The Uncharted series of video games have long been synonymous with the name Nathan Drake, the protagonist of all four Uncharted games by Naughty Dog. Last month, however, brought upon a change in the status quo as another name became associated with Naughty Dog’s popular series.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (“The Lost Legacy”) is the fifth iteration of the action-adventure video game franchise and was released last month for the PlayStation 4 console. Unlike the previous four games, The Lost Legacy centres on female protagonists, Chloe Frazer and her associate Nadine Ross, as they travel through the south of India in search of the Tusk of Ganesh.
Like with the previous Uncharted games, The Lost Legacy derives its narrative from ancient history and mythology, providing players with the ability to explore exotic locations and solve intricate puzzles. Being set in south India meant that players were given an insight into Hinduism, the main religion practiced in southern India.
As a practicing Hindu with south Indian ancestry, it was absolutely incredible to see the way India was portrayed within the game. The temples, the cities and even the people were depicted with such beauty and precision that it really did feel as if I was actually in India, standing beside Chloe and Nadine. It was also marvelous to see the Tamil language prevalent throughout the game as opposed to Hindi, the official language of India.
Being based on Hindu mythology, my experience with the game’s plot was enjoyable. I was completely mesmerised by the plot, particularly the idea of being stuck in the middle of civil unrest. Searching for the Tusk and exploring the vastness of the Western Ghats created a sense of wonder at a time when there was a lot of chaos throughout the south of India.
Unlike the previous Uncharted games, The Lost Legacy is noticeably shorter, however, the quality of gameplay is as expected of a Naughty Dog title. Gameplay is nothing new, with players able to utilise firearms, melee combat and stealth to defeat enemies, much like that in all four of the previous Uncharted games. Both Chloe and Nadine utilise similar dynamic combat mechanisms as their male counterpart, Nathan Drake, however they do so with their own unique styles.
Despite some repetitive combat throughout the game, it is incredibly refreshing for the focus to be more on exploration and puzzle solving, giving The Lost Legacy more platform elements that the average action-adventure game.
Character development is of particular note, as Chloe Frazer, who first appeared in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, is given far more depth as a lead character rather than as a sidekick. Her portrayal as a lead character with an intriguing past and an ability to hold her own, is an important step forward in showcasing a strong female who needs no man. Like Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider games, Chloe Frazer’s ability to carry a game as well as any male counterpart sets the stage for more equal representation of females in video games.
Apart from an interesting story and strong female characterisation, I was completely taken with The Lost Legacy’s stunning and impressive visuals. The entire game looked so realistic that it almost felt as if I was experiencing the game first-hand and in person. It was incredible to see the intricate detail that went into crafting the ancient structures and more modern day temples. It was also equally thrilling to witness such grandeur and beauty in the scenery depicted in the game. The graphics were so on point that I longed to bear witness to such breathtaking views in person one day.
The Lost Legacy is, in many ways, just another Uncharted game, with similar gameplay and relatively predictable story. However, with two strong female leads, more focus on exploration and puzzle solving, a setting filled with ancient history and culture, and incredible graphics, The Lost Legacy paves the way for future Uncharted titles and drives us to ask, Nathan who?