NextGen Take - Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection

Three things I like about this game, and one I don't

Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection

By Paul Hunter

To help build hype for the upcoming Uncharted movie, starring Tom Holland, Sony has dropped two of the best Uncharted games on PS5 in the Legacy of Thieves Collection. Both titles—Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy—have received numerous PS5 enhancements to make these action-packed adventures even more immersive on Sony's next-generation console. Let's pack our grapplehook and swing on in, here are three things I liked about the game...and one I didn't.

Liked: The PS5 Upgrades

Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy looked impressive on PS4 and especially PS4 Pro, but they're absolutely stunning in this new collection on PS5. The games offer three modes for a customized experienced, and they are: (1) Fidelity mode for a sharp 4K resolution and a target 30fps framerate, (2) Performance mode that offers upscaled 4K and a smooth 60fps framerate, and (3) Performance+ mode with an ultra-fast 120fps framerate at a lowered 1080p resolution.

I had a chance to test out the Fidelity and Performance modes, and definitely prefer the latter for it's crisp 60fps action. The PS4 Uncharted games, and the series in general, has historically had rather loose gunfire action, but the bump up to 60fps makes a huge difference in gun accuracy and overall combat smoothness. The framerate increase also makes the traversal climbing and rope swinging feel even sharper for that extra level of precision. While I didn't have a 120hz monitor to test out the Performance+ mode, the games felt perfect at 60fps and I'm not too keen to play the games at 1080p anyways.

Another huge perk is the new DualSense features like the haptic feedback for incredibly immersive rumble effects. Much like the recent Call of Duty games, each gun felt individually tuned to provide unique force feedback, and the same goes for the context-sensitive punches and kicks Nathan, Chloe and Nadine throw. I was also particularly impressed with the rain effects that pitter patter through the controller very similar to Astro's Playroom, and how Chloe's phone makes the DualSense rumble exactly like a mobile phone does. The haptics also elevate the driving sequences quite a bit as you can feel the jeep tires gripping the ground, and I especially liked the intense rumble sensation when your tires spin in the mud. The games also make use of the DualSense's adaptive triggers, such as letting you feel the rope tension as you swing—pretty cool!

3D audio has also been introduced in the Legacy of Thieves Collection and that too adds quite a bit to the experience. During intense shootouts you can hear enemies from all around you shooting commands, giving you a good indication of where to turn next. But moreover, since a good chunk of both games has you exploring in pairs (Nathan and Sam, Chloe and Nadine) the 3D audio lets you stay aware of exactly where your partner is even when they're out of sight. The 3D audio is so realistic, there was a funny moment where I heard a voice from the other side of the room and thought it was my wife calling me, but it turns out it was Elena who had just arrived to save Nathan from his latest predicament (lol).

It's also worth mentioning that both Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy feature near instantaneous loading, so heading back into the adventure happens in a blink and reloading after you die takes just seconds. A pretty convenient feature that Sony fans have grown accustomed too from the PS5's hyper-fast SSD.

Liked: The Incredible Stories

Sony, and especially Naughty Dog, are known for top-tier Hollywood-quality narrative adventures, but even among Sony's best these two games stand out.

Uncharted 4 is the perfect sendoff for Nathan Drake who's been around the world multiple times over searching for history's biggest lost riches. Nolan North (Nathan) and Troy Baker (Sam) have amazing chemistry during the whole adventure, as do Emily Rose (Elena) and Richard McGonagle (Sully) with their incredible supporting roles. From the majestic black market heist in Italy to the explosive Madagascan city car chase, there's no shortage of memorable set pieces that'll always stick with you.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy was initially intended to be UC4 DLC but the project grew in scope and became it's own standalone release. It's deserving, too, because it really is one of the best Uncharted games yet with it's experimental open-world structure and outstanding performances from Claudia Black (Chloe) and Laura Bailey (Nadine). The majority of the game takes place in the vast wilderness of India's Western Ghats and there's a fun choose-your-own-adventure vibe as you can complete objectives in any order, or wander off to hunt down the eleven elusive Hoysala Tokens for a cool bonus reward. As great as the open world is, I really have to give my hats off to the incredible acting performances as they truly are the highlight of this game. Nadine and Chloe are such a touching pair that start off as business partners but end the game as BFFs. Seeing this blossoming friendship—and the many up and downs along the way—is so fun and rewarding on multiple levels.

Liked: The Naughty Dog quality

It still amazes me how much detail Naughty Dog packs into each and every one of their Uncharted experiences. The level of detail in both games is unreal and is arguably the best in the entire games industry. Nathan Drake, Chloe Fraser, Nadine Ross and all the other characters in these games have absolutely immaculate motion capturing that look real right down to the subtle smirks, eye moments and other facial expression nuances. By comparison, most games out there have cutscenes with unnatural character movements, and even when they look 'great' you can still tell they're computer generated characters. But not so these Uncharted titles: Nate, Sam, Sully, Elena, Chloe, Nadine, they all feel alive and move so naturally, it's such a testament to talent at Naughty Dog.

The incredible attention to detail doesn't end with the cutscenes, far from it. There are so many subtleties that increase the realism, like how Nate moves slightly faster or slower depending if he's hurt, the way characters naturally grab onto nearby objects as they move past them, and even down to the mud trails your car or boots leave.

What I also find so impressive is how Naughty Dog has recorded so many contextual dialogue lines. If you wander into a dead-end twice your partner might make a comment that you've already been there, or characters will sometimes let you know they think you're going the wrong way. There are lots of recorded jokes that come out during the driving sequences, like if you accidently drive the jeep through a waterfall Nate might crack a joke about getting everyone wet. My favourite contextual line though happened when Nate and Elena were exploring a cave and split up, only to find that they had both walked around the same circle. When they see each other they share a laugh, and I couldn't help laughing too. It's a completely missable dialogue if you happen to walk in a different direction, and proof in point about just how much detail Naughty Dog puts in their games.

Didn't Like: Limited Upgrades, No Multiplayer

As amazing as these two games are, it would have been great to see Naughty Dog go the extra mile beyond straight ports that take advantage of PS5's capabilities. Perhaps they could have added new treasures to find, or bonus content like behind-the-scenes artwork to really give loyal fans something extra to talk about. It's also too bad that the excellent Uncharted 4 multiplayer was cut, likely because the team is focused on making The Last of Us Factions 2 and didn't want to split their player base. All that said, these are unquestionably must-play, top-quality games and absolutely worth revisiting.

The Verdict

There's no question that PlayStation fans need to check out Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy so I highly recommend getting the Legacy of Thieves Collection for the definitive editions on PS5. Even if you've beat the games on PS4, the three graphical modes, DualSense features, 3D Audio, and faster loading enhancement are more than enough reason to revisit these classics. There's no better way to put it: the Legacy of Thieves Collection is absolute essential gaming.

Final Score: 9.5/10 - Amazing


Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection details

Platform: PS5
Developer: Naughty Dog, Iron Galaxy
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Genre: Adventure
Modes: Single-player
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)


A key was provided by the publisher.