Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
|Uncharted: The Lost Legacy|
|Publisher(s)||Sony Interactive Entertainment|
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is an action-adventure video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Released in August 2017 for the PlayStation 4, it is a standalone expansion to the Uncharted series, and is the first game not to feature series protagonist Nathan Drake. The game follows fortune hunter Chloe Frazer, who seeks the Tusk of Ganesh in the mountains of India in the midst of a civil war, with the help of ex-mercenary Nadine Ross and Nathan's brother Sam Drake. The game is played from a third-person perspective; players use firearms, and can use melee combat and stealth to defend against hostile enemies. Players solve puzzles, incorporating several platformer elements to advance the narrative, and navigate the game world on foot or by vehicle.
Development of The Lost Legacy began soon after the release of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End in May 2016. Chloe, a supporting character in previous titles of the series, became the central focus of the game, with the story, design and gameplay elements reflecting her character. Claudia Black, Laura Bailey and Troy Baker reprised their roles as Chloe, Nadine and Sam respectively, through voice and motion capture, and assisted writer Josh Scherr and creative director Shaun Escayg with the development of the characters and story. The game builds upon gameplay elements established in previous Uncharted titles with its more open-ended gameplay. The Lost Legacy was well received by critics, who praised its graphics, voice acting, and gameplay, but criticized its lack of innovation.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is an action-adventure game played from a third-person perspective, with platform game elements. Players use firearms, melee combat, and stealth to defend against the hostile enemies. Players control Chloe Frazer—a treasure hunter who is physically adept and is able to jump, sprint, climb, swim, swing and perform other acrobatic actions. Players traverse several environments, moving through locations including towns, buildings, and temples to advance through the game's story. Players use firearms, melee combat, and stealth to defend against the hostile enemies. Players also drive vehicles during some gameplay segments.
In combat, players can use long-ranged weapons, such as rifles and shotguns, and short-barreled guns such as pistols and revolvers; handheld explosives such as grenades and C4 are also available. Though players can attack enemies directly, they have the option to use stealth tactics to attack undetected or sneak by them; the game introduces silenced weapons. While the game is linear, environments feature multiple paths for players to explore; maps are larger than those in Uncharted 4. The game features an artificial intelligence system in which hostile enemies react to any combat situation they are placed in; they respond to players' actions, coordinate tactics, and cooperate with each other. Players' companions are also controlled by the artificial intelligence, and can assist in combat by throwing objects at threats to stun them, announcing the location of unseen enemies, or using weapons to attack enemies. The game features periods without combat, often involving conversation between the characters. Players also have the ability to decide the outcome of some conversations through a dialog tree.
In India, treasure hunter Chloe Frazer has enlisted the services of mercenary Nadine Ross to help her find the legendary tusk of Ganesh, son of Hindu god Shiva, who lost the tusk while defending his father's temple, a search that previously consumed Chloe's own father before eventually claiming his life at the hands of bandits. Aided by a young merchant named Meenu, whose father is in the Indian army, Chloe moves past an insurgent group and meets up with Nadine, who helps her sneak into the office of the insurgents' leader, Asav, who's also after the tusk, ostensibly planning to use it to rally the people into revolution. The two steal a map made by an unknown expert pointing toward the tusk within the ancient Hoysala empire and a disc that acts as a key before escaping Asav's forces.
The map leads them to India's Western Ghats, where they follow the trail of several towers emblazoned with Hindu weapons- Ganesh's trident, Shiva's bow, and the axe of Parashurama, who used the axe to remove the tusk. The trail eventually leads them to the smaller of Hoysala's two capitals, Halebidu, whose last emperor left unguarded to be conquered by the Persians seemingly out of vanity. However, they soon learn it's actually because the emperor left a false trail; the tusk is really at the larger capital, Belur. On the way there, they are attacked by Asav and his men and after a fight, they barely escape, but lose the disc.
Though Chloe is injured, they carry on, hoping to regain the disc. However, while spying on Asav's forces, Nadine sees her old enemy Sam Drake, Nathan Drake's brother (Chloe's old friend and former partner), and realizes he's Asav's expert. When she expresses her intention to kill Sam, Chloe reveals she was working with him before he was kidnapped, necessitating her hiring of Nadine. As Chloe previously said she didn't know Sam that well, this deception angers Nadine, but they eventually make amends. The two make it to Belur and manage to navigate several puzzles before being captured by Asav. He brings them to a central chamber where Sam is and forces Chloe to use the disc to reveal the tusk, which is covered in jewels. In the process, she discovers that Ganesh let Parashurama cut off his tusk, as Shiva gifted the axe to him and Ganesh didn't want to shame his father by proving the axe useless.
With the tusk in hand, Asav triggers a trap and leaves the three to drown, though some quick lockpicking from Chloe helps them to escape. Despite tensions between Nadine and Sam, the three chase after Asav to take back the tusk. Along the way, Nadine is shocked and enraged to find that Asav is working with Shoreline, the group she used to run and was hoping to take back after this job. They come across a deal between Asav and Orca, Nadine's former lieutenant who now runs Shoreline, where Asav trades the tusk for something huge that he loads onto a train. After a fight with Orca riding in a helicopter, the three bring the helicopter down and make the dying mercenary reveal what Asav purchased: a massive bomb he plans to detonate in the capital city and kickstart the revolution. Right after this, Orca pulls a gun on Nadine, but Sam saves her, allowing her to shoot Orca dead. Tired of running when a situation gets too dangerous, Chloe convinces the others to help her stop the bomb.
Commandeering a car, the three catch up to the train. Sam stays behind while the women hop on and fight through Asav's men. Eventually seeing a switch that will turn the train towards a collapsed bridge, Chloe hops off the train while Nadine stays behind and, with Sam's help, turns the switch before going back for Nadine. The two make it to the engine car, where the bomb is, and fight Asav. They eventually trap his leg under the bomb and jump to safety before the train falls off the bridge and explodes, killing Asav. Safe and with the tusk in hand, Chloe and Nadine decide to go into business together while Sam reacts with horror to their intentions to hand the tusk over to the Ministry of Culture, who won't likely pay them a lot of money.
In a mid-credits scene, Chloe, Nadine and Sam are seen sharing a pizza with Meenu.
Naughty Dog began developing The Lost Legacy following the release of Uncharted 4 in May 2016, initially exploring narrative ideas. Kurt Margenau and Shaun Escayg were chosen to lead development as game director and creative director, respectively. Margenau was selected for his knowledge of programming and passion for gaming and interactivity, while Escayg was chosen for his understanding of narrative structure. The game's original score was written by Henry Jackman, who previously composed Uncharted 4. While the development team initially contemplated creating Uncharted 5, they ultimately opted to create downloadable content (DLC) for Uncharted 4, as the simultaneous development of The Last of Us Part II led them to favor a more condensed story for a sooner release.
The Lost Legacy was announced at the PlayStation Experience event on December 4, 2016, alongside its debut gameplay trailer. A gameplay video was released in April 2017, revealing the release date and announcing the pre-order bonus: the original Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, emulated on PlayStation 4. A story trailer was also shown at E3 in June 2017. The game was released for PlayStation 4 on August 22, 2017 in North America, and August 23 in Europe.
The team initially experimented with featuring Nathan Drake, protagonist of previous Uncharted games, as a secondary character of The Lost Legacy, but found that it "felt superfluous". Several characters from the series were also considered as protagonists, including Charlie Cutter, Nathan's daughter Cassie, or his brother Sam Drake and friend Victor Sullivan, but the team felt that the latter's age would hinder gameplay. They ultimately decided to follow Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross, who first appeared in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (2009) and Uncharted 4, respectively. The team opted to focus on new relationships with established secondary characters in the Uncharted series—a departure from The Last of Us: Left Behind (2014), DLC for The Last of Us (2013), which instead focused on a "missing chunk of the story". They originally envisioned for the length of The Lost Legacy to be similar to Left Behind; as development progressed, they realized the game would be larger than envisioned, and it became a standalone title instead of DLC, with an estimated length of over 10 hours.
Claudia Black and Laura Bailey portrayed Chloe and Nadine, respectively, in The Lost Legacy, reprising their roles from previous entries in the series. The actors' performances were mostly recorded using motion capture, with remaining audio elements recorded later in a studio. Video recording also captures the actors' faces, for animators to later construct. The game's actors regularly contributed to the development of the characters; co-writer Josh Scherr found that the actors were more familiar with the character motivations, and made changes to the script throughout production. The entire game was built around Chloe's character, with the narrative and art design reflecting her darker, grounded mindset. When returning to the character, Black was intrigued by the events that took place in her life between Uncharted 3 and The Lost Legacy. The team placed particular importance on Chloe's design in The Lost Legacy, maintaining familiar elements like her ponytail, but displaying minor signs of aging, including wrinkles. Her design and fighting style is different to that of Nathan Drake, and her animations were altered as a result. The team found Chloe's character interesting as her moral compass is a "little bit less directed" than Nathan's; while she would previously seek artifacts for the reward, she is interested in the history of the Tusk of Ganesh due to its relevance to her family, and Scherr found this interesting to explore. They were also interested in exploring Chloe's coping mechanism from previous games—while she would previously escape a dangerous situation to save herself, in The Lost Legacy she is forced to persevere due to her leadership. The team felt that Chloe would require a partner with military expertise, and Nadine would be desperate for more work following Uncharted 4. The pairing of the characters interested the team due to their vast differences: Chloe is "spontaneous and impulsive", whereas Nadine is structured, and they need to overcome their differences in order to work together. The writers felt that the banter between the characters required subtlety over previous series entries; during development, they sometimes found that the dialogue was "too friendly", and altered the script as a result.
The game's main antagonist, Asav, is portrayed by Usman Ally. When preparing for the role, Ally met with Escayg to discuss experiences with "despotic regimes that had their roots in what was perceived as a noble cause". Escayg compared Asav to Mexican medical surgeon José Manuel Mireles, having seen the documentary Cartel Land (2015); Ally described Mireles as "someone who had the charisma and belief in his people to rise up and lead a revolution of sorts", noting that Asav possesses a similar mindset and weaknesses. Ally found that relating to historical revolutionaries allowed him to better understand the character's logic. His childhood experiences living in corrupted countries also helped with his portrayal of Asav.
Scherr and Escayg wrote the game's story. While previous Uncharted games followed specific historic figures, such as Marco Polo and Henry Avery, The Lost Legacy instead focuses on the region, and the surrounding philosophy and culture, due to the shorter development team allowing less intensive research. Because of this, unlike the previous games, there is no historical quote in the game's opening scene. The writers particularly focused on Hinduism and the surrounding mythology when researching for the story. With The Lost Legacy, the team aimed to include the "slightly more fantastical feel" from the first three Uncharted games, which was absent from Uncharted 4 due to the grounded story. Escayg found that the game's smaller scope allows a better opportunity to explore each individual character, and their stories and viewpoints. He also attempted to demonstrate characters' emotional state through gameplay. The story of The Lost Legacy allowed the team to explore gameplay elements scrapped from Uncharted 4.
While some of the large open areas of Uncharted 4 were limited by the game's development schedule, Naughty Dog updated the production process to allow up to five teams to develop one location at a time for The Lost Legacy. The natural diversity of the Western Ghats area also allowed the team to explore different settings, including jungles, mountains, temples, and large urban environments. The iconography and deities of India was also appealing to the team.
The team reworked the combat mechanics of Uncharted to better fit Chloe's size and fighting style; while Nathan fought like a brawler, Chloe utilizes more martial arts techniques. While players have the ability to control the character and camera in the game, the team orchestrate gameplay elements to construct specific shots. "There's very little that's random," said art director Tate Mosesian. The team sought to "take advantage" of color when composing shots in the game. The team purchased a lock picking set during development, to assist with the implementation of the in-game lock picking mechanics.
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