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Game Review

Have you been longing for another cinematic, Tomb Raider-like adventure? Have your fingers been itching to grab a controller to set out on a treasure-hunting quest with a more feminine, shall we say Croftian, feel? If so, then the gamemakers at Naughty Dog figure they've got an female-focused tale you might want to spelunk through.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy packs in all of the formulaic elements of Naughty Dog's Uncharted series—from tons of wisecracking dialogue, to hours of ledge-leaping and environmental puzzle-solving, to regularly spaced firefights and baddie head-knocking. Only this time there's no Nathan Drake. This game stars two savvy young women who shrug off their second-fiddle garb and swing into the adventuring limelight in their own right.

Don't Need No Stinkin' Drake

Anyone who's played previous titles in this franchise will recognize Chloe Frazer. She's been repeatedly featured as a hard-fighting female foil to the jocular rapscallion Drake. But here she's front and center in a fictionalized military struggle that's threatening to bring India to its knees.

Chloe's joined by mercenary Nadine Ross, an antagonist from Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. Together these two tough, capable women race against time to track down and procure a mysterious ancient artifact that hopefully will prevent an all-out civil war in India.

To uncover this valuable object, the adventurers will need to be well-versed in Hinduism and other Indian myths, tales of ancient gods that Chloe often refers to, thanks to all she's learned from her archeologist father. She and Nadine will also need to traverse and unlock the puzzling environmental mysteries of a hidden, unknown civilization. And they'll give battle to a powerful bad guy and his thugs, who happen to pop up at all the key moments when Chloe and Nadine uncover something vital.

Naughty Dog knows how to make tight, entertaining video games containing compelling characters and stories. They know how to stage fun puzzles that require careful observation of the environment around you. They know how to surprise you and leave you hanging by your virtual fingertips in a gorgeously crafted world covered in overgrown vegetation and dotted with sparkling waterfalls. And they know just how much control to give you as your pretty protagonists leap in and out of what feels like a Hollywood action flick.

Wish She'd Duck More and Wallow Less

Of course, as with any action pic or adventure game of this stripe, there are certain content issues to wade through, too. And even though Lost Legacy wears a T rating, it still has its share of such wallowing moments.

Our treasure hunters many times come off as little more than lying, common thieves, for starters. And the language here is worse than you might expect for a game with this rating. The women curse constantly as they engage in combat and casual conversation, sometimes tossing around nasty insults as well. Profanities and vulgarities include the s-word and crude anatomical references, as well as "a--," "a--hole," "d--n," "h---," and "b--tard." God's and Jesus' names are both abused frequently, and sometimes paired with other blasphemous crudities.

Chloe and Nadine are never intentionally sexualized, à la Lara Croft. But there's no doubt that these are two fit and beautiful females, whether we see them crawling soaking wet out of a deep pool or getting cracked on the jaw by a large thug's fist.

Speaking of violence, that aspect of the game is pretty prevalent, too. Besides watching men choke and beat these female heroes, we also see some 300 enemies killed in the course of things: Foes are dispatched with pistols, rifles, rocket launchers and assorted explosives and bone-breaking blows. This violence never gets really gory, but we do see a bit of blood spray as victims tumble over.

Poignancy Amid the Profanity

All that said, though, the overall narrative also touches on some genuinely positive themes. We gradually learn more about these two women's tough personal stories, which are closely related to their tragically broken family relationships. And it becomes clear how their lives are worse for wear as a result.

But over the course of the game, their bitterness begins to thaw as they give each other glimpses into their wounded souls. Their resulting friendship not only benefits their own hearts, but also opens them up to helping and caring for others again.

That's one of the more poignant messages that an Uncharted game has ever delivered … though players admittedly have to dodge a lot of messy content before they fully encounter it.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

PlayStation 4

Publisher

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Released

August 22, 2017

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Hoose Jake Roberson

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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