the Uncharted: Legacy Of Thieves Collection represents the best version of the two games it includes. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy were the last two releases of the series on the PlayStation 4. These games ended the story of series hero Nathan Drake and introduced the series’ longtime nemeses Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross as playable characters. .
Uncharted 4 gives Nathan Drake a dramatic start. Each level is a series of carefully and meticulously constructed amusement park rides, designed to give our hero as much room for heroism as there is self-conscious banter and banter. Uncharted 4 is a precision instrument, designed to be effortlessly playable and engaging the player. The jump to the PS5, with its smooth frame rates, extra detail, and smart controller, only makes it even better.
The decision to take Chloé and Nadine on their own adventure to Uncharted: The Lost Legacy turned out to be smart. Not only The lost legacy constitute in itself a large chapter of the Unexplored series, but it also provided a convenient test bed for the larger interconnected environments that Naughty Dog would use in The Last of Us Part II. We actually had a whole article this morning about why The lost legacy is the best game in the package, and you can read it here.
What struck me about this package is how beautifully it runs on PlayStation 5 hardware. Naughty Dog has become the master of Sony’s once difficult hardware and now knows how to squeeze the maximum performance out of every console. It takes a pair of games released amidst the latest generation of hardware and makes them dazzling. Both games were able to run at 30FPS at 1080p and 4K on the PS4 hardware. On the PS5, these games can now run at 4K, 1440p, or 1080p resolution. 4K is still locked at 30FPS, but Performance and Performance+ modes open the frame rate up to 60 FPS and 120 FPS on TVs and monitors that can support it. It should be noted that these games do not support dynamic resolution scaling, so these configurations are what they are.
Playing through the first sections of Uncharted 4 over the weekend, I was struck by how the higher resolution and solid frame rates allow game performance to breathe on screen. The familiar and beloved sequence involving Drake and Elena at home, having dinner and playing Crash Bandicoot, takes on a new meaning. It’s not that you couldn’t watch the nuances of Nolan North and Emily Rose’s performances on the PS4, it’s that they’re jumping off the screen now. Every ounce of their chemistry, every muscle twitch, every uncertain half-smile catches the eye. Indeed, it gives even more credit to Naughty Dog’s artists, the caliber of its motion capture, and the incredible rig of the game’s models that the game can communicate those unspoken thoughts and hushed emotions in giant neon letters.
When I watched Digital Foundry’s review on YouTube this weekend, John Linneman of DF described these remasters as access to a master recording of a favorite song. That’s as apt a description as any I can think of. These remasters are as close to perfect as it gets for these games. These are the best versions of both games ever released.
You might wonder who these games are for. If you own a PlayStation 4, and chances are you have, you’ve probably played at least one of these games. If you can’t wait to go back, great, you’ll have a wonderful time. I just have a hard time imagining that there are so many gamers excited to jump into the PS5 for the first time. Maybe it’s for those who missed Uncharted: The Lost Legacy the first time. In that case, I welcome those finicky players with open arms.
The other downside of this package is that there is an additional cost, even for those who have already purchased both games. PS4 players who purchased either game digitally can upgrade to the Legacy of Thieves Collection for 15 Australian dollars. If you purchased disc versions of either game, you will not have access to this upgrade path. Additionally, players who entered Uncharted 4 when it became free on PlayStation Plus, they are also excluded from the upgrade path. Those without an upgrade path will have to shell out A$74.95 for a retail copy.
Of course, this problem is not the end of the world. The tangled rules around which version you own will always create frustration. It will happen again with Forbidden Horizon West when the PS4 and PS5 versions launch in a few weeks. It seems like a problem Sony could fix with the stroke of a pen. It’s not that PlayStation needs to get its house in order here, it’s that there’s a room in an otherwise very clean house that’s a little messy.
In general, Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is another lovingly crafted tribute to a pair of games that defined the PS4 lifecycle. It’s great to have them on the PS5 and it’s great to have them kept in this kind of quality. Both are essential and exciting titles in the PlayStation story library, even in this new generation. Chances are you’ve played them before, but it’s been a while since they’ve been released. If you think it’s time to give those games another chance, this package is the perfect way to relive them.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves is now available on PlayStation 5.