Dubai: Sony and Naughty Dog unveiled the latest instalment of the Uncharted series, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, at a media event on Monday evening.
Lost Legacy, originally intended as a downloadable expansion to last year’s Uncharted 4, was eventually designed as a standalone game when Naughty Dog realised the story was simply too big for downloadable content (DLC), the studio’s senior communications manager Scott Lowe expained.
The game will be released for the PlayStation 4 on August 22.
It’s the first Uncharted game that doesn’t feature series hero Nathan Drake, for reasons those who’ve played Uncharted 4 will understand. Instead, the lead role goes to former Drake sidekick and love interest Claudia Black, with her sidekick being mercenary Nadine Ross.
While set in India, Lowe was keen to emphasise that the story is completely fictional. Black must search for the lost Horn of Ganesh, an artifact once sought by her archaeologist father, and now hunted by villain Asav, a warlord who believes it will help him recreate the ancient Hoysala Empire.
The opening level has Black and Ross searching for clues to the item’s location in the Western Ghats, an area Lowe said is the largest game map Naughty Dog has ever created, and which acts as a “kind of open-world area” with three key story objectives, even though the game itself cannot be classed as an open-world one.
“A space this large provides you complete control of how you approach and when you approach,” Lowe told a press conference at the One and ONly Royal Mirage Hotel in Dubai. “Despite the scale, everything you do in the Western Ghats will contribute to a larger story,” he added.
Player choices might unlock new dialogue or reveal hidden areas accessible only through game mechanics. The region has puzzles of varying types and complexity scattered throughout, part of this instalment’s greater emphasis on puzzle-solving.
Further emphasis on puzzle-solving was evident at the conference, with journalists given a series of clues to solve during the event as actors dressed as soldiers and game leads Black and Ross urged them to find a safe-house located somewhere in India.
In most cases, players will be able to choose three approaches to the game: play it as a shooter by going in with guns blazing, take the stealthy approach, or skip an area altogether.
Nadine Ross is intended to be a “very strong ally fighting alongside you” in combat sequences, Lowe said.
New-to-Uncharted developments for this game include a new lock-picking skill, and a variety of collectible tokens, with photographic opportunities that can trigger dialogue.
“The more you explore, the more you learn,” Lowe said.