The announcement of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy in December was a welcome surprise. But lower-than-usual pricing, combined with the relatively quick timing of the release, raised questions about how substantial the fifth installment of the series could be. Will The Lost Legacy have legs — or will it be one $40 afternoon?
It seems the game will be longer than at least some of us expected. “It’s longer than some previous Uncharted games — and not as long as Uncharted 4,” Shaun Escayg, creative director of the game, said in an interview with The Verge. “It’s a nice, tight story. But it’s an Uncharted game for sure. We’re not even done yet — it’s expanding as we talk.”
Escayg’s comments came after a roughly 15-minute gameplay demo that showed the game’s protagonist, the Uncharted 2 treasure hunter Chloe Frazer, team up with the mercenary Nadine Ross to battle through a massive archaeological site in India. Two months before the game’s August 22nd release date, new details are emerging about what kind of game The Lost Legacy will be — and early indications are that it will be a solid entry in the franchise.
The E3 demo showed off the mix of gameplay that has made past installments so engaging: puzzle solving, action combat, storytelling, and death-defying platforming. (The platforms Chloe steps on are just as likely to collapse underneath her as they were for original series protagonist Nathan Drake.) It also showed off the only plot that Uncharted has ever given us: a treasure hunter seeking an ancient relic, a murderous thug hot on their trail, and a series of narrow escapes leading to a big climax.
Despite the redundant plots, Uncharted has stood out for the depth of the relationships it depicts — especially in last year’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. That game depicted Drake’s evolving relationship with his brother, Sam, within uncommon skill, and left fans hoping that Chloe’s relationship with Nadine — who was introduced in A Thief’s End — will be just as central to The Lost Legacy.
Escayg says Naughty Dog decided to do a spinoff with those two characters based entirely on the creative potential in them arguing. Chloe is “a thieving, wheeling, dealing hustler,” Escayg says, in contrast to Nadine’s more pragmatic bruiser. “It felt like the perfect brew of combat,” he says. They’ve come together as part of a search for the Tusk of Ganesha, a mystical artifact hidden somewhere in the Western Ghats mountain range.
Only Chloe is playable in the story, he says, but Nadine “is very intertwined.” During the E3 demo, Nadine does a lot of tough talking and takes out several enemies to help clear Chloe’s path — while still expressing annoyance with Chloe all along.
Escayg says the team tried to bring together their favorite elements of Uncharted for The Lost Legacy. “We’ve got a sense of wonder, of scale and adventure, of discovering something new,” he says. “It’s the sum of everything.”
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is scheduled to be released August 22nd on PlayStation 4.