The Uncharted Compendium: Chapter 6 — The Lost Legacy

By Kes Eylers-Stephenson,
TrueTrophies is proud to present The Uncharted Compendium — a history of the series from A to Z, complete with awards, rankings, and your memories. This is the final chapter in the series, dedicated to the spin-off turned full release — The Lost Legacy.

uncharted compendium

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy started as DLC for A Thief's End, but become so large it became a game in its own right in 2017. As a shorter and more compact Uncharted experience, The Lost Legacy could have easily become the forgotten step-child of Naughty Dog's efforts in the series. After the PS3 games, followed by Drake's finale in A Thief's End, the fact that this game put Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross — two supporting characters of the franchise — in the driving seat is the first departure we have had from Nathan Drake as the lead. Chloe, however, makes for a splendid lead character — full of humour and charm but retaining the curiosity about history that would define the other games. Indeed, Chloe's edge was that she is noticeably and often visibly irritated at the adults around her, resulting in a lot more sparring of words than we had with Drake. When you drop former bad guy Nadine Ross in the picture — having lost her father's private military company after the events of A Thief's End — there is certainly more friction between the leads than ever before. However, The Lost Legacy is simply wonderful and uses all of its potential weaknesses as strengths.

GampxS: Loved all of them, but if I really had to pick then the fourth one. Lost Legacy was brilliant as well — really fell in love with the graphics and storyline.
We pick up around six months to a year after Uncharted 4 with Chloe in an Indian city looking for her contact on a job. She wanders through a market and steals into the back of an army truck so she can get into the other side of the city. You see, the government is at war with some rebels led by a man named Asaf. When Chloe gets to the hotel, we see a carpet bombing of the city in one of the most serious moments in Uncharted history before meeting with Chloe's partner — who it turns out is former villain Nadine Ross. The pair are after the Tusk of Ganesh, a legendary item from a lost Hindu Hoysala society. They must break into Asaf's antique collection for a map of the Ghats, where a hidden city resides. It turns out that Asaf, that warlord, is after the Tusk of Ganesh as well for some nefarious purpose. So the adventure begins, talking us through jungles and ghats alike while trying to find which temple or ruin the Hoysala retreated to.

uncharted the lost legacy

Behind the scenes, Naughty Dog put together a special team for The Lost Legacy while work began on The Last of Us 2. Kurt Margenau and Shaun Escayg took on the game director and creative director roles respectively, taking over from the now-departed Bruce Straley and TLOUII-lead Neil Druckmann. The pair took a "wide linear" approach for the new direction of the game, as they revealed in an interview with PlayStation Blog. Creating huge spaces with set lines of exploration kept The Lost Legacy within the known Uncharted universe, but without having to touch on Drake's story.

"Wide linear" meant that we see the largest place in Uncharted history — the Western Ghats — which is a free form series of levels contained by a single water-riddled part of the jungle with unmarked side missions and encounters. The beauty is staggering, as views feel like they naturally open out as the player ergonomically enacts the explorations by driving and climbing as they please, but while sticking to the routes set by the level designers — so, we see multi-stage puzzles, plenty of organic dialogue, and challenging combat scenarios in vertical landscapes.

uncharted the lost legacy

We got lock-picking, silent pistols, and a more personal story than ever before. That made the gameplay a little more versatile, particularly in the compact encounters where keeping an eye out for big guns in locked boxes became a must. Chloe would fight with much less heft than Drake and Nadine, a little like a spry featherweight boxer, which gave combat a bit more of a nimble feel. Set-pieces, like the final train sequence, used a few of the camera tricks of old to showcase whole sets while you played as Chloe running up a train.

Art director Tate Mosesian spoke to Game Informer and said that Naughty Dog was "going back to some of those moments in Uncharted 1 and 2 of awe with exploration in terms of the environments and the temples, and that mystical sort of feeling you would get when you explored those places, like feeling small in a space."

uncharted the lost legacy

The Underrated One — The Lost Legacy
Lost Legacy got a 85 on OpenCritic, with 96% recommending the game, so there is no doubt this game is universally liked. However, the game came fifth of the seven games in our poll, pulling in only 4.3% of the vote. This is an unfortunate reflection of how The Lost Legacy is certainly universally loved, but doesn't occupy the lofty heights it should so in the popularity contest. To us, The Lost Legacy is the tightest of the Uncharted experience with the most non-stop enjoyable A to B adventuring. Sitting at around 12 hours long, it never overstays its welcome but keeps you hooked from start to finish. The leads, Nadine and Chloe, bristle with chemistry and form a fantastic relationship over the course of your time with them — there is certainly more character development here than we saw of Drake in his first, and probably even second, game. The level designs take a massive step up by packing in a density of detail that won't stop making your jaw drop. This really is a fantastic entry and one that deserves more love.
That denser experience really fixated on telling a more intimate story using more detailed environments with that "wide linear" level design. In fact, it worked so well that it looks set to be a great template for the future of the franchise. Indeed, it speaks volumes that when Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection — containing remasters of both A Thief's End and The Lost Legacy — hit PlayStation 5, the latter was right at home on the console. If The Lost Legacy marks a great jumping-off point for the future of the franchise, then it is time to put the Uncharted Compendium to bed. The Lost Legacy wraps up fifteen years of Uncharted history and a franchise that has defined consoles, a brand, and a generation of gamers. No matter where we are, we will never be able to resist the pull of adventure, the glory of exotic locales, or the chance to catch up with old rogues. Uncharted is special.

Did you enjoy this Chapter about The Lost Legacy? Head to our Home Page — The Adored Explorer for every other chapter collated. Otherwise, just let us know what you think about The Lost Legacy in the comments.
Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Associate Editor Kes is our resident expert in PlayStation news. He writes about upcoming exclusives like The Last of Us and God of War, PS Plus and PS Studios news, and his favourite games — The Witcher 3, Assassin’s Creed, and The Outer Wilds — before an evening swim.