Reviewing the PC release of Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection has felt a bit paradoxical. Both of the games included in the release—Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy—have been out on the PS4 for half a decade at this point. On the other hand, however, I never really played either of the games back then, so revisiting these games on PC felt like a great idea.
Let’s get the most important aspect of this review out of the way; both Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy run absolutely brilliantly on PC. Equipped with a relatively mid-range gaming PC—a Ryzen 5 3600, 32GB of RAM and an RTX 3060 Ti—I was able to run both games at their highest graphical settings at 1080p. Both of the games ran wonderfully, running at well over 60 frames per second for The Lost Legacy, and over 100 frames per second for most of A Thief’s End.
Options for messing about with graphical options, while not too in-depth, are adequate enough. Both AMD’s FSR and Nvidia’s DLSS technologies get some love in Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, and both games even provide the option to lock their frame rates at 30 for PCs that may not be able to handle the visuals at consistent frame rates.
"Both Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy run absolutely brilliantly on PC."
More advanced options include texture quality, model quality, anisotropic filter, shadows, reflections, and ambient occlusion. Curiously, the motion blur option is given a slider that goes from 0 to 10 rather than the more typical on-off toggle switch. All in all, Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection does well by its audience on PC.
Now, let’s get to the real meat and bones of the review: whether Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is actually any good.
Both of the games in the collection belong more on the cinematic side of things rather than a hard focus on gameplay. Fairly focused on telling fun stories with interesting characters constantly interacting with each other, gameplay is kept fairly simple, and there’s a lot of variety in its level design and mission structure. Sadly, however, this focus on trying to please just about everyone essentially led to gameplay that I’d consider severely lacking.
Let’s start with the gunplay. As a franchise, Uncharted has always had average gunplay at the best of times. More often than not, however, the main combat in these games has been something of a chore, especially on higher difficulties. Enemies often feel like bullet sponges, and your ability to aim is really hampered by unpredictable firing patterns for your guns as well as the crosshair’s inability to actually tell you where you’re going to aim.
Even on PC with keyboard and mouse controls, I never felt like I could be too accurate in a shootout throughout Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End or Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. Just about the only weapons that really allow you to get any accuracy at all are weapons with scopes attached, and even among those, the snipers are the only truly accurate guns. It still feels like the game expects you to spray your bullets in the vague direction of your enemies and maybe land a hit if you’re lucky.
"It’s really the writing that does the heavy lifting in making you want to play more of these games."
Other combat options, on the other hand, are incredibly fun to play around with. The ability to get into melee range and engage in fisticuffs is great, and the context-sensitive combos you can pull off on enemies, like slamming them into a nearby wall or kicking them off a cliff, are fantastically animated and feel great to pull off. Even the grappling hook and rope you get helps in quite a few combat encounters, allowing you to heroically (and literally) swing into action to punch a bad guy in the face. It’s really only the guns that both Uncharted games feel like a real slog at times.
Visually, both Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy are absolute sights to behold. Featuring some of the best panoramic views I’ve seen this side of Death Stranding and Horizon Forbidden West, it’s hard to believe that both of these games were originally released on the PS4. Sure, both games have likely gotten quite a few touch ups for their PC release, but it doesn’t change the fact that they look absolutely jaw-dropping.
The real reason why you’ll want to play through Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is that both games have been written really well. The stories are loads of fun, and the character interactions are what essentially define Uncharted as a franchise. It’s really the writing that does the heavy lifting in making you want to play more of these games. Let’s talk about both games one by one.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, as its name might imply, is essentially the final chapter in the story of the franchise’s original protagonist Nathan Drake. Having retired from treasure hunting, Drake got married with journalist Elena Fisher, and the two of them have been living a relatively quiet, boring and normal life. One day, however, a ghost from Drake’s past suddenly knocks on his office door, and it turns out to be his brother Samuel Drake—someone Nathan assumed had died when Sam was riddled with bullets in front of him 15 years ago. Sam’s antics get Nathan pulled into the same globe-trotting, treasure hunting adventures that Nathan had hoped to leave behind, and our adventure kicks off.
"Visually, both Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy are absolute sights to behold. Featuring some of the best panoramic views I’ve seen this side of Death Stranding and Horizon Forbidden West, it’s hard to believe that both of these games were originally released on the PS4."
Having played the original Uncharted trilogy on the PS3, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End starts off quite well. Familiarity with the characters did a lot to get me invested in the plot right away, but I do think that the plot is standalone enough for newcomers to be able to jump in with relative ease. Sure, there are some Easter eggs that might go over your head—an early room in the game is essentially riddled with various trinkets from Drake’s adventures in past games—but that doesn’t really matter much with the game itself proper. All of the story arcs throughout the game are self-contained, and don’t really need much explanation or experience with the rest of the franchise to be understood.
In terms of gameplay and level design, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is incredibly linear. To its credit, this linearity allowed developer Naughty Dog to direct character interactions as well as combat scenarios incredibly well, and even while rushing through some bits, I never really heard any dialogue get abruptly cut off.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy leaves Nathan Drake behind and brings in another character from the franchise as one of its primary protagonists—Chloe Frazer—who teams up with one of the antagonists from Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End—Nadine Ross—as they go on a jolly romp through South India to get their hands on a mysterious treasure from the ancient Hoysala Empire. The main goal of the duo in the storyline is to prevent the priceless artifact from falling into the hands of ruthless warlord Asav, who would use it to fund his general warlordery.
While far from being as introspective as Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy’s story is a lot of fun, and when it comes to gameplay, it feels like a definite step up from its predecessor in minute ways, such as encounter and level design. Special mention here has to go to the phenomenal Chapter 4: The Western Ghats, which essentially lets you lose in a relatively sizable open area with little more than a map with some drawings, a 4×4 vehicle, and a gun. The freedom and non-linearity allowed in Chapter 4 sold me harder on the Uncharted series than anything else really could.
"While far from being as introspective as Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy’s story is a lot of fun, and when it comes to gameplay, it feels like a definite step up from its predecessor in minute ways, such as encounter and level design."
To conclude, both games have been fantastically optimised to run on PC. On whether you’ll actually want to play the games, the fun stories and fantastic interpersonal character writing that has essentially propelled Naughty Dog to the status it enjoys these days is at full display here. Both games have great stories, and despite combat that’s middling at best, are incredibly fun to play through just on the strength of their writing.
This game was reviewed on PC.
Incredible visuals; Fun writing; Great PC optimization.
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