Gaming

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Review — Expanding on Excellence

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Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was the perfect send-off to the blockbuster franchise’s hero Nathan Drake, and would’ve been the best conclusion to the series. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy tries to make the case for even more Uncharted.

Originally planned as exclusive DLC for 2016’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy has been released as a stand-alone expansion, complete with a physical disc release for just US$ 40. As a nice gesture to loyal fans who got Uncharted 4’s version of a season pass (originally priced at US$ 25), Lost Legacy is available to download for free. It also comes with the entire multiplayer feature from Uncharted 4, while adding a new co-op survival mode.

AAA production at budget value

Like its predecessor, Lost Legacy looks absolutely gorgeous. The many breathtaking screenshots are proof that money was no concern in creating hyper-realistic urban and jungle environments.

The animation is as lifelike. As it was in Uncharted 4, Lost Legacy excels at infusing humanity into its characters through the smallest of motions. The brief upward curve at the corner of one’s lips, the downcast eyes during a tough conversation, the quick head-tilting and hand-waving to show disbelief and disagreement; it all adds up to make the cast convincingly human.

Leading ladies

Speaking of the cast, you play as Chloe Frazer, treasure hunter and former partner in crime (and romance) of Nathan Drake. Fans should recognize her from her supporting roles in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. She was noticeably absent in the last entry. Here, she comfortably slips into the spotlight as lead protagonist, brandishing a familiar roguish charm that is simultaneously cooler and warmer than franchise face Nate.

Alongside the thief with a heart of gold is badass merc Nadine Ross. She was the secondary antagonist in Uncharted 4, but she finds herself in Lost Legacy having to work with an associate of the two brothers that led to her ruin. She’s a no-nonsense, get-things-done type who is quick to anger when crossed.

Together, they seek the Tusk of Ganesh, a legendary artifact tucked away in the Western Ghats of India. A rebel group, led by intellectual strongman Asav, is also on the hunt for this relic to consolidate power and create conflict. Chloe and Nadine must then set aside their differences to find the Tusk before Asav and his murderous men do, fulfilling personal goals on the way to preventing a civil war and the deaths of millions of innocents.

Positive performances

 

The odd couple dynamic isn’t anything original, and the plot plays out like a conventional summer action flick. It’s that signature snappy Naughty Dog dialogue grounded with quiet moments and elevated by authentic voice acting that make this story feel fresh. Having it unfold through the eyes of presumably amoral individuals in Chloe and Nadine also makes their decisions to act nobly more satisfying than Nathan Drake’s heroic deeds. Not to downplay Nate’s accomplishments, but there was never any doubt that he’d eventually do the right thing. But for two fairly simple side characters with a history of checking out when things get too tough, it’s a lot more interesting to see how they react under pressure.

Another thing worth noting is that the two leads are women and the three major players are people of color. The past four games all had white main characters, most of which were dudes. While Chloe and Nadine are both voiced by Caucasian women and this isn’t a numbered entry in the series, it’s still a step in the right direction towards diversity in representation for big-budget titles. Naughty Dog is an industry leader, and it’s encouraging to have a renowned studio put out a game of this caliber with the heroes as black and brown-skinned females who aren’t sexualized.

Familiar, fine-tuned foundations

It’s no surprise though that the actual gameplay doesn’t break much ground. Every mechanical element from Uncharted 4 is carried over here. You’re swinging with a grappling hook, winching trees and doors to your jeep for leverage, mounting craggy walls with a piton, sliding down watery and/or muddy slopes, marking enemies with your weapon, and smoothly transitioning in and out of sneaking and gunfighting.

The puzzles are a bit more elaborate. A lot of them require sliding pieces around, but they’re presented in a variety of ways that they don’t get monotonous or frustrating. There’s a new lockpicking mini-game to get more powerful weapons and collectibles, too. It feels more like an afterthought, however, with how rare you actually need to engage in it.

There is one chapter that builds on the design of a standout section in Uncharted 4. Like the beginning part of Madagascar in that entry, you have the freedom to go wherever in this huge picturesque landscape to clear out important enemy fortifications in any order. The difference is you have more incentive to actually explore this time, evoking that open-world feeling akin to Skyrim or GTA where neat rewards or challenges await you.

Scaling gigantic ancient architecture and commando-ing your way through frenetic set pieces with state-of-the-art graphical fidelity continues to be an attraction. Only a handful of games out now look as good, and maybe only Horizon Zero Dawn matches these last two Uncharted games in scope through raw technical power.

A perfectly paced and priced package

While I didn’t mind how it took me about 18 hours to finish Uncharted 4, its slow beginning put me off from continuing with a replay. I can see myself going through all of Lost Legacy again because of its more evenly spread out moments of downtime and adrenaline. It also helps that I beat it in under eight hours, and that’s with a decent amount of time spent exploring and taking plenty of screenshots… which leads me to the strongest argument for getting this game.

Yep, that’s Chloe Frazer, star of Uncharted: Lost Legacy, making the (dum)best faces. It’s the single greatest addition to the robust Photo Mode that was in Uncharted 4. You can pause the action at literally any moment and have Chloe sneer in disgust, wink with smug delight, or do a duck face, among other lovely facial expressions. I don’t usually touch photo modes in games, but I took full advantage of this ingenious feature to great comic enjoyment.

It’s that sense of fun packed into a breezy, balanced adventure that I greatly enjoyed. Lost Legacy diving into the diverse set of people in this universe makes me want to play yet another one of these games. At this cheaper price that doesn’t sacrifice production values, more Uncharted (without Nathan Drake) doesn’t sound like a bad idea after all.

SEE ALSO: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End review

[irp posts=”3117″ name=”Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End review”]

 

Gaming

Nintendo announces Switch ports for Borderlands, Bioshock, and more

Coming later this year!

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With the world at a standstill, home entertainment is getting a temporary boost in sales and popularity. In the gaming world, the Nintendo Switch has blazed through households across the world, especially following the launch of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Sensing the opportunity, Nintendo has revealed more upcoming blockbuster titles when gamers finally tire of their deserted islands.

In a surprise Nintendo Direct presentation today, Nintendo has announced Switch ports for various games on other consoles.

In particular, a good chunk of the new titles comes from 2K Games. On May 29, 2K Games will release Switch ports for Bioshock: The Collection, the Borderlands Legendary Collection, and the XCOM 2 Collection. Prior to the announcement, 2K has already made a mark by bringing its popular NBA 2K series to the console. With the new titles, all we’re missing is Borderlands 3.

Additionally, Nintendo has announced other titles coming later this year. Burnout Paradise Remastered, a fairly recent remaster of the classic racing game, will launch sometime this year. Catherine: Full Body, a former exclusive to Sony, will launch on July 7. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition will launch on May 29.

Finally, a couple of classic Star Wars games are finally getting Switch ports. Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy is available already on the Switch store. Meanwhile, Star Wars Episode I: Racer will launch sometime this year.

Besides the new ports, Nintendo has launch a new exclusive game called Good Job! The puzzle game takes players to a virtual office, solving puzzles as you climb the corporate ladder. If you miss your office already, this might be the perfect game for you. The game is already available now.

Rounding out this massive launch event, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is releasing a new fighter this June: the fighters from Arms.

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Gaming

77-year-old arrested for playing Pokémon Go

77-year-old arrested for playing Pokémon Go

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The Madrid Police in Spain arrested a 77-year-old for roaming in the city. Why was he out on the streets? He wanted to catch all the Pokémons because there are no competing players around. This would have been okay at any other time but we’re all currently dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic.

Risking your life for a virtual game is not only foolish but also ignorant. Global casualty count stands at more than 21,000 and we’ll be reaching half-a-million infected victims in the next 24 hours.

It’s understandable that you’re frustrated being home all the time due to a city-wide lockdown or recommendation from authorities to practice quarantine. Humans are social animals and social distancing is something we’re just not accustomed to. We’ve already recommended some premium games like Alto’s Adventure that are free-to-play now.

However, we urge our readers to refrain from playing games that require you to go outdoors. A classic example would be Pokémon Go. The popular game is known for its sensational launch a couple of years ago and some fans are still stuck to it like adhesive glue. And, I understand the craze and love for the game.

Stay indoors

In times like these, nobody should be venturing out, unless it’s absolutely necessary. Necessary here means grocery and medicine runs. It doesn’t mean you wander the streets to catch a rare Pokemon. You may be successful in catching the Pokemon, but there are fair chances Coronavirus will also excel in infecting you.

Every day we’re covering at least a handful of articles that are at the intersection of technology and Coronavirus pandemic. The virus has spread across the globe and authorities are scrambling to educate people about its risks. Engineers are working round the clock to create awareness websites, chatbots, and even using AI to detect the disease with ease.

Via CNET

SEE ALSO: How to disinfect your tech from the coronavirus | Coronavirus porn is trending on Pornhub | Here’s where you can donate to the COVID-19 outbreak efforts | 4 ways you can use TikTok to help during the COVID-19 crisis


As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces

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Apps

10 offline free-to-play mobile games

Lockdown games to play!

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It’s the perfect time to disconnect. Maybe it isn’t because you want to; maybe it’s having an unreliable connection, hiding from work-from-home tasks, or you’re just about done with the internet for a while. Whatever it is, we all need a little dissociation from the hell the world has recently let loose.

Here are 10 free-to-play mobile games to hopefully help you get through this rough patch.

Cover Fire

Get it on Android and iOS

In Cover Fire, you lead a squad through sieged cities, deserts, and fields. You get prompted missions and encounter (surprise, surprise) enemies. Fundamental mechanics are to cover and fire which earns this game a slow clap for making it the name of the game. See what I did there. The game manages to maintain simple mechanics and controls while keeping some of the fun from playing an online FPS (first-person shooter). For people who like playing Call of Duty Mobile but don’t have a stable connection, fear not! This is a really good game that scratches the itch. 

Adorable Home

Get it on Android and iOS

Adorable Home is a cute passive simulation mobile game developed by HyperBeard. The game seems to be a tip of the hat to Neko Atsume by Hit-Point Co., Ltd. with cats being the surrounding theme. Adorable Home lives up to its name quite literally with cute creatures visiting your lovely home at random hours of the day; bento boxes for your partner prepped and ready, and of course, your lovely cats! You can decorate your home, prep bento boxes, and play with your cats. Enjoy the calm and passive play.

Dadish

Get it on Android and iOS

Dadish is a dad and a radish. His kids have gone missing from his vegetable patch and he’s off to rescue them. You’ll be exploring a quirky world while facing off fast-food foes on your way. This mobile platformer is heavy on the nostalgia with it’s charming pixel design and snarky humor. But out of everything, you’ll be humming away with arguably one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard from a mobile game. Don’t let that fool you though. Stages can get tough to go through which makes this a potentially good mobile game to add for speed runs.

Tsuki Adventure

Get it on Android and iOS

Ever dreamed of settling down to the countryside? Well, you’re in luck. Tsuki Adventure is a relaxing, story-based game filled with charming and adorable animals.  You can check in on Tsuki throughout the day, collect and harvest items, and visit locations around the country. This game has stunning design and you’ll need to see it to believe it. The game is charming in how laid back it is while maintaining a good amount of interaction. The one thing that makes this game strikingly good is its storytelling. Every moment in this game is beautiful: from the stunning view, to the stories behind each new friend.

Hungry Hearts Diner

Get it on Android and iOS 

This game will steal your heart away. If you’re looking for another Diner Dash game on mobile, you’ll like this one — but not for the reasons you’ll expect. Hungry Hearts Diner: A Tale of Star-Crossed Souls is such a wonderfully gentle game of a grandmother who keeps cooking for the people who come to her restaurant. You can talk to your customers and have a deeper connection with each customer as they drop by. The soundtrack against the stunning graphics makes this game lovely. You should really give it a go.

Kingdom Rush

Get it on Android and iOS

Kingdom Rush is a tower defense game developed by Ironhide Game Studio and published by Armor Games. I know this is me being obscenely late to the party, this was first released as a free flash browser game in 2011. The game has since been adapted for both mobile and Steam and has various iterations available. I’ll be straight with you, I’m not a fan of tower defesce games. But there’s something extremely compelling about Kingdom Rush, whether it’s cute art, the Candy Crush style story mode or just the mass of enemies that want to murder you. Either way, I almost didn’t finish this article from playing this game too much.

My Home — Design Dreams

Get it on Android and iOS

My Home — Design Dreams is a design simulation game with a twist of a match-three puzzle game. From a flat to a mansion, you can design and decorate everything the way you want. Since staying indoors and needing to reduce all human contact, I was weirdly in the mood for some interior designing. Since that’s impossible to currently achieve. I gave this one a go. It’s a really good game that incentivizes the its match-three puzzle mechanics. If you’re into designing your own home, you’ll have fun playing this one.

Cat Bird

Get it on Android and iOS

If you want a game that’s adorably challenging, I might have the game for you: Cat Bird. It’s a title developed by Rayumi Adventure, an independent studio headed by Ryan Carag. If you like pixel art, you might want to check other titles from the same studio because they’ve developed similarly designed games. This game is fun, adorable, and strangely unsettling when you find out in my review what I sat through.

Fallout Shelter

Get it on Android and iOS

It’s been out for years and, it’s here for a reason. We can’t just drop the classics on this list. Fallout Shelter is a free-to-play game that let’s you control and build your very own underground vault. It let’s you oversee a thriving community, building it one room at a time. You can explore the wasteland beyond your vault, and protect your inhabitants from incoming dangers from both outside and in. This is the kind of game that you’ll keep coming back to, probably because you’ve just remembered your starving inhabitants. Good for fans of the Fallout series, or if you’re yearning to build your own colony of vault dwellers.

Magic Tiles 3

Get it on Android and iOS 

It wouldn’t be fair to drop the classics on this list. If you were playing Tap Tap Revenge when it was released around the early 2000s, Magic Tiles 3 isn’t a far cry. Magic Tiles 3 is a popular piano game that has you tap on black tiles before they reach the bottom of the screen. The game will seem simple at first but, once you get into the groove, it’ll get addictively difficult. Magic Tiles 3 has various quests that let you unlock more songs to try out and play. It even has a battle mode to compete against your friends and other players when you’re online. If you can, download as many songs as you can when you can.

I tried to add as many offline free-to-play mobile games under different genres as I could. Hopefully, you get to find the game to fill your time with something fun on this list. Not everyone has access to stable and reliable connection. Even then, not everyone wants to stay taped to the internet day in and out. So, if you have a good offline free-to-play mobile game to add, let us know!

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