Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Contains Uncharted's Largest-Ever Level
"This is the single largest level we've ever done in Uncharted."
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The upcoming Uncharted standalone game, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, will contain the largest level developer Naughty Dog has ever made for an Uncharted game. In the latest issue of Game Informer, Naughty Dog talked about how this level, which is set in the Western Ghats mountain range, surpasses Uncharted 4's Madagascar level in terms of size.
"This is the single largest level we've ever done in Uncharted," designer James Cooper explained. "Geographically, it's much bigger than Madagascar, which was previously our largest level."
Game director Kurt Margenau added that players won't be forced down one path.
"We have this really great location with the rural Western Ghats that allows us to get a true sense of exploration, unlike anything we've done before where the level design isn't directing you exactly where to go," he said.
Every area in The Lost Legacy will have its own unique theme, and the Western Ghats level is focused on waterfalls, currents, mud climbs, and boulders--"stuff that's really challenging to get around," Cooper said. The jeep from Uncharted 4 returns for The Lost Legacy, as does its winch tool.
Margenau went on to say that never before has Naughty Dog given players so much side content and extras to discover. There will be "more collectibles, new weaponry, extra encounters, and special triggers for dialogue between characters," Game Informer said.
Chloe, the playable character in The Lost Legacy, will not have a paper journal like Drake does in Uncharted 4. Instead, she uses a phone to record activity and take notes.
"The journal is kind of Drake's thing. "We didn't just want to give her a journal," Margenau said.
Also in Game Informer's feature story, it's revealed that Naughty Dog considered other characters to star in the new game before settling on Chloe and Nadine. Other combinations included Sam and Sully and Nathan and his daughter Cassie. Naughty Dog said the Sully idea did not work because he's an older person and this would have made him "kind of a liability," in turn compromising the gameplay. Naughty Dog considered exploring Sully's past, but this didn't work either, because he was in the Navy and that wasn't all that exciting for a game.
The Cassie idea was abandoned because Naughty Dog felt that putting a gun into a teenager's hand felt wrong.
Intriguingly, Naughty Dog also worked on something "with the scope and ambition of an Uncharted 5." The studio moved on, however, to instead put more of its focus on The Last of Us Part II.
"We are taking a lot of time to dig in and consult the right people--to not offend on the religious level, on all levels" -- Creative director Shaun Escayg
A game featuring Chloe and Nadine made the most sense in the end. "[It was] the cleanest break without having to tie too much to what we had just wrapped up," creative director Shaun Escayg said.
The Game Informer piece goes on to shed some new light on the story for The Lost Legacy. Chloe and Nadine are on an adventure to find a jewel that the Hoysala people of India created to honor the Hindu god Ganesh's story. This is not a real-world item, but instead something that Naughty Dog invented.
"The understanding of the [Ganesh] story is what is interwoven into Chloe's story," Escayg said. "As she goes across her journey, she has one understanding of that story and at the end of the journey she has a new understanding of that story."
"We are taking a lot of time to dig in and consult the right people--to not offend on the religious level, on all levels," he added. "We also want to make sure we represent the people of that region properly."
As part of this, Naughty Dog cast "local Tamil insurgents" to voice characters in the game.
It's also confirmed in the feature story that The Lost Legacy will come with access to Uncharted 4's multiplayer and Survival modes. The Lost Legacy will be available to buy physically and digitally, though pricing has not been announced. People who bought the Uncharted 4 Digital Deluxe Edition or the Explorer's Pack by December 13 will get The Lost Legacy for free.
The full Game Informer story is a great read, stuffed with details on what is one of GameSpot's most anticipated titles of 2017. You can find out how to get your hands on the newest issue of the magazine here