Nathan Drake’s days of adventuring are over. As we watched him hold up his holster and twine to start a brand new chapter in his life, Naughty Canine’s scribes doubled down on the message of “it’s over.” Online game protagonists hardly ever stroll off into the sundown, however Drake’s farewell is as definitive as they arrive. Naughty Canine wrote Uncharted 4: A Thief’s Finish as a conclusion to Drake’s story, and it ended on a poetic and satisfying observe. To convey him again in starring function can be silly. It truly is over. Is Drake’s identify synonymous with Uncharted? He’s splendidly charismatic and endearing, however we now know he isn’t the lifeblood of it.
The Misplaced Legacy is each bit as riveting and completed as any Uncharted title. We study that the guts of the journey trumps all the things else, and may prolong to any character.
Chloe Frazer suits into the starring function admirably, however by no means as soon as is written in a method the place you’re feeling she is changing or replicating Drake. She’s simply as playful, however she’s wired in another way; she’s greater than the untrustworthy hustler we briefly obtained acquainted with in Uncharted 2: Amongst Thieves. Determining who she is takes time in The Misplaced Legacy, partially as a result of she’s extremely guarded, but in addition since you are attending to know her within the midst of an journey.
Chloe is nearing the top of a heist she organized with Nadine Ross, the previous paramilitary boss turned treasure seeker from Uncharted 4, who’s in some ways the polar reverse of Chloe, pragmatic and fixated on outcomes. We’re left questioning why they’re collectively for just a little too lengthy, however satisfying solutions ultimately arrive. Because the confusion melts away, Chloe and Nadine settle into a pleasant (but considerably turbulent) groove, and find yourself being an enchanting duo to trace. They’re humorous, terse, and splendidly unpredictable in each their actions and phrases – their chemistry works at the same time as they ceaselessly butt heads.
Chloe and Nadine are in sizzling pursuit of the Golden Tusk of Ganesh, which they consider is situated within the long-lost ruins of the Hoysala Empire situated in India’s Western Ghats, one other a part of the world Naughty Canine turns right into a scenic murals for gamers to discover. The duo are quickly at odds with an rebel insurgent chief named Asav, who initially seems to be simply one other madman who loves treasure, however is later revealed to be way more harmful and crafty than anticipated. Asav strikes the narrative needle simply as a lot because the heroes, and the story soars from the uncertainty of his actions.
I simply want Naughty Canine wouldn’t have felt the necessity to reference the Drakes so usually – a distraction that ceaselessly entertains and will be attention-grabbing, however is positioned extra within the highlight than is required and diminishes Chloe and Nadine’s possession of the journey.
The Misplaced Legacy was initially supposed to be a bonus episode for Uncharted 4, however finally ends up being a authentic sequel that’s each bit as totally featured as any of Drake’s adventures – it’s just a bit shorter. I might by no means say any of the Uncharted video games are too lengthy – they all the time go away me wanting extra – however this new entry demonstrates brevity works simply as properly, because the journey feels extra pressing and streamlined.
The Misplaced Legacy’s gameplay is a direct continuation of Uncharted 4, hanging its hat firmly on the identical grapple hook, stealth, and open-world exploration Drake used. Exterior of a lock-pick mechanic – which may ship excessive depth when utilized in areas the place enemies are on patrol – Naughty Canine doesn’t introduce a lot that may be labeled as “new.” As I labored my method throughout India’s misplaced ruins and lovely jungles, I by no means felt the gameplay wanted a shot of one thing totally different. The spectacle is all the time so big, and the following discovery is all the time so engaging that I didn’t take into consideration the actions that obtained me there – aside from they’re enjoyable and dependable.
Though the gameplay mechanics match like a well-worn glove, Naughty Canine nonetheless has a couple of methods up its sleeves. The puzzle contraptions that have been invented to cover the Golden Tusk of Ganesh are difficult, intelligent, and once more all about spectacle. Two of those puzzles rank amongst my favorites within the collection – one coping with platforms and swinging axes, and one other that makes use of silhouettes in an enchanting method. I’d even say these slower gameplay moments are extra spectacular than the collection’ signature setpieces, the place all the things explodes and collapses. Sure, Misplaced Legacy has loads of that, but it surely’s nothing you haven’t seen earlier than.
Given simply how totally featured this journey is, Misplaced Legacy might have simply been Uncharted 5. The place Naughty Canine goes subsequent is anybody’s guess, however I might like to see Chloe and Nadine return for one more hunt, as they’re each bit as participating because the Drake household. They make a hell of a group.