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Uncharted: Lost Legacy Review: Pass The Torch, Drake

Mike liked Uncharted 4. Caty didn't. So they decided to go halfsies on the review of its successor.

Review by Mike Williams, Caty McCarthy, .

Mike Williams Uncharted 4 and Lost Legacy Lover (Score Is Based On Mike's Review)

I expected to see more Uncharted in Sony's PlayStation future, but I never expected to see another full adventure so soon. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End was billed as the last outing of Nathan Drake and the game sent Naughty Dog's answer to Indiana Jones off in high style. While Drake and his erstwhile family may be done though, there's still room in the Uncharted universe for more adventure.

Yeah, that's a straight screenshot.

I want to set expectations straight from the beginning. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy was originally planned as narrative downloadable content (DLC) for Uncharted 4, but as Naughty Dog toiled away on the project, it became clear that it was a bit bigger than regular DLC. So, now it's a standalone release, killing the original Uncharted 4 Season Pass and coming in at a cool $40.

Instead of focusing on Drake, Elena, and Sully again, The Lost Legacy instead picks up after the contemporary events of Uncharted 4. Our hero–wait, do Drake and his ilk count as heroes? Our protagonist this time around is Chloe Frazer: love interest of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and partner-in-crime in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. She's joined in her adventure by Nadine Ross, mercenary and former antagonist in Uncharted 4. Together, the pair are on the hunt for the Tusk of Ganesh in India's Western Ghats.

Uncharted has always been a series concerned with legacy and family, and The Lost Legacy is no different. While Nadine is along for the ride, hoping to gain enough money to set her mercenary unit Shoreline back on track, this is Chloe's story. Despite the Australian accent (care of voice actress Claudia Black) and last name of Frazer, Chloe is actually of Indian descent on her father's side. He too was on the hunt for the Tusk; he disappeared in his final expedition, but the bug stayed with Chloe.

Frazer and Drake were very similar characters in Uncharted 2, making Chloe a natural fit for this role. She's openly after the Tusk for the money it'll net her and Nadine, but there's more under the surface. As you leap, hide, puzzle, and shoot your way through The Lost Legacy's ten-plus-hour adventure, Chloe begins to open up to Nadine. Not only do the pair strike up a convincing friendship, one as compelling and fun as Nathan and Sully, Chloe also begins to realize chasing the Tusk is bringing her close to achieving her father's dream. It's Chloe's story, but it's a very Uncharted one.

Mechanically, this isn't a huge departure from Uncharted 4, which makes sense given its genesis as DLC. Chloe can run, jump, and shoot just like Nathan Drake, though she has two additional skills. She has a set of lockpicks, allowing her to unlock chests around the map via an analog and vibration-based mini-game. She also steals a climbing piton straight from Tomb Raider, allowing Chloe to anchor herself onto porous rock with the press of a button. (Chloe even feels like reboot Lara Croft sometimes. I swear, in many respects, the line between Uncharted and Tomb Raider is getting thinner and thinner.)

If you're looking for Uncharted 5, I think you're overselling yourself on this game, though it is as long as some of the earlier Uncharted games. What you have here is a few linear, action-filled chapters bookending a lengthy Chapter 4, where the game throws you out into India's Western Ghats to wander.

It's the same idea as Uncharted 4's Madagascar, but given a more space and more love. You have the Jeep which facilitates your traversal across the region, but otherwise, you're given a map with a few markers on it and told to find your way. There are a few puzzle areas needed to unlock the final wall to your progression. Outside of those objectives, there's patrols to defeat, tokens that unlock something special, and a host of various hidden treasures. It's a great area, giving the game some breathing room and actually feeling like exploration for the first time in the series' history.

I should say something about the graphics, because Naughty Dog is still killing the game. Lost Legacy is gorgeous and if you told me that someone sold their soul to make these graphics possible, I'd believe you. The screenshots in my part of the review are all native capture from my PlayStation 4 Pro, converted into JPGs for size. It's a beautiful, beautiful game, full of life and color. Naughty Dog has also seemingly improved the facial animation, as Chloe and Nadine are a delight to watch.

Lost Legacy is an Uncharted game through and through. If you liked Uncharted 4, you'll probably like this. If you didn't, Lost Legacy's leaner presentation may be a boon to you. Outside of the lengthy middle chapter, it doesn't really overstay its welcome. It gets in, expands on one of Uncharted 4's experiments, and gets out. If you've played Uncharted before, you've done the shooting, you've climbed the walls, you've ran through ancient structures as they fall down around you. It won't surprise you. The Lost Legacy isn't any different in that respect, but what it does, it does well. And that's good enough for me. If Chloe and Nadine are the future of the franchise, we're in for a great ride.

Caty McCarthy Uncharted 4 Hater (and Lost Legacy Liker)

Uncharted: Lost Legacy stops short of being a novel sort of game. Here I am in the series' umpteenth rendering of a jungle, only it's now more gorgeous than ever before. I'm here with Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross, a half-Indian woman and an African woman, respectively. It's hard not to marvel at their naturalistic, tense dynamic—something that feels real for two women who are from opposite ends of the world from one another.

It's hard not to marvel that this is an Uncharted game, arguably a franchise dominated by parading white men as the focus, now starring two women of color. Two minorities. Two people that should be better represented across all games to begin with.

But it's all undercut by the fact that the actresses portraying these two women of color are white. That's a hard thing to ignore in a game about two women; one of whom is coming to terms with her cultural identity, the other her family's troubled legacy. Their identities are central to their characters. And yet, Naughty Dog's tipping their hat to diversity in visuals and story alone, and not paying the same favor forth behind the scenes and in the performances where it honestly matters most. It's the same as casting Emma Stone as a partially-Asian woman in Cameron Crowe's Aloha. It shouldn't happen.

Naughty Dog, as always, are at the top of the graphics game.

Nonetheless, this is the third time we're seeing Chloe in an Uncharted game, and the second we're meeting Nadine. For Lost Legacy, this is the first time they're both the star. Nadine's given redemption for being a villain in the prior game (even if she peaces out at the end). Chloe is given more depth as a character, previously acting as only someone to serve as the complete opposite of Elena in terms of love interests in Uncharted 2, and was just kind of around in Uncharted 3. She was notably absent from Uncharted 4: but no longer.

Uncharted 4 suffered from a lot of things. The weight of having a new writer behind the scenes. A retconned brother for the excuse of having Troy Baker in another game. It boasted open spaces that unfortunately felt empty and aimless, just wider corridors to slowly trot across with not much to discover in-between. The result was a game that was far too long with odd pacing to boot; it was the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull of Uncharted games, disappointing some long-time fans like myself as a result.

Uncharted: Lost Legacy at least recaptures some of that early Uncharted magic, but contains it into one central area and breathes new life into it. Chloe and Nadine don't always have a friendly dynamic—after all, Nadine's literally a contracted, paid companion—but their friendship grows and strains over the course of the game naturally. Nadine's in it for the paycheck. Chloe's in it for something greater.

At this point in the Uncharted series though, it's hard for all its bigger set pieces to not feel familiar. In Lost Legacy you do familiar things plucked right out of a frenetic action film. You shoot a lot of baddies. You run along a moving train. Things crumble beneath you. You climb impossibly large structures formerly hidden in plain sight. You loot treasure. You rope swing across deep crevices. The balanced pacing is key to Lost Legacy, reckoning more in common with Uncharted 2 and 3 than its slower successor.

This car will never die, no matter how much you flood it or ram it into walls.

Lost Legacy does a lot to establish its characters in its less-than-ten-hour adventure. We see Chloe and Nadine's relationship go through ups and downs. We see them gab in the car about how pleasant it is to be on such a quest alongside another woman for a change (thieving seems to be a male-dominated industry, as evidenced by past Uncharted games). Nadine talks about all the times she was underestimated and dealt with sexism when she was the head of Shoreline, a private military for hire. One man, Nadine tells Chloe, refused to work with her and wanted to speak to the "man in charge." How did she react? "I broke both his legs," says Nadine. Chloe laughs. #JustGirlyThings.

Sometimes the dialogue, like the exchange above, felt a little bit too on the nose. A little bit too "girls being girls, but look we're tough." Luckily, once Lost Legacy dips from its spacious open area (which, to note, feels far more focused and enjoyable to actually explore than the "open" spaces in Uncharted 4), those moments are fewer and less frustrating. Lost Legacy sheds the "look we're girls!" image, and blossoms into something grander.

Still, it's such a shame about the lack of diversity behind these characters. I can't help but feel like there's a bad taste in my mouth because of it, even if their performances are technically "good." It just could have been better, felt more empowering even, to have actual women of color voice and mocap these heroically flawed people.

Oh well. Maybe Naughty Dog will get it right next time. Maybe they'll learn that diverse virtual faces alone aren't enough. We need more voices too.

For help with Lost Legacy, head over to our Uncharted: The Lost Legacy guide hub.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy doesn't reinvent the series. It takes one idea, the open-world area from Uncharted 4, and expands on it. Otherwise, this is an Uncharted game from top to bottom, with all the action and adventure that entails. Nathan Drake and Sully may be gone, but Chloe Frazier and Nadine Ross are more than able to fill their shoes.

4.5 /5

Uncharted: Lost Legacy Review: Pass The Torch, Drake Mike Williams Mike liked Uncharted 4. Caty didn't. So they decided to go halfsies on the review of its successor. 2017-08-17T07:01:00-04:00 4.5 5

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Comments 54

  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #1 NiceGuyNeon A month ago
    So this is basically the Halo 3: ODST of Uncharted. Expansion turned into full blown release (at least this one is $40) during development. New protagonists. Same basic gameplay. Some new ideas/concepts peppered in BUT NOT THAT MUCH. Slightly lower review scores in general but with hints of optimism from everyone that "hey they're trying something new, that's swell!"

    We have finally reached that point. It's all downhill from here kids. All downhill.
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  • Avatar for MoogMasher #2 MoogMasher A month ago
    It all sounds very designed by committee and soulless, doesn't it?
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #3 VotesForCows A month ago
    I'm not sure about the game, but I really like your review format - though I know this effectively doubles the team's workload. Still, good for us readers out here!

    For whatever reason, Caty's comments reminded me that women used to be played by young men and boys in the theatre centuries ago. We live in a strange world. I suppose it didn't occur to the devs to match the actors to the characters ethnicity, but certainly seems like something they should consider in future.
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  • Avatar for Ralek #4 Ralek A month ago
    Maybe not quite the shot of fresh blood I had hoped for, but it does somewhat reinvigorate my interest in the series. I really wasn't feeling UC3 at all, and even UC4 was just a game that look gorgeous and played really competent.

    Yeah, there were more open'ish segments, but those were really just tiny sandbox in the way of how-do-you-want-to-tackle that playset we build for you. It was basically the idea of each of BotW 'enemy camps' without having those outposts integrated in a true open-world. What I'm saying is that it was just a competently crafted illusion, with really none of the wonders that BotW true open-world managed to inspire - not that it was going for that obviously, but still, it was mostly the same exact formula that had already felt incredibly dull in UC3.
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  • Avatar for metalangel #5 metalangel A month ago
    When a game review opens not talking about the game, but with a Tumblrina rant about how the women of colour protagonists are not portrayed by women of colour voice actors - and continually returns to this and similar gripes throughout - you know it's time to find a new game review site.

    Thanks SJWgamer, it's been fun, maybe I'll see you guys playing Fortnite.
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  • Avatar for chaoticBeat #6 chaoticBeat A month ago
    @metalangel Try thinking, it's free!
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  • Avatar for FalcoT #7 FalcoT A month ago
    I appreciated that you discussed all aspects of the game, including its cultural impact. Caty has been a great addition to the website.
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #8 MHWilliams A month ago
    @metalangel The review opened with me talking about the game in pretty straightforward terms, but I understand it may be a struggle to have another perspective. Peace.
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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #9 cldmstrsn A month ago
    @metalangel dont let that door hit you on the way out!
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  • Avatar for DrCorndog #10 DrCorndog A month ago
    A lot of people here seem to have some real trouble dealing with metalangel's opinion. Ironic.
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  • Avatar for Flipsider99 #11 Flipsider99 A month ago
    I don't want to be rude about it, but I don't understand why Caty's review had to be dominated with racial politics. Yes, I agree that all women should be given the same opportunities regardless of race. But I don't understand why Caty seems to think that people should only voice characters of their same race. Not only does that seem to place too much importance on identity politics, it doesn't really make sense and seems overly restrictive. It's not like voices are clearly defined by your ethnicity. Hispanic people don't have to "sound hispanic", so there's no reason why a white person couldn't play a hispanic person, or why a hispanic person couldn't play a white person.

    I just really don't like this way of thinking where if you're white you can only do white things and play white characters and if you're hispanic you can only do hispanic things and play hispanic characters, which seems to be what Caty is saying.
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  • Avatar for DrCorndog #12 DrCorndog A month ago
    @Flipsider99 It certainly dominated her review, which is the first problem I have with it. If you're going to write a review, write a review. What Caty wrote should have gone into making a separate feature.

    Second, the tone was off-putting. What we have here is a high-profile game starring two women of underrepresented ethnicities. That's really cool! So why undermine that by spending so much effort complaining about a lesser issue? (And, let's be real: Caty likely doesn't know enough about the goings-on at Naughty Dog to make such strong criticisms as she did.)

    Also, I want to reiterate that if there's going to be any discussion of serious issues, both sides have to be willing to take as well as to give. That means you don't respond with an angry or sarcastic comment every time someone criticizes you. What originally attracted me to USGamer was that people here were able to have real discussions on real issues. I'd hate to come to the conclusion that those people are gone.
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  • Avatar for dard410 #13 dard410 A month ago
    @Flipsider99, completely agree. I think it is necessary and appropriate to celebrate diversity in games, and I saw Lost Legacy as a great step forward in representation. However, criticizing a game for not being 100% perfect when it comes to diversity behind the scenes seems a pretty big leap to take. Should game reviews take into account the ethnic makeup of the studios that make the games? If you didn't read the credits would you even know the voice actors were white? (I recognized Claudia Black's voice, but I just assumed the Nadine voice actor was black like the character).

    In addition, Claudia Black and Laura Bailey were cast in their roles years before Naughty Dog even thought to make them the stars of this DLC (remember, Nadine and Chloe were originally pretty minor characters). ND probably went with them because they're well known, solid female voice actors in the gaming industry. Maybe in retrospect ND could and should have gone with voice actors who shared the same ethnic/racial background, but that decision had already been made and has nothing to do with whether or not Lost Legacy is a good game. Besides, we all know if ND changed the voice actors for the DLC fans would have raised hell.Edited last month by dard410
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  • Avatar for Talraen #14 Talraen A month ago
    @dard410 My worry is that if companies get harsh criticism for getting diversity wrong, they may simply conclude it's not worth the effort to even try.
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  • Avatar for catymcc #15 catymcc A month ago
    @dard410 I think you missed the part where I acknowledged that this was a problem in the past games too: that the voice actresses were both cast well before Naughty Dog decided on their characters' ethnicities in their respective prior games. That's a problem! It gnawed away at me throughout this entire game (which is centrally about Chloe returning to the culture she's long been away from), just as whitewashing has bothered others in other forms of media like in film and television. To ignore that fact would be an unfair review. A review is reflecting on my experience with the game, and my experience is that this game stops short of being great because of Naughty Dog's half-baked view of diversity, and it bugged me. Every step forward felt like it was two steps backward. If the game didn't have the characters' racial identities as such a prime focus in the story, I likely wouldn't have felt the need to call it out so prominently. Alas, it's an immense bummer.
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #16 MHWilliams A month ago
    @DrCorndog Let's be empirical here. Do you feel metalangel's opinion is what people have a problem with?

    "When a game review opens not talking about the game, but with a Tumblrina rant about how the women of colour protagonists are not portrayed by women of colour voice actors - and continually returns to this and similar gripes throughout - you know it's time to find a new game review site.

    Thanks SJWgamer, it's been fun, maybe I'll see you guys playing Fortnite."

    Now note, you have an issue with Caty's tone according to a later post, which never denigrates Naughty Dog directly, merely the choices they made have made, as is wont to do with criticism. And, further, is a secondary review, one which did not factor into the score. So, it's quite odd to have that as the focus if folks are fine with the opinion all told.

    So perhaps, you can make me understand why you are for one and yet against another?
    @Talraen I'd almost be worried about that except A) there's still money to be made as there's an audience looking for diversity in their games across the entire spectrum of development and B) this pre-supposes that any criticism of a feature you're looking for a bad idea. Which is to say, if you wanted online multiplayer in a game and the developer delivered poor netcode, you should say nothing. I don't think that's a really tenable situation. So why is diversity, of all of the difficulties of development, the one that is singled out? Help me understand.
    @dard410 It is worth noting that the decision behind Nadine's voice actor was criticized at the time as well. (http://kotaku.com/uncharted-4-creator-stands-by-having-white-actor-voice-1746457508)

    ---

    To be honest, the video acting thing doesn't bother me. I understand why it would bother someone else though, as it represents a chance for a minority voice actor to get work. So, while I love Uncharted I'm also not particularly worried about Caty giving her thoughts, which is why I was the primary review and she was secondary.Edited 3 times. Last edited last month by MHWilliams
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  • Avatar for Flipsider99 #17 Flipsider99 A month ago
    +catymcc Well what do you think they should have done differently? Should they have recast the characters? Or should they have removed the racial identity aspect from the story?
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  • Avatar for dard410 #18 dard410 A month ago
    @MHWilliams, fair enough about the original Uncharted 4 controversy, but Druckmann's comments also seem pretty telling. From what he says, they settled on a voice actor before they settled on the character's race.
    @Flipsider99, what's the alternative? Druckmann has said before they were thinking about using Sully and Sam as the protagonists for the Lost Legacy DLC. That would have been the likely alternative. I hardly think two white men would have been a greater victory for diversity in video games than using Chloe and Nadine.Edited last month by dard410
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  • Avatar for Iambiz #19 Iambiz A month ago
    If we consider video games as art, then we should allow video game reviewers to criticize the same things that a literary critic would for a novel, or a film critic for a movie, and we can't limit them to just the gameplay portion of the game. (And, if you've ever watched the well done making of documentaries included in the Uncharted games, the people at Naughty Dog definitely consider their games to be art). Certainly, it wouldn't be out of place for a film critic to mention a white actor portraying a black character in a movie, so why is it so wrong for video game reviewer to do the same.

    One of the best things about USgamer under Kat's stewardship (and Jeremy's before her) is that the writers respect the intelligence of gamers and there's well reasoned, intellectual content on the site. I'm glad to see that in Caty and Mike's review today and hope this level of discourse continues into the future.
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  • Avatar for dr134 #20 dr134 A month ago
    I believe in meritocracy.

    Bart Simpson is a young man voiced by a middle aged woman. Do I care? No, because she is great at her job.

    Whoever is best should get the job, full stop.
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  • Avatar for ropelix #21 ropelix A month ago
    So, Cathy is worried about minories , SJ and leftist propaganda?
    In a game?
    thanks!
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  • Avatar for ropelix #22 ropelix A month ago
    wow, thought that i was far way from polygon...
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  • Avatar for SuperShinobi #23 SuperShinobi A month ago
    @NiceGuyNeon

    Not necessarily. Consider for example how the Tomb Raider series - even after countless mediocre sequels - suddenly became awesome again in Tomb Raider 2013 and RotTR. Halo may not have been left in such great shape after 5, but if they can find a new direction, it could make a comeback.

    As for Lost Legacy, it's just an expanded DLC, so it's not something that should've been expected to be the next great installment to take the series into the next level. It's just an expansion and continuation of 4. They saw an opportunity to tell an interesting story, which they knew the fans would appreciate. And as it seems to have been a passion project that very much grew organically, it made sense to take the detour, before concentrating on the next big project.
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  • Avatar for donkeyintheforest #24 donkeyintheforest A month ago
    Sounds like another Uncharted game that will make for a great check out from the library! Libraries everyone! They're great!
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #25 MHWilliams A month ago
    @Flipsider99 I don't speak for her, but I believe she'd either A) preferred a recasting or B) preferred that they cast actors that matched the roles in the first place.

    It's worth noting that casting voice actor to match the character is one of the reasons Overwatch is rather popular. The added benefit to Blizzard is being able to draw on those voice actors for more authentic lines of dialog. To wit, if you have say a black guy voicing a Korean character, that's fine by me, but a Korean voice actor would be able to say, "Yeah, I think the line should read like this" and provide better feedback. This has been noted in interviews with non-English OW character voice actors, like Mei's VA, Zhang Yu, who actually isn't an English speaker.

    Think of the voice actor thing as akin to a military buff saying, "Hey, that gun doesn't look or sound like that. I would prefer if you used something closer to the real thing" or "this character's weapon carry is all wrong." It's not really a slam against the work that was done and the creators can decide, as Druckmann did for Uncharted 4, to simply keep on keeping on.

    But some feel leaning in certain directions can improve the authenticity of a work and in this case, provide opportunities for VAs who don't always get a chance at work. Here's an interview with Gaku Space, the VA behind Genji, who notes in the middle, "I don't have many auditions, because of my accent." Now, if you cast a non-Japanese actor for Genji's role and had them pull off a convincing accent, you would've essentially locked a door for Space to have a role at all, because roles where he fits and provide additional authenticity are rarer for him than, say a white or black actor.

    Does that make sense?Edited 2 times. Last edited last month by MHWilliams
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  • Avatar for Flipsider99 #26 Flipsider99 A month ago
    Deleted last month by Flipsider99
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  • Avatar for Flipsider99 #27 Flipsider99 A month ago
    @MHWilliams It makes sense in certain situations but I don't know if it makes sense in this case. Since the characters already have established voices, I think you could argue that "authenticity" isn't a good reason to upset that familiarity that the fans already have. In all likelihood, authenticity is probably not what the fans prioritize, and that's perfectly fine, epsecially for a game like Uncharted that is pretty mindless anyway.

    Now if you wanted to argue that "maybe they shouldn't have pushed the ethnic heritage so hard when the characters are played by mismatched races," then that would make sense. I think that would be a fair criticism. Or if you want to say "maybe they should have just used two new characters so they could have cast new people in the roles." That would also make sense. But the problem I have is that Caty doesn't make this point very gracefully, and it sounds a bit like she's saying that characters should always be placed by their proper race, which I find a bit problematic. She might want to put a bit more care into how she addresses these issues next time, since they are delicate issues.
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  • Avatar for donkeyintheforest #28 donkeyintheforest A month ago
    Oh man there are a lot of people annoyed with discussion racial politics in games haha.

    I read Caty's review (the first thing she says, in her byline, is that she liked it btw) as being it's basically a normal Uncharted game except:
    1. the graphics are a bit better
    2. the open areas are a bit better
    3. its a bit shorter/she likes the pacing more than 4
    4. the racial politics and resulting story threads are different than previous entries

    Out of those things I think one stands out as the more interesting thing to discuss in detail. It's ok to raise issues and be critical of a game, while still enjoying it (haha where have i heard that before?). I agree with Mike in that I don't care that much about who plays who, but to ignore the issue would do a disservice to the underrepresented voices in media. I thought the dual format of this review was great!
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  • Avatar for dard410 #29 dard410 A month ago
    @MHWilliams, that makes a lot of sense. I certainly believe - and hope most of us do - that ideally casting a voice actor of the same ethnicity as the character is the preferred course of action. However, I think the issue here is that a review of Lost Legacy doesn't seem like the place to focus on this for a few reasons. Option A/recasting probably wouldn't have gone over well with fans (look at the brouhaha over the replacement of the voice actor for Harry Flynn in Uncharted 4). Option B is already water under the bridge at this point - the actors were cast years before Naughty Dog settled on the direction for Lost Legacy. So it seems like it was largely out of the control of the developers by the time they got to Lost Legacy.

    On another note, I really like the format of having two mini-reviews for the game. It helps readers get a sense of the range of opinions, even at one website like USgamer. Hope you use that in the future for big releases.
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  • Avatar for BigPrimeNumbers #30 BigPrimeNumbers A month ago
    I find calling out the actors doing the performances of the racially diverse cast a bit odd. This has happened in many other games in multiple directions (e.g. the white male Kratos being performed by a black man, Terrence Connor Carson). I could see this being more important if this was an insensitive portrayal of these characters that is obviated by the actors' performance, but it does not appear to be.
    While it is important to have diversity in those who get to play part in all aspects of game creation, the larger picture here is that two women of minorities are being represented front and center in a positive manner (the actors are not the stars here). This argument seems to posit that if an actor doesn't look like their game avatar, then they shouldn't be portraying them (a huge problem as most people don't and can't look like hyperbolic game characters).
    Diversity is very important, but this argument seems to be missing the forest for the trees.Edited last month by BigPrimeNumbers
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  • Avatar for Flipsider99 #31 Flipsider99 A month ago
    +dard410 Well, in the field of voice acting I don't see why the ethnicity of the voice actor needs to be relevant. If the voice sounds right, I don't see why a white character couldn't be played by a black actor, or hispanic actor, or any other mismatch. There are plenty of characters that are played by mismatched voice actors, that's one of the nice flexibilities about voice acting; as long as the voice sounds right, it can be played by anyone. So isn't it a bad idea to thrust identity politics into a field where it doesn't really make much sense?
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  • Avatar for Talraen #32 Talraen A month ago
    @MHWilliams I think the issue can be summed up based on what@catymcc said: "If the game didn't have the characters' racial identities as such a prime focus in the story, I likely wouldn't have felt the need to call it out so prominently." Essentially, if Naughty Dog didn't care about diversity and didn't try to feature it in their game, they'd avoid this criticism. Granted, they'd likely be criticized for starring more white guys (or whatever), but that was hardly a major theme of Uncharted 4 reviews, where it would be just as applicable.

    Your comparison to bad netcode is a fair one, but I think the effect is the same. If a developer adds multiplayer and everyone hates it, there's a fair chance they'll just not include it the next time around. (The key difference being that, unlike diversity, multiplayer may actually be something the game could do without.)Edited last month by Talraen
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  • Avatar for dard410 #33 dard410 A month ago
    @Flipsider99, see Mike's answer above for why in a lot of cases it can help to have actors be the same ethnicity as the characters. I think part of the problem with the review is we don't know what that really means for Uncharted 4: Lost Legacy. I think the review would have been more helpful if it had pointed out problems in the performance of Nadine or Chloe, maybe some nuance in dialect or voice work that an Indian/African actor would have captured that Black and Bailey didn't, etc.
    @donkeyintheforest, around half of the review, including the the first three and last few paragraphs, focused on the racial identities of the actors, so it seems like a fair point of discussion.
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  • Avatar for Flipsider99 #34 Flipsider99 A month ago
    @dard410 That's a good point. It would have helped enormously if Caty had pointed to something specific in the performances she though was lacking, that would have been helped by a more specific actor. But she didn't even say whether she found a problem in their performances or not, which is odd if her problem were actually authenticity.

    I'm just trying to make the point though that it's often okay for voice actors to mismatch their characters. Someone pointed out that Kratos is played by a black actor. That seems fine to me, but Caty seems to be saying that there is something wrong with that.
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  • Avatar for Dante1930 #35 Dante1930 A month ago
    First things first: these are both informative, well written reviews.

    About the racial controversy: Nadine are Chloé are both human beings first, then women, then whatever color or ethnicity they 'belong' to. Human beings first. I'm surprised 'race' is such a hot subject.

    Roland of Gilead of the Dark Tower movie was cast as Idris Elba (in the books he is a white, blue eyed man), and Shadow from American Gods was cast as a black man (Indian descent in the books). Is their 'race' that important?

    Of course it's more 'coherent' if the voice actors ethnicity matches those of the characters. But it is really that important? For myself, as long as they do a good job, and portray the humanity and character in a convincing, good way, I couldn't care less. I respect and understand Caty's opinion, and Mike has a good point when he talks about job opportunities for people of those ethnicities, but all in all I consider this point not a real issue, and certainly not important regarding the quality of the game.

    Another example, in Assassin's Creed Unity, which takes place in Paris, the characters speak with an english accent. Simply because the developers thought the french accent was harder to understand. Should that be an issue too? Interesting point of interest yes, issue not to me.
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  • Avatar for donkeyintheforest #36 donkeyintheforest A month ago
    @dard410 "around half of the review, including the the first three and last few paragraphs, focused on the racial identities of the actors, so it seems like a fair point of discussion."

    What seems like a fair point of discussion? The the racial identities of the actors? The fact that people are complaining that she discussed it? Something else? I don't really follow.
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  • Avatar for TheWildCard #37 TheWildCard A month ago
    Yeah I've got to agree that Caty's emphasis the racial casting seems...not terribly helpful in a review? Not saying there's no place for political views in a review or can't be noted, but the length she dwells on it seems more suited for an editorial, as it doesn't really say anything about the quality of the game itself. Especially if your not sold on the idea of being so race essential about casting (not that there isn't room to discuss diversity of representation and opportunities for people of color). Granted, maybe the fact the Uncharted is so formulaic doesn't help!
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  • Avatar for nadiaoxford #38 nadiaoxford A month ago
    I like seeing diverse characters in games, but I'm also glad the established voice actors were used because I'm not down with taking away jobs from women, period.

    New PoC characters? Sure. Bring in the PoC voice actors. It's great seeing more diversity in character rosters, but it's a lot more helpful to give actual jobs to artists, writers, and musicians of colour.

    There, I disagreed with Caty's statement without resorting to a certain acronym that starts with "S," ends with "W," and has a "J" sandwiched in there somewhere. Calm, rational debate is the new fad! All the cool kids are doing it.
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  • Avatar for tenaciousck #39 tenaciousck A month ago
    I had no idea how to feel about Caty's part of the review since I never knew the ethnicity of the actresses who played these characters in 3 and 4.

    The comments in this thread helped to enlighten me about a few different perspectives when it comes to VO.

    I feel Naughty Dog's hands were tied in a way with casting happening years ago, but perhaps in the next go around they can try to match the voice to the character.

    The director of the game just wants the best performance, but I do think it would be more interesting if they could get someone with the appropriate ethical perspective to bring to the role, too. Of course, I'm sure the director would just say "wtf, they're actors, they're paid to act like other people!", but I'd be curious to hear the inflections of someone who could more closely relate to the culture they're representing.

    Anywho, like the multi-person review approach. Takes me back to the EGM days! :)
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  • Avatar for Nazo #40 Nazo A month ago
    Nadine sounds South African and Chloe sounds Australian to me which is what I assume they were going for. It sounds like Chloe is half-Indian, do we need to find an actor with the same racial make-up to play her? For sure an increase in diversity is desirable but I'm not sure that restricting voice actors on physical appearance lines is a good way to do it. Darth Vadar would be a less memorable character had the white actor who physically played him voiced the character as well.
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  • Avatar for peak_performance #41 peak_performance A month ago
    I like when reviews don't have to reiterate everything about a game, but rather can hone in on more specific parts of the experience. This two-part format works well with that and I appreciate the discussion that Caty is bringing up (and it's not like the few mentions of it is the entire review, even).

    Will you be doing more double reviews in the future? I'd like it a lot but I'm guessing it's not easy to get several persons to dedicate time to a single game, since there's often a lot of releases that can be covered.
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  • Avatar for nickfugate95 #42 nickfugate95 A month ago
    I like this review format because I have a better chance of reading a review from someone I tend to agree with in reviews. With reviews (game, movie, whatever) I prefer to get a sense over time of reviewers so I know if I tend to share their opinion. I tend to enjoy the games Mike does and not the ones Caty does so having both reviews is useful. If the site only had Caty reviewing Uncharted I wouldn't really use it to determine if I want to buy the game whereas I'm sure the same could be said of others if only Mike was reviewing the game.
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  • Avatar for Flipsider99 #43 Flipsider99 A month ago
    @Johnny-Law Why? She was right about Horizon, and Uncharted 4 basically IS Crystal Skull. I may not agree with her decision to focus on identity politics in this review, but my main disagreement is that she (and Mike) are just too nice to this game, which is a stale trotting out of the same tired formula. The open world stuff is done a bit better this time but it's still really weak compared to the expert advances in the open world formula we've seen this year.
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #44 MHWilliams A month ago
    @peak_performance We'd love to do them all the time, but we have a team of 7 and 2 of those are guides people. It was a slower week and we were both interested in the game, so we reached for the dual review.

    We've done them before though and will continue to do them in the future as time allows.

    Previous examples:
    http://www.usgamer.net/articles/dark-souls-ii-scholar-of-the-first-sin-xbox-one-review-return-of-the-king
    http://www.usgamer.net/articles/mad-max-ps4-review
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #45 NiceGuyNeon A month ago
    @SuperShinobi I'll be honest, I was being a little facetious about the comparison because I anticipated the remaining 40 comments around us :P I AM TO INJECT LEVITY INTO THINGS!

    I think Uncharted is in a better place now then Halo is, and even though I do get an ODST vibe from this game (I actually really enjoy ODST and Reach), Uncharted is also in a better position than Halo was at the time just based on the fact that the development team is not letting it go, claiming independence and then swearing fealty to Activision to make some MMO-like instead.
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #46 NiceGuyNeon A month ago
    @MHWilliams I love the duo (it would be KILLER IF YOU GUYS COULD DO THE TRIO but that would be nearly 50% of staff). It's always nice to get the differing perspectives. Reminds me of the old EGM days where you'd get three very quick, brief reviews and each one individually scored. Those were the days!
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  • Avatar for peak_performance #47 peak_performance A month ago
    @MHWilliams thanks. Will keep looking forward to them whenever they appear!
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  • Avatar for DrCorndog #48 DrCorndog A month ago
    @MHWilliams Maybe "tone" was the wrong word in Caty's case. I do see the issue with metalangel's tone, even though I agree with the sentiment somewhat.Edited last month by DrCorndog
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  • Avatar for drmuffin1080 #49 drmuffin1080 30 days ago
    Oh, Caty. If you're going to give reasons as to why Uncharted 4 failed (and it didn't), at least get your facts straight. New writer? He was not new. Druckmann had been writing for the franchise since Uncharted 2. He may have been brought in late for Uncharted 4, but he was not new to the series. And then the retconned brother ONLY to bring in Troy Baker? REALLY? You do know that while Amy Hennig was writing the story with the new Drake brother, it was a DIFFERENT voice actor. The guy left during development. Therefore, Druckmann, a man who had just recently worked with and enjoyed working with Baker, invited Baker along as the replacement. Get your facts straight before you make accusations. Then we get to the characters being played by different races. Okay, I get how that can be part of another discussion, but not the game review. It doesn't affect its quality in any way. This is still a highly polished game and the fact that the voice actresses are different races doesn't change that. By the way, minorities play white people in voice acting but no one ever talks about that. I get it, it's because minorities "need more representation in acting." But guess what? They're a minority. That's why we don't see them as much. And as for the Uncharted series "parading white people." These characters are engaging. Race shouldn't matter.
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  • Avatar for drmuffin1080 #50 drmuffin1080 30 days ago
    @NiceGuyNeon keep in mind this was originally going to be just regular Uncharted 4 DLC. Appreciate the fact that we got a new Uncharted game only year after release. So what, it's shorter and doesn't introduce many new concepts. That was to be expected and if y'all were expecting more you're dumb. Appreciate that the community got more than was originally planned.
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  • Avatar for drmuffin1080 #51 drmuffin1080 30 days ago
    @metalangel dunno why you're getting so many dislikes I'm with you. This doesn't affect the game's quality so she shouldn't even be talking about it.
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #52 NiceGuyNeon 30 days ago
    @drmuffin1080 Uh, what? How is that any different from my Halo 3: ODST comparison lmao
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  • Avatar for drmuffin1080 #53 drmuffin1080 29 days ago
    @NiceGuyNeon I just don't get why "it's all downhill"
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #54 NiceGuyNeon 29 days ago
    @drmuffin1080 As explained in a later comment, it was mostly meant as a lighthearted post and that I think Uncharted is actually in a pretty good spot.

    See comment #45 in this article with the details if you're interested.
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  • Avatar for drmuffin1080 #55 drmuffin1080 28 days ago
    @NiceGuyNeon ohhhhhh. Yeah, I love Halo (fav game series ever), but ever since the massive disappointment that is Halo 5: Guardians I've moved onto Naughty Dog as my favorite developer. I forgive Halo 3: ODST for its brevity because it was originally meant to be a DLC and it really is quite fun as a standalone feature, differentiating itself from other Halos and adding the addictive firefight mode. I get why people would be upset about the $60 dollars but that's more Microsoft than Bungie. Plus, we got the badass Halo: Reach a year after to make up for ODST's briefness.
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