, the new characters are more than a lick of fresh paint. Lost Legacy is a nuanced experience in the already excellent Uncharted pantheon.
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