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Why Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Became A Stand-Alone Expansion

by Elise Favis on Mar 27, 2017 at 09:00 AM

When Uncharted: The Lost Legacy was unveiled at PSX late last year, fans immediately began to wonder the nature of the project. Was this supposed to be DLC content related to Uncharted 4, or was it its own stand-alone title that would release separately? Naughty Dog soon confirmed that it was the latter, with The Lost Legacy being its own entity tied to a beloved series. 

When the Naughty Dog team shot around ideas early on, creating a stand-alone experience wasn't an obvious approach from the start. At first, the team contemplated an Uncharted 5, but with much of the team focused on The Last of Us Part II's development, the idea was scrapped in favor of something more condensed that could release in a year's time. The team also wanted to start something fresh; with Nathan Drake's story cleanly reaching its conclusion in Uncharted 4, Naughty Dog knew this new entry would need a fresh start.

Before settling on Chloe and Nadine as protagonists, the team considered other possibilities. Sully was a serious contender, but the team realized for him to be agile enough, it would mean having to rewind to a young Sully. Sully's history as a Marine, however, didn't neatly fit into what Naughty Dog wanted to explore in an Uncharted game. Cassie was also considered, but soon enough, Naughty Dog happily fell onto the idea of reintroducing Chloe, but this time as a playable protagonist.

"We had the unique opportunity to do something that was truly stand-alone, unlike Left Behind which was like the missing chunk of the story in The Last of Us," writer Josh Scherr says. "This is something we can do completely independently while still in the same universe with the same characters, and exploring new relationships with them."

Originally, the team envisioned The Lost Legacy to have the same scope and length as Left Behind, but as the team began to work on it, they realized that it was becoming larger than expected. For it to feel like Uncharted, Naughty Dog knew it would need to be bigger.

"We tried to keep it small," game director Kurt Margenau says. "As we started coming up with story ideas, it just became clear that with new characters and in this genre of Uncharted, it has to be big. With the gameplay stuff we wanted to explore, it felt like it needed more room to breathe."

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