NextGen Take - Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection PC (Steam Deck)

Naughty Dog ventures into uncharted territory



By Paul Hunter

Uncharted has finally arrived on PC! This is Naughty Dog's first-ever PC title, developed in partnership with the leading PC porting experts at Iron Galaxy Studios. Like its PS5 counterpart earlier this year, Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection bundles together two of the greatest titles in the series, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (2016) and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (2017).

It might seem odd that Sony is starting with the fourth entry in the series and the Lost Legacy spin-off, but presumably, that's because it was simpler to port these titles—already enhanced on PS5—versus porting the original PS3 trilogy, which surely would have taken major reworking to meet gamers' high modern-day expectations.

The great news is that Uncharted games tell fairly standalone stories so it's fine to jump in and enjoy any entry in the series. Plus, Uncharted 4 introduces a lot of new characters so it's a perfectly fine starting point. Whether you're new to the Uncharted series or a PlayStation diehard fan wanting the definitive editions of these incredible games, the Legacy of Thieves Collection delivers some of the best action this side of Libertalia. Let's dive in, here are two things I liked about the game...and one I didn't.


Liked: PC Enhancements

A couple of caveats before I get into the meat of this review. Firstly, I'm not going to go deep into the games' stories because this is the third time I've reviewed them; if you want to know my thoughts on the stories be sure to check out my PS5 Legacy of Thieves Collection or my 2016 review of Uncharted 4 on Best Buy's Blog. And secondly, I have a medium-spec gaming PC and played about an hour of each game on it, so I'll give some light impressions of that experience—but my focus for this review is on the Steam Deck where I put in 15+ hours over the past week. If you're looking for a deep dive into the high-end PC experience, I recommend checking out IGN's review.

Alright, let's get into the PC experience! Although I didn't think Legacy of Thieves is as huge of an upgrade on PC as this summer's Spider-Man Remastered, without a doubt the collection offers the best versions yet of the two games. The graphics are brilliant and I was able to see finite details in the character models, textures and environments in stunning clarity. Both games have AMD FSR 2 and Nvidia DLSS resolution scaling to give massive performance boosts without sacrificing the details. For FSR 2 you've got preset options for quality, balanced, performance and ultra-performance—for my review I chose performance.

On that preset, both games ran at a buttery smooth 60fps with only minor dips into the high 50s during some of the larger open-world portions or during particularly intense gunfights. Curiously there is a "lock frames to 30" toggle, which I personally wouldn't want to use, but more options are never a bad thing. I got a crisp 4K resolution, but the game can output even higher resolution for those with high-end rigs. I played using a standard 16:9 aspect ratio but the games also support ultrawide 32:9 or 21:9 ratios.

Venturing into the advanced graphics settings, you can customize a whole variety of graphical elements from the model quality to the shadows and reflections to the anisotropic filter and ambient occlusion. You can also tweak the motion blur, and while most games let you simply turn it off or not, these games give you a 1-10 slider to choose the blur intensity. What I particularly enjoyed is the settings have a VRAM usage meter at the bottom to see how much demand you're placing on your system resources as you fiddle with various options. I also liked that you can turn on performance counters as you play, for those who enjoy seeing their frames-per-second and other performance indicators in real time.

Since I have a PS5 DualSense controller I used that during my playtesting to check out the haptic feedback and dynamic trigger effects. Like in the PS5 versions of these games, the DualSense gives you incredible context-sensitives feedback, like feeling raindrops splashing or having Chloe's mobile phone vibrate your controller exactly like a real phone does. With the adaptive triggers, you can feel the tension of Nathan Drake's rope when hooking onto latch points. It's all quite impressive technology.

While I noticed a lot of modest, but of course welcome, graphical and performance upgrades over the PS5 versions, it wasn't a huge leap all considered. So if you've played the PS5 games and are happy with those experiences, you probably wouldn't get a whole lot out of this PC release. On the other hand, if you like squeezing every last ounce of graphical fidelity and performance in your games—or haven't played these games before—then without a doubt these are the best versions on the market and both games look absolutely mindblowing.

Liked: Two Epic Games on the Go

First the good news: I had a total blast playing Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy on my Steam Deck. The last time an Uncharted game was playable on a portable gaming device was 2011's Uncharted: Golden Abyss by Sony's Bend Studio. Playing these pair of god-tier adventure games on the go made the Steam Deck feel like the much-asked-for PS Vita 2. It's as close as we're going to get, at least.

So what's the bad news? Well, I'm not a huge stickler for 4K60 performance when handheld gaming, which you'll definitely not get on the Steam Deck. I played through both games on the Deck's native 1280x800 resolution, with most graphical settings on medium, aside from textures and reflections that I bumped up to high. I was able to achieve a fairly smooth 30fps using that configuration.

The saving grace of the Steam Deck is its built-in AMD FSR 2 upscaling that bumps up performances and smooths out the gameplay. I recommend using the Balanced setting for FSR 2 as it gives you decent-quality graphics but has noticeable performance gains.

Both games in the collection are a dream to play on Deck—there's something about playing Uncharted on your couch, your bed or on a train that just feels great. Controls are crisp on the Deck, and there are gameplay assists you can turn on if desired, such as lock-on aim, camera assist, hold instead of repeatedly tapping buttons and adding a persistent center dot to your screen. It would be amazing if Sony eventually ports Uncharted 1-3 to the Deck, but unfortunately, it's not in the cards right now.

Didn't Like: Steam Deck Visual Quality

The big downside when playing on the Steam Deck is you'll need to accept a fairly big drop in visual fidelity compared to playing on a gaming PC or the PS5 version. In fact, the graphics even look worse than the PS4 version, which really was ahead of its timely graphically at release.

Of course, there are plenty of advanced graphical settings you can tinker with, and certainly doing so can improve the situation. For example, while the FSR 2 upscaling washes out the graphics somewhat, you can boost the visuals by setting the textures, shadows or model quality on high. I strongly recommend spending a few minutes when starting out to tweak the graphics to find the optimal settings for you. An even bigger tip is to let the game build out the shaders before playing. It'll take a few minutes and your Steam Deck will get hot to the touch, but the improved visual clarity is worth the wait.

The Verdict

Adventure games really don't get much better than what you'll find in Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection. Heck, Uncharted 4 won close to 200 Game of the Year awards across the industry back in 2016. Needless to write, both games are essential gaming for adventure fans. And, the PC versions of these titles are the best available today—so if you've got a mid- or high-spec PC, or you're like me and enjoy the portability of the Steam Deck, don't hesitate. Grapple towards your Steam launcher now and grab this stellar collection.

Final Score: 9.5/10 - Amazing


Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection PC details

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


A key was provided by the publisher.