Nadine Ross is one of Uncharted 4’s weakest characters, but she finally gets her true time to shine in 2017’s Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.
To many, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was a perfect resolution to Nathan Drake’s story. Introducing his long-lost brother and having one last attempt at finding Henry Avery’s treasure was a journey that, upon conclusion, sent the beloved action hero into a life of adventure and the unpredictability of fatherhood. This was all despite Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End‘s pacing issues and largely weak antagonists – something Uncharted: The Lost Legacy attempts to fix.
With the announcement and release of Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves, the fourth instalment of the series got updated visuals and a generous performance boost. It also included The Lost Legacy, a standalone tale centered around Chloe Frazer and A Thief’s End baddie Nadine Ross after the events of the main game. Veteran fans of the series found enjoyment reacquainting themselves with Chloe, who was last seen in 2011’s Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, but the character who went largely overlooked was Nadine. After an unspectacular introduction in A Thief’s End, she was given a shot at redemption in the 2017 release.
The Lost Legacy’s Newfound Partnership
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy was a significant deviation from the norm, pairing one of the series’ best characters, with one of its arguably most forgettable. Nadine is introduced to the player as a fierce, straight-talking, capable leader of Shoreline, a mercenary group whom Rafe Adler hires to assist with his mission of finding Libertalia. In Uncharted 4 she’s brought to life by voice actor Laura Bailey, but the character’s involvement in the story never extends past being the head of the mercenary group. For as well-acted and modelled as Nadine is, if Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End didn’t include her, the narrative would likely be no different save for a few times she gets the best of Nate.
A year after the release of the fourth main entry, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy saw Nadine return as an associate of Chloe Frazer, searching for the famed Tusk of Ganesh. The Lost Legacy was a critical and commercial hit, and with Nadine taking the supplementary role, developer Naughty Dog was able to handle the character with more care and attention. The pairing of Chloe and Nadine grants the player more time to get to know the nuances of the latter’s character, and though she remains stern and tight-lipped through the first few hours, Chloe’s snarky and inquisitive nature takes effect. The pair develops an unlikely friendship through the remainder of the story.
Legacy of Underappreciated Thieves
Though the partnership is interrupted by Sam Drake’s presence, he more often than not feels like an annoyance as Nadine and Chloe’s partnership takes shape. Nadine, an under-developed character in A Thief’s End, fits into the character dynamic far more than Sam. All that time with Nate and Sam in previous Uncharted games is swiftly forgotten as Chloe and Nadine’s chemistry is natural.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves is an opportunity to revisit Nathan Drake’s search for Henry Avery’s lost treasure, which is an exciting thought knowing the added power of the PlayStation 5, but neglecting to experience Chloe and Nadine’s quest would be a thoroughly missed opportunity. The pair’s development and interactions rival that of their A Thief’s End counterparts.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is an underappreciated experience. Much like Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the game was a separate release, but many didn’t see it that way as the visual upgrades were minimal and each were focused on a side character. To call either an expansion would be selling them short, as both offer superb storytelling, near-flawless presentation, and hours of enjoyment.
In the case of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, level design was overhauled and offered a more open-ended approach to exploration, which differs greatly from the linearity of most Uncharted titles. Though there are blemishes, like an undercooked villain and familiar action set pieces, The Lost Legacy is a great Uncharted game. If nothing else, it finally gives Nadine Ross a development arc that’s deserving of Laura Bailey’s acting talent and Naughty Dog’s writing.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves is available now for PS5. A PC version is also in development.