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Nathan Drake won’t appear in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

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He’s busy on the beach

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy - Nadine/Chloe in jungle Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, the upcoming Uncharted side story starring Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross, won’t feature an appearance from series protagonist Nathan Drake, according to a preview of the game on the PlayStation Blog.

“We’re not going to touch on Nathan Drake in this, at all,” said Kurt Margenau, game director on The Lost Legacy.

That approach makes sense for The Lost Legacy, which developer Naughty Dog is pitching as a stand-alone tale in the Uncharted universe. The game spotlights two women whom we’ve only gotten to know in terms of how they relate to Nathan Drake. The Lost Legacy focuses on Chloe’s own treasure hunt: her search for an Indian artifact called the Tusk of Ganesh. She enlists the help of Nadine, who is recently unemployed — her mercenary company, Shoreline, has gone belly-up after the events of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

It also makes sense for Nate to sit out The Lost Legacy because of Naughty Dog’s repeated statements about the studio’s work on the Uncharted series ending with this spinoff. Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells told Game Informer in a recent interview that it would be “unlikely” for the company to make another Uncharted game. And after all, Naughty Dog sent Nate off to live out a peaceful seaside existence with his family at the end of Uncharted 4.

“We entertained a few possible ideas around including Nate as a secondary character,” said writer Josh Scherr about The Lost Legacy. “But everything we did felt superfluous because we tied it all up with Uncharted 4.”

Instead, Naughty Dog is focused on expanding the scope of The Lost Legacy in ways that the time pressures of Uncharted 4’s development schedule didn’t allow, according to the PlayStation Blog. The studio is building on the wide-open Madagascar chapter of Uncharted 4 — see our pre-release preview for a deeper look at that languidly paced sequence — with “the biggest [area] ever for an Uncharted game” in one particular level, said Margenau.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy will be released later this year exclusively on PlayStation 4. For more on the game, check out the reveal from PlayStation Experience 2016.