First Impressions: ‘Uncharted: The Lost Legacy’ (PS4)

Chloe Frazer is more than capable of continuing ‘Uncharted’ franchise

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about an “Uncharted” game without series protagonist Nathan Drake. The most charming and interesting parts of the previous four installments centered around Drake’s interactions with those around him, whether it was his love interest-turned-wife, Elena, or perhaps a nemesis who knew more about him than the player did, such as Katherine Marlowe. Either way, the point of “Uncharted” to me what Drake and his nonsense.

But in “Uncharted: The Lost Legacy,” a follow-up/sequel to 2016’s “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End,” there’s virtually no reference to Nathan Drake so far, and you know what? I didn’t miss him. (OK, I missed him a little, but that’s besides the point.)

Only a few hours in, I’ve already fallen in love with “The Lost Legacy” and its female-led nonsense. Taken the lead this time is Chloe Frazer (again voiced by Claudia Black), a recurring character from the second, third and fourth “Uncharted” games in various roles. Joining her is Nadine Ross (voiced by Laura Bailey), one of Drake’s antagonists from “A Thief’s End.” The pair, a master thief/treasure hunter and master mercenary, didn’t seem that it would mesh at first. They both seemed almost too serious, missing that charm and humor that Drake and mentor/father figure Victor Sullivan had in the first four games.

But it doesn’t take long for the two to find their groove, with Frazer being the sarcastic, gung-ho one, Ross the more responsible, less fun one. They seem to make a great combo, but we’ll have to see how the game treats their relationship as it progresses. At the moment, it’s all very superficial.

But their quest to find an ancient Indian artifact, and the history surrounding it, are far from shallow. Once again, “Uncharted” isn’t afraid to drop some knowledge on you, this time under the pretenses of an Indian civil war. While it seems to play in the background for the moment, it’s clear the two heroes will have some role to play in how it unfolds later on.

One of the more jarring aspects of “The Lost Legacy,” however, has nothing to do with the change in leads. Instead, it’s how open the first part of the game is. For reference: I actually have a legit map that I need to be able to explore an early chapter. A whole map with markers and everything. But I’m also noticing that, despite its size, there’s not a whole lot going on side-quest wise. Yeah, there are treasures to collect and photos to take, but they seem to offer little other than trophies. I don’t mind big zones or exploration, but “The Lost Legacy” doesn’t appear to have much reason for you to explore. We’ll have to see how the game progresses to see if the massive areas are nothing more than beautiful vistas in which to take selfies.

For the moment, “Uncharted: The Lost Legacy” plays just like “Uncharted 4,” which is a stellar compliment from me. Its leads are fantastic, each with her own charm, and I’m excited to see how their relationship evolves as the plot moves forward. And while I don’t see the point of the giant maps with almost nothing to do in them but find the next story trigger, the whole game so far is jaw-droppingly gorgeous. It’s hard to be mad that there’s little to do when I want to take selfies everywhere. I know, that’s not the goal here, but we’ll get to that soon enough. For now, let me just enjoy harassing these flamingos.

This is a First Impressions of “Uncharted: The Lost Legacy” on the PlayStation 4. A full review will follow once the game is completed.

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