Chloe and Nadine are doing it for themselves in this story expansion
Seeing an Uncharted game without Nathan Drake at the helm is like witnessing a Call Of Duty game without guns. It shouldn’t feel right. After all, his rakish style is a big part of what makes the whole series work. Turns out it might not be essential to it, though, as after the reveal of this long-gestating expansion, any doubts we have over his absence disappear faster than Rafe Adler’s inheritance funds.
For this Uncharted 4 DLC-turned-standalone-expansion, Chloe Frazer takes over the hero role and is forming an unlikely partnership with Uncharted 4 villain Nadine Ross. It’s certainly a left-field coupling, though both the Australian treasure hunter and the South African mercenary have already proved they are capable of holding their own. “The idea of the chemistry of Nadine and Chloe together, it gets the gears turning and it’s exciting to think about the prospects of where that relationship could go,” says game director Kurt Margenau.
Geographically, their relationship is going to India. The pair’s on the trail of an ancient artefact known as the Tusk of Ganesha, hidden somewhere in the country, and in classic Uncharted fashion they’re up against another mysterious antagonist who has an army on his side. “India’s got really nice iconography,” says creative director Shaun Escayg. “Hidden temples and weird deities we can play off of, so it’s a perfect setting for Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.”
House of Frazer
Making a point of confounding our expectations, Naughty Dog starts us off in a rough part of a wartorn town. Checking her phone, Chloe receives a picture message of a red door as a clue for where she needs to go. Wearing a niqab to try to blend in, she strides through back alleys in a slow and tense opening that hints at a grittier and more muted Uncharted. “It [will] be tonally different, but in the same context of the Uncharted world,” says Escayg.
This is certainly a darker part of said world. We see civilians being thrown out of their homes and guards harassing Chloe. But instead of blasting them away like Nate might, the focus is on stealthy avoidance. She’s even brought a handy lock pick with her, allowing her to quickly sneak into areas without kicking doors down.
The reason for all this sneaking around? Turns out she’s aiming to meet Nadine on the roof of a hotel, but things don’t go to plan. After all, this is an Uncharted game. A group of guards stumble onto their meeting point and a brawl breaks out, showcasing a more lithe style of melée combat. In one brilliant moment, Chloe uses her speed to slide along the ground and knock a guard to his knees before Nadine boots him off the roof.
“A lot of work has gone into making all the mechanics work for Chloe,” says Margenau, proud of the changes. “We had to rethink her fighting style and wanted all the melée moves to be different, so the animators [rethought] and recaptured a lot of all that stuff so she has her own personality when she’s fighting.”
The duo won’t be just hanging around a decaying urban war zone. While the entire game takes place in India, there’s a mixture of locations that’ll offer strong variety in level design. Margenau elaborates: “I would say we’re going a little more wide this time. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s something we’re excited about on the gameplay side, this kind of contrast of an urban setting and a rural setting; a tighter experience and more open experience.” Uncharted 4 uses this dynamic to great effect, so we can’t wait to see even bigger areas to explore here. Chloe won’t have to worry about getting blisters either, as Margenau also confirms that driving will return in some form.
Another point of note: you won’t need to own a copy of Uncharted 4 to play this, as it’ll be getting a standalone release. Creative director Shaun Escayg explains why: “It started as DLC, but we couldn’t find… well, we needed a longer time for the story to develop, and now I would say it’s a story expansion. That’s how we’re terming it.”
Considering the pedigree Naughty Dog has with post-launch content, the fact this needs to move from a standard DLC model to an actual bespoke entry bodes extremely well. Given that the studio likes to experiment with new ideas in its expansions – The Last Of Us: Left Behind was almost nothing but new ideas, after all – we’re eager to see what The Lost Legacy will bring and how it might influence The Last Of Us Part II. Expect greatness.