If Uncharted: The Lost Legacy was an experiment by Naughty Dog and Sony, consider it a rousing success. What was originally meant as DLC for Uncharted 4, Lost Legacy has become so much more.
With Nathan Drake’s story coming to a conclusion — an incredibly satisfying one at that — at the end of Uncharted 4, it wasn’t clear where the franchise would go. It was speculated that we’d see the brother Drake, Sam, take the spotlight or even Nate’s daughter. But, the shift sideways, away from the Drake family, was the right call.
With Lost Legacy, Naughty Dog had to prove that the magic Uncharted formula could still work without a Drake. Casting series regular Chloe Frazer and newcomer Nadine Ross was a stroke of genius. Both are familiar characters for fans.
Both are strong characters who often stole their scenes and both had unknown stories and pasts. Lost Legacy is at once an introduction to two characters and a new beginning for the franchise.
G’day & Howzit
Chloe and Nadine are a bit of an odd couple. Chloe’s a jokester, easy going and never too serious. Nadine is world weary, on edge and not easy with a smile. Together, they play off each other perfectly.
In past titles, we’ve always had Nate. He was either alone or with Sully, his brother and occasionally Elena. Nate, Sully and Sam are all cut from the same cloth. Their conversations never strayed too far from the jokey and the blokey. When Nate was with Elena though, that’s when we got to see glimpses of the man he was underneath the bravado. With Nate, it felt like watching someone who was always ‘on.’ Putting on a show
When Nate was with Elena though, that’s when we got to see glimpses of the man he was underneath the bravado. With Nate, it felt like watching someone who was always ‘on.’ Putting on a show and performing.
With Nadine and Chloe, what you see is what you get. It’s far more natural and easy to relate. Nate was an everyman in the action hero sense of the word. Sure we loved him and he endeared himself to us, but he still stood apart from us regular folk.
There’s none of that with Lost Legacy’s stars. They can, of course, perform all the same death-defying, impossibly acrobatic feats as Drake, but as characters, they’re far more human.
Simple stories told well
At its heart, Uncharted has always told stories about people, set against the supernatural and the extraordinary. Uncharted 4 was the best example and Drake’s Deception the worst. Lost Legacy doesn’t reach the same lofty story-telling heights as Uncharted 4. But that’s only due to it having the benefit of nearly 10-years of build-up.
Lost Legacy does benefit from the player having expectations of what an Uncharted game is. Though, it subverts those in clever ways. Chloe has a close personal connection to the treasure being sought and Nadine to the antagonist. Uncharted 3 tried both of these plot threads but was nowhere near as successful.
Lost Legacy feels like it’s making up for those missteps.
The large, open-world(ish) level near the beginning of the playtime is another way Naughty Dog has shaken up the established Uncharted/Drake formula. Given the option to tackle the objectives however you see fit brings some freedom to Uncharted that’s been absent from the beginning.
Replaced by the best
It’s difficult to think of other franchises that have successfully continued without their primary protagonist. We’ve seen 12 different actors play James Bond and six different Batmans…batmen?
Batman doesn’t stop being Batman even when he dies. In the comics, Dick Grayson took over as Batman when Bruce Wayne died and only retired when the latter was returned to life. Those writing the stories want to preserve the status quo because that’s what succeeds. The fans want the same thing because change is scary.
Naughty Dog throws caution to the wind to prove that a series can be just as successful, just as good and just an enjoyable without the main character. Lost Legacy succeeds without Drake, in fact, it’s better off without him. Chloe and Nadine wholly own this story and without them, it wouldn’t have become what it has. It’s a worthy addition to the Uncharted franchise and hopefully, a sign of what’s to come when we next play Uncharted.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy was provided to PowerUp! by Sony.