Despite being intended as merely a downloadable expansion for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, since being promoted to a half-price, standalone release, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy has established itself as the rubric for a brighter future of the franchise that is free of Nathan Drake, his brooding backstory and personal dramas, and the relentless padding of his overlong, overrated games.
That isn’t a controversial opinion. The Uncharted games are good, and have periodically flirted with excellence, but they have never been the masterpieces that critical acclaim and corporate pride suggested they were. The Lost Legacy returns the series to its insouciant, knowingly pulpy roots with an experience that is half as long and twice as focused; a low-stakes adventure that retains its parent game’s engine and remarkable production value, and developer Naughty Dog’s extremely high standard of character writing and set-piece design. This is the best complete Uncharted experience, and the first to finally realise that the least interesting aspect of Nathan Drake’s tropical excursions has always been Nathan Drake himself.