Just if you thought Uncharted 4: A Theif’s End wasn’t enough, Naughty Dog went ahead and gave us Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and here’s why it ended up being one of our favourite games of 2017.
Naughty Dog released the highly anticipated Uncharted: The Lost Legacy this summer. At first, we worried if the expansion could stand on its own without Nathan Drake, but Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross took the franchise to new heights, and the game confidently took its position as one of our best games of the year.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was an arguably flawless game. It closed Nathan Drake, Sully and Elena’s story in such a satisfying way that honestly when it was time for the release of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, I was a little bit sceptical. But, it’s safe to say that Naughty Dog knew what they were doing and The Lost Legacy is about as perfect as you can hope for a game to be.
The gameplay encourages stealth combat, the fist fights leave players pumped up with adrenaline, the few side quests truly pay off, and the puzzles are fun and inventive. Players emotionally invested in fan favourite Chloe, and her relationship with A Thief’s End’s antagonist Nadine. We were swept up in the stunning Indian jungle and the surprises roaming within it, and we matured with Chloe as her motivation for (literally) beating her foe Asav, grew to a much larger scale.
When we arrive on the scene in war-torn India, we find that the business partnership between Chloe and Nadine was formed under reluctant necessity, and their relationship lacks the trust it needs to reach their goal. Chloe refuses to let Nadine help her climb up a cliff or help out with the driving, for fear of not having complete control over their quest, but her refusals are always delivered with a touch of her famous quick-wit. These characteristics were familiar to players of the original franchise, and therefore it made the game all the more touching as we saw them both letting down their guard.
For example, whenever Chloe died during the first two-thirds of the game, you would hear Nadine shouting ‘Frazer!’ in the background but as it progressed, she would yell ‘Chloe!’ as her friend absent-mindedly swung off a cliff. These little touches along with the easy flow of conversation whenever the two were travelling from A to B, added to what made the game so great, to see two nomadic women, find someone in amongst the chaos of their work who they could genuinely call a friend.
This game, as damned-near perfect as it is, is sadly not without its faults. It was frustrating to begin the game, and see that Chloe’s leading motivation to get her hands on the Tusk of Ganesh before Asav, was because of her father’s failed attempts to do so years before. It’s seemed lazy to show a female protagonist serving up huge amounts of badassery, predominantly because she was following in her father’s footsteps, or had chosen to avenge him in some way (Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft also tragically fell into this trap).
Why couldn’t the woman at the front line be punching bandits to a pulp purely for the love of something greater? However, after Chloe spent hours enthusiastically telling Nadine all about the Indian history and mythology behind each statue, treasure and temple they came across, the threat of civil war that had been present during the entire game came to confront her. This turn of events took her crusade to a higher purpose and emotional level, something which Nathan Drake’s stories tried its best to do, but never quite succeeded.
Chloe and Nadine have breathed new life into the Uncharted series and unlocked new potential which, after A Thief’s End, we weren’t sure was possible. It is a solid 9/10 and we encourage any of you who have yet to play it, to treat yourself this Christmas and delve back into the world that Naughty Dog has so lovingly created for you.
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