Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection Review
Uncharted is just one of the many franchises that cemented Sony’s continued first-party exclusive dominance over the past years, elevating Naughty Dog as one of the top developers in the business. Their latest release, Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, brings together some of the best titles in the series – Nathan Drake’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Chloe Frazer’s Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.
This month, we rediscover these unmistakable classics through the power of Sony’s latest hardware – a next-gen experience turning familiar expeditions into memorable adventures, highlighting gameplay improvements, and reconnecting with characters that we haven’t seen for years.
Newcomers are in the enviable position of playing the game for the first time with all the bells and whistles brought about by the PS5. Is the plunge for the Legacy of Thieves Collection worth it?
The Wonders of the PS5
For seasoned Uncharted fans, you may have already experienced these games in the past. That said, it’s also probably been a while since you’ve played both, making the Legacy of Thieves Collection a tempting proposition. If you’re fortunate enough to own a PS5, you owe it to yourself to experience these adventures in the best way possible.
The first thing you’ll notice when you boot up the game is the near-absence of load times. Whereas on the PS4 you’ll be sitting patiently for upwards of half a minute at times, the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection almost eliminates that from the equation. The game transitions into the select screen and within seconds, you’re on a speedboat with Nate and Sam escaping the Shoreline mercs towards an unnamed island.
The overall experience is seamless, and while loading times can easily be overlooked for the more obvious benefits like “better graphics” or “smooth frame rates”, ensuring continued play with hardly any waiting in between is definitely a very underrated benefit of the next-gen consoles, especially important for games like Uncharted.
Speaking of frame rates, the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection boasts of 3 gameplay modes – Fidelity, Performance, and Performance+. Fidelity mode pumps the resolution to stunning 4K while Performance targets 60fps with upscaled 4k from 1440p, which is our recommended setting that brings the best of both worlds, making it a really transformative experience.
Performance+ mode dials up the frame rates to 120fps but locks resolution to 1080p. It goes without saying that your display must be able to support it, but it definitely takes the experience to a whole new level in exchange for visual quality. Because both games in the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection are visually stunning, this is a setting that would be fun to try out depending on how much you give priority to visuals.
The Legacy of Thieves Collection also showcases the Dualsense experience, although a bit too subtle and negligible to really make a difference. When fending off Rafe’s mercs or Asaav’s rebel army, the adaptive triggers add a slightly different feel, with the heft and recoil of every gun fired from your trusty sidearm to some of the more specialized firearms. While I wished for a better implementation of the half-press and full-press of the L2 button, what’s in the game is decent but hardly innovative.
Haptics also play a gentler touch during the more quiet and exploration-based sections of the game – the feeling of rain while walking through ruins, the rumbling of your 4×4 as you traverse the terrain in Madagascar, or even the gentle shakes of the elephant mount while exploring a hidden grotto. It’s there, but you’ll really have to be conscious about it to really feel it, something that could have been improved more to take advantage of the many settings and locales that the game throws at you.
Thanks to the improved visuals, it’s not a surprise if you open up the photo mode once in a while. Both games in the Legacy of Thieves Collection boast dazzling vistas and grand views – photo-op moments spread around the game that makes every jump and climb memorable.
Another small feature that really adds to the quality of life extras introduced on the PS5 is the progress screen. Since there are no maps to guide you for most of your journey, the percentage indicator is always there to give you perspective on how much more you need to go before the next challenge. It’s a small yet nifty extra mechanic I’m grateful for.
It’s quite ironic to be commenting on port quality these days. However, with recent releases, it’s only fair that we give this one a good look. Sony has a pretty good track record of fantastic upgrades like Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut and luckily for us, Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is an excellent port and then some.
The quality of the remaster here is superb, and it just goes to show how good the base game already was on the PS4, which now looks markedly better on the PS5. From the wrinkles and fine lines of Nate and Sully to the grand views of the Western Ghats, the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection looks so much better than before, which was really hard to imagine since the original games released back in 2016 and 2017 already looked so good.
Uncharted 4 is arguably one of the best of Drake’s adventures, high up there with the second game for many players. This almost 15-hour expedition brings some very high highs, and while some may feel that certain portions of the game don’t play out as cleanly as expected, it’s safe to say that the wrap-up is safe but satisfyingly definite.
The Lost Legacy is a much shorter game and can be finished over a weekend with time to spare, clocking in at around 8-10 hours depending on how you play. Bringing Chloe in the lead while Nate takes a back seat, this spin-off takes the tried and tested formula of the franchise and while the story has arguably fewer twists, the quality is still unmistakable.
Generally speaking, both games are straightforward adventures with very little leeway to explore other paths. You’ll be doing a lot of shooting, climbing, and puzzle-solving – all of which are hallmarks of the franchise. The Legacy of Thieves Collection simply magnifies the experience for the player, turning up the visual fidelity dial to 10 across all of the stunning set pieces in the game.
The Lost Legacy takes this formula and flips it a bit by introducing a taste of what an open-world Uncharted game would look like with The Western Ghats. Similar to downtown Seattle in The Last of Us Part II, this area is bigger than any of Uncharted’s previous levels and is even made more majestic in the Legacy of Thieves Collection. Seeing how a new Uncharted game would be like in this setting is definitely something we can imagine better now.
One thing to note here in the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection release is its lack of multiplayer, which some players may start to look for. Only the single-player experience has been ported over so you’re out of luck if the reason for purchasing the collection was to go online again and face off against other thieves.
What we liked:
- The PS4 Uncharted series perfectly ported over to the PS5.
- Faster loading times allows for a seamless experience.
- Visually stunning across the various locales from both games.
What we didn’t like:
- No longer able to purchase the individual titles by themselves.
- DualSense support could have been implemented better.
- No multiplayer options or extra content to speak of.
Verdict: Buy It
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection deserves a place on your collection whether you are a long-time Uncharted fan or a newcomer who wants to see what the hype is all about. With the additions on the PS5, it really makes for an excellent port that serves up superb visuals and a soundtrack to remember. The collection turns a great game even better, with lightning-fast loading times and subtle DualSense support which honestly could have been improved.
While the Legacy of Thieves Collection might not have any new content to speak of, and even less since there’s no multiplayer mode available, the upgrade path is inconsequential for owners of the PS4 versions, costing a measly $10 to relive Nate and Chloe’s adventures once again in all its glory. If by any chance this is your first time playing the game, don’t let the price of admission deter you from experiencing the definitive version of some of the best entries into the franchise. The upgrades are quite limited (mostly on the frames per second side of things) considering the price tag, but the improved experience is very much welcome.
For those fortunate enough to own a PS5, the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is a majestic experience and another taste of Naughty Dog’s brilliance. The game only makes us wish for a newer next-gen Uncharted – bigger, better, and more “Uncharted” than before.
*Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection was reviewed on a PS5 with a review code provided by the publisher.