Developer: Naughty Dog
Our 50 best games of the year countdown isn’t in any order, we’re just going through fifty of the finest the year has given us. Find out more here.
When Naughty Dog triumphantly concluded Nathan Drake’s story last year in the outstanding Uncharted 4, few people could see where they could possibly go with the franchise after retiring one of Playstation’s greatest mascots. Well, one DLC-turned full-on (well, nearly full-on) game later and Uncharted has a bright future with new protagonist, Chloe Frazer and The Lost Legacy.
Carrying on Uncharted post-Nathan Drake on paper seemed like a dreadful idea. It concluded in the best way possible and surely the only way was down from here on out, right? Wrong. While Uncharted: The Lost Legacy isn’t better than Uncharted 4, it sure as hell is on par with the final Drake chapter.
So why does it work? Having a quality protagonist in Chloe Frazer who is more than Nathan Drake’s equal is why it works. Intelligent, tough, wily, and a total smartarse is what made her such a joy to play as throughout the story’s eight or so hours of run time. You couldn’t help but enjoy being in her company and it’s testament to the writing of Josh Scherr and Shaun Escayg for making such a compelling protagonist. I didn’t miss Nathan Drake once.
It’s not just Chloe Frazer as to why this standalone game achieved greatness this year. Naughty Dog wisely kept the winning formula of Uncharted 4 but experimented ever-so-slightly with the linear story in one chapter that let it stand out in its own right. By giving us an open-world Uncharted in its fourth chapter, The Lost Legacy gave us a totally fresh way of playing the running, gunning, treasure hunting adventure series we’ve all known and loved. It’s definitely a direction future adventures could explore and succeed with aplomb.
As well as trying new things, it was also gorgeous as hell to look at. The Indian countryside has never looked better with holiday brochure-level visuals and a smoothness that most games which they could achieve. The level of detail in these environments was such a joy that you couldn’t be blamed for just setting down your controller for a minute and just enjoying the virtual view that Naughty Dog had laid on for you. It was stunning.
However the main reason Uncharted: The Lost Legacy deserves a place on this list is because it simply was a total blast to play. It never felt like a slog, it tested your mettle with a fair difficulty curve, it was stunning to look at and gave you a cracking action-adventure that left you wanting more. I can only hope that once Naughty Dog have finished fraying our nerves with Clickers and the apocalypse, they return with a full adventure for Chloe Frazer to get stuck into and for us to marvel at once more.
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