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'The Lost Legacy' takes 'Uncharted' back to basics

Chloe and Nadine

The Lost Legacy will, however, continue the studio’s trend toward deeper and more complex character portrayals. The slower, low-key moments from Uncharted 4 will return, giving the player time to learn and think about the lives of Chloe and Nadine. “We try to see what these sorts of characters’ inner lives are, and more importantly, how we can use the gameplay and the story to reflect on it.”

Before The Lost Legacy went into production, the team considered all of the characters in the Uncharted universe and what their own stories could be. Nathan Drake was off the table — his story had been put to bed — but almost everyone else was explored. But Scherr and his colleagues kept coming back to Chloe, the impulsive thrill-seeker that first appeared in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. They knew she was a fan favorite and were keenly aware that she hadn’t appeared in Uncharted 4. “We were thinking, ‘Does Chloe have a place in [Uncharted 4’s] story?’ and she really didn’t, so we thought, ‘Well, this would be a good reason to bring her back.'”

Chloe is a prominent figure in Uncharted 2 and makes an appearance in Uncharted 3. Despite this screen time, we know little about her history and motivations as an explorer. Scherr says the game will serve as “an introduction” to Chloe and “why she is the way that she is.” She’s half-Indian, for instance, and most of what she knows about the country comes from her father. The game will explore their relationship, past and present, as Chloe continues to chase the Tusk of Ganesha.

Nadine, meanwhile, is a relative newcomer. She was an antagonist in Uncharted 4, the head of a paramilitary organization called Shoreline. Tough and level-headed, she didn’t care for the treasure that captivated her sinister client, Rafe Adler. That position intrigued the writing team at Naughty Dog. For one, she was a villain. For another, she was the only antagonist to survive through to the end of an Uncharted game. “She has her own agenda,” Scherr said, “and she’s kind of above the whole treasure hunting thing. She’s not quite as insane as Nate or Rafe was. This is her means to an end.”

A tale of trust

The Lost Legacy is an exploration of their relationship. Thrust together by happenstance, they must work together to achieve a common goal. At first, “you’re going to see oil and water trying to mix,” Scherr says, as they struggle to trust one another or accept their way of thinking. Chloe is a capable fighter, but her approach to conflict is often improvisational. She’s also focused on self-preservation and will run if the odds are against her. Nadine, however, is more tactical and logical due to her military background.

In the demo I was shown, for instance, there’s a moment where Chloe and Nadine sneak up behind two guards. “Right, you take left, I’ll take right,” Chloe whispers. Before she can get close, however, Nadine has already strangled her target and kicked the other in the face, knocking them both out cold. “That works too,” Chloe says with a dollop of sarcasm. “Nice job.” Nadine turns and, referring to the soldiers, replies in a matter of fact tone: “Probably more where that came from.” “Right,” Chloe sighs.

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