The lights are on
Although Nathan Drake's story was wrapped up in Uncharted 4, Naughty Dog revealed at last year's PSX that it wasn't entirely done with the series' universe. Chloe Frazer, a fan-favorite treasure hunter that we last saw in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, now takes center stage with mercenary Nadine Ross by her side. Taking place six months to a year after the previous Uncharted, Chloe and Nadine team up in search of an ancient treasure in India. Much is different this time around, with a grittier and more grounded narrative, but many elements you've come to love in Uncharted will still be present.
Here are several ways Uncharted: The Lost Legacy changes things up with a new setting, more grounded storyline, bigger environments, and more.
A New Duo of ThievesThe series moves away from Nathan Drake for the first time, and the team saw room to explore this universe further with a pair of familiar faces: Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross. Chloe is the playable protagonist, and the two must overcome their differences in order to achieve their goal. Chloe leads the way, and has moved up in the treasure hunting business, coming into her own and returning to India in search of a treasure called the Tusk of Ganesh. She enlists mercenary Nadine, who we met in Uncharted 4, because of her particular skill set. The conflict between the two, and how that relationship unfolds, is a big part of what The Lost Legacy is about.
A Personal SettingChloe is half Australian and half Indian, and we learn about her Indian roots in this stand-alone entry. "The setting of the game has a personal connection with [Chloe]'s background, and it adds like a certain depth to everything you’re doing in that environment. It has more meaning for her," Uncharted writer Josh Scherr says. In a short demo we saw during our trip to Naughty Dog, Chloe and Nadine approach a large waterfall sided with two grandiose elephant statues. It's clear that these monuments hold meaning to Chloe as Nadine makes a quip about how Chloe should take a photo for her father. The treasure the two search for is also significant to Chloe, and their journey ties into mystical stories relating to Hindu gods that were told to her as bedtime stories when she was young.
Bigger EnvironmentsUncharted 4's Madagascar was one of the larger locales in Uncharted 4, giving players more freedom. The Lost Legacy further expands these open environments, all the while telling a linear story. In The Lost Legacy, Chloe and Nadine travel to the Western Ghats, a rural mountain range in India they traverse by jeep. It's reminiscent of Madagascar in the way that there are different terrains of mud, water, and rocks, along with a stunning vista. A key difference is the Western Ghats is geographically larger than Madagascar, and the biggest environment the series has seen yet. "We have this really great location of these rural Western Ghats, that allows us to get a real, true sense of exploration kind of unlike anything we’ve done before where the level design isn’t directing you exactly where to go, and you’re free to explore, find things, and discover things," game director Kurt Margenau says.
Meet Antagonist AsavA new Uncharted entry also means a new central enemy. In The Lost Legacy you'll meet Asav, a barrel-chested insurgent rebel leader who formerly worked for the government. He's unearthing treasures, artifacts, and murals that are culturally significant to the region, and has several reasons behind his actions. "He has history with the government, he feels left out in solving the conflicts the government solved at one point and he’s now a lone rebel trying to create war and profit from it," creative director Shaun Escayg says. Asav believes in his cause, but Naughty Dog reminds us that this is a world of thieves; everyone is looking out for themselves, and this can make for morally grey characters despite their motivations. It's also a small world of thieves – just like how Nadine and Sully happened to know each other, Nadine has a similar connection to Asav, who she has worked with in the past.
A Condensed StoryBecause it is a stand-alone game, The Lost Legacy will be more condensed. It's longer than The Last of Us DLC Left Behind but shorter than Uncharted 4. While The Lost Legacy will still have those enormous set pieces and grandiose moments Uncharted is known for, it's still a smaller scale Uncharted experience. Naughty made it clear that this is a new game, and not an expansion of Uncharted 4. It was a way for the team to look at the series' universe from a new perspective. "This is something we can do completely independently while still in the same universe with the same characters, and exploring new relationships with them," Scherr says.
Gameplay Tweaks The Lost Legacy will feature all the pillars of Uncharted, from rope swinging to puzzle-solving, but there are smaller changes worth noting. Stealth has been an option in several Uncharted entries, but Uncharted 4 built on this idea further with sections of tall grass and awareness meters for enemies. This comes back in The Lost Legacy, with even more stealth capabilities. For the first time, you can equip a silent pistol to kill foes from afar. As for combat, Chloe has a more martial arts vibe to her fighting moves, whereas Nathan was more of a brawler.
When working as a team, Chloe and Nadine are similar to Nathan and Sam. Nadine can mark enemies for you so you can spot them quicker, and she'll help you out in combat. If you don't want to fight, sometimes that's also an option. During the Western Ghats demo we saw, it was possible to evade conflict completely while in the jeep, by driving by and ignoring hostile areas. Furthermore, a lockpicking mini-game is introduced, which we briefly saw in action during the PSX demo where Chloe lockpicks a door. Several crates lying around will only open following this short minigame, where you rotate the lock and wait for your controller to vibrate.
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