Naughty Dog struck gold with Uncharted’s cinematic narrative-driven set piece-fueled formula back during the PS3 era, creating an entire legion of clones and pretenders that continues to have a strong presence in the games industry to this day. During the PS4 years, Uncharted wasn’t nearly as prolific as it was in the PS3, but even with fewer games, the series continued to move from strength to strength. How long it will be before the series continues and we get another brand new entry remains to be seen, but early on in the PS5’s life, Sony has decided to take something of a half step with Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, remastering and bringing together the PS4’s Uncharted 4 and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy into a single package. And though the conservative nature of these remasters does make this release feel far less eventful than an Uncharted release should (even for a remaster), there’s no denying that the inherent strengths of both these games hold up even now, and getting the chance to dive back into them is, as always, a welcome one.
For well over a decade at this point, Naughty Dog has been on a constant mission to push the limits of whatever hardware it’s working with to deliver games with stunning visuals that set the standard for the industry at large. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End did just that when it launched for the PS4 back in 2016, to the extent that it’s still considered one of the best looking console games around, while the following year, The Lost Legacy delivered more of that technical excellence. Given that, and the fact that these are both fairly recent releases, neither game was really in any need of technical touch-ups, which means the jump in visual quality was never going to be drastic. By that same token though, when you take two games that still look as good as these two do, there’s very little chance that their remasters aren’t going to be visually impressive as well.
"There’s no denying that the inherent strengths of both these games hold up even now, and getting the chance to dive back into them is, as always, a welcome one."
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection delivers the best looking versions of games that were already technical stunners. Offering up three graphics modes, the two remasters look and run well across all options, running at 4K and 30 FPS in Fidelity Mode, an upscaled 4K and 60 FPS in Performance Mode, and at 1080p and 120 FPS in Performance+ Mode. In the vast majority of games, my preference tends to lie with better performance than with sharper image quality, and that’s what I went with here as well- which turned out well, because Legacy of Thieves Collection hits its performance targets with very few dips, if any. The sharpness of the visuals does drop noticeably from mode to mode, which might bother some, but even with those concessions, both these games still look amazing.
Beyond that, Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection also features support for the DualSense’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, using both pretty effectively in everything from combat and swinging on ropes to driving a vehicle and more. Other recent PlayStation remasters on the PS5 like Ghost of Tsushima and Death Stranding have made far better use of the controller’s feature, but even so, Uncharted does a good enough job of it that I actively noticed its implementation at least a few times while playing the two games. Meanwhile, the console’s SSD is also put to use to cut down loading times- but honestly, load times have never really been much of an issue for Uncharted games.
Put together, Legacy of Thieves Collection offers a fairly small number of upgrades on both the games it remasters. Each improvement is implemented well enough, but they’re all rather conservative in nature- which, of course, is what you expect for games that aren’t really in need of any major upgrades. The collection is obviously going to be a far better value proposition when it launches later this year for PC, when an entirely new audience on an entirely new platform will be able to play these games for the first time. But for those who’ve already played either Uncharted 4 or The Lost Legacy on a PS4, it’s not as easy of a recommendation, especially when even the cheapest possible way to get into it right now is a $10 upgrade.
"Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is a great option for anyone who’s itching to experience Uncharted 4 or The Lost Legacy again."
Of course, as I mentioned earlier in this review, the core inherent strengths of Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy haven’t lost any of their luster, which is an automatic point in Legacy of Thieves Collection’s favour. Both games have the best combat in the series so far, and improved mobility and solid implementation of stealth are hugely responsible for that. That improved mobility also makes for better platforming sections than previous Uncharted games, while both titles also embrace a far more open-ended design approach at times as opposed to the persistently linear nature of the series’ earlier entries. Add to that the predictable excellence of expertly crafted high-octane set pieces that Uncharted has always been known for, and what you have is two games that are still as much of a blast to play through as they were a few years back when they first launched. From that perspective, of course, Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is a great option for anyone who’s itching to experience Uncharted 4 or The Lost Legacy again.
There’s no telling how long it’s going to be when Uncharted will come back with a new entry, what that new entry will look like, whether or not it will be able to live up to the series’ standards, or even who will develop it. What we do know is that whenever that happens, that next game will have a lot to live up to. Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy, which offer perhaps the best realization of the Uncharted formula yet, are perfect reminders of that, and even though their remasters in Legacy of Thieves Collection are a bit too unambitious, I always welcome the chance to go back to these two modern action-adventure classics.
This game was reviewed on the PlayStation 5.
Both games look and run great across all three visual modes; Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy are the best realization of the Uncharted formula so far; Decent implementation of DualSense features.
Fairly conservative remasters.
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