Uncharted 4 was an absolutely fantastic game.

Well, at least in this writer’s opinion. So, of course, when Naughty Dog announced that it’d be releasing another game in the Uncharted series, I was beyond ecstatic. Naturally then, after hearing that Nathan Drake would not be the protagonist this time around, a little sceptical. The hero of this story would be Chloe Frazer, as seen in Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3, accompanied by Nadine Ross — that’s right, the bad gal from Uncharted 4. I needn’t have worried though; Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is absolutely fantastic.

The Lost Legacy follows Chloe and Nadine in India as they hunt for the golden tusk of Ganesh, an ancient Indian artefact, while fighting off the forces of the ruthless warmonger who also wants to get his hands on it. It’s a fairly standard plot that won’t feel too unfamiliar to anyone who’s played an Uncharted game before. Throughout the game you’ll explore the jungle, ancient ruins, and urban cities of India giving players a little taste of everything. I don’t need to tell you how stunning these locations are, either; I’ll let my screenshots speak for themselves.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

If you haven’t yet played Uncharted 4, I’d highly recommend that you give it a go before jumping into The Lost Legacy, because many of the controls are the same. You’ll need to use grappling hooks, rock climbing gear, and of course your ten fingers to traverse the ever-changing and dangerous environments. Along with climbing you’ll have to master combat in order to defeat opponents, be it loudly with guns and explosives, or quietly by hiding in tall grass and being a master of stealth.

The Lost Legacy, much like Uncharted 4, has a lot of driving. Sometimes it can be slow, casual moments where you get a chance to appreciate the environment around you; other times in the it can be in the heat of battle where you’ll be jumping car-to-car in order to avoid getting blown up. Most of the driving in the game is done during a more open world-type chapter; the first time that the series has allowed players to really explore the world how they would like to. Uncharted 4 touched on this a little bit, but in certain areas, The Lost Legacy really lets players do what they want, when they want — and it’s brilliant. Breaking away from Uncharted‘s signature linearity is a very welcome change; such a gorgeous landscape begs to be explored, and finally getting the chance to do so freely — even if just momentarily — is a clear improvement over the series’ formula.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Aside from the freedom of exploration, one of my favourite elements of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is its puzzles. There’s a great variety on offer, all with varying difficulty. Some puzzles are slightly similar to one another, but they’re always changed up enough to avoid ever feeling repetitive. I particularly enjoyed a puzzle towards the end where you have to move statues around in order to cast their shadows in the right place on the walls around you. It was a bit of a head-scratcher, taking a good few minutes to solve, but it was all the more satisfying when I finally got it. If you’re a puzzle lover, there’s definitely enough to whet your appetite.

So; The Lost Legacy has fantastic gameplay, brilliant puzzles, and a gorgeous setting to explore, but what about the lack of Nathan Drake? Are Chloe and Nadine a good enough replacement for the series’ main man? Personally, I think so. Chloe and Nadine are just as easy to like as Nate was back in 2007 when we first met him. Chloe’s can-do attitude along with Nadine’s hard exterior make for a lot of entertaining banter between the two, and both have a difficult past that will unravel as you move through the story, giving them both a very welcome layer of depth.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

And as we’ve come to expect from Naughty Dog, along with creating brilliantly complex and relatable characters, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is rich with history for us to explore. As Chloe and Nadine explore the ancient ruins of Halebidu and Belur, we learn what really happened with the Gods and ancient kings of the Hoysala Empire. Of course, some things are embellished for entertainment — this is still Uncharted, after all — but the game draws on plenty of real-world history of India between the 10th and 14th century that’s fascinating to learn about.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, then, is unsurprisingly another fantastic game from Naughty Dog, a developer whose pedigree only seems to grow stronger with each title. My scepticism over the lack of Nathan Drake was quickly proved wrong, as Chloe and Nadine make fantastic protagonists and a refreshing change to the series. Hopefully now, we can expect to see more full-length titles featuring Chloe and Nadine — or maybe Sam Drake or Victor Sullivan, or perhaps even brand new treasure hunters —ready to adventure out in the world and dig up history. I, for one, can’t wait to see where the series takes us next.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is available on PS4.