Uncharted: Legacy Of Thieves Collection (PC) Review – 2-In-1 Adventure
Uncharted is one of the defining PlayStation exclusives of the PS3 era. The first three games popularised the “Sony Movie games” niche of blockbuster, action-packed games that are fun, dumb and entertaining, like your blockbuster Hollywood film. In fact, Sony Pictures already did one.
But for the first time, PC players can now get a slice of this PS-exclusive series with the Uncharted: Legacy Of Thieves Collection. It’s a 2-in-1 game that includes the remaster of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, its accompanying expandalone (initially Uncharted 4 DLC turned standalone release).
The PC port, handled by Iron Galaxy, does a decent job of bringing over Naughty Dog’s much-loved series to the platform, with many new PC-specific features. This collection of two games can be a fun romp, but mind some minor technical hiccups.
When it was released in 2016, Uncharted 4 looked stellar on PS4. I haven’t really seen how the game runs on PS5 (which first received the Legacy Of Thieves collection) but here on PC, this remaster does look like what a modern next-gen release is, for better and for worse.
The quality of textures, environments, and character models (especially during cutscenes) are your typical AAA PlayStation quality- it’s mesmerising to see. How much does come from it being a remaster? Beats me, I can’t tell the difference when it comes to PS4 remasters, it’s too recent of a generation to really see any generational leaps in graphical quality.
But it comes at quite the performance cost. I am reviewing this on a now-old gaming laptop from 2019 (Intel Core i7 9th gen, Nvidia RTX 2060, 16GB RAM) and it struggles to output a consistent 60fps on settings other than Low. At Medium, the frame-rate hits 30fps (how it was played by millions of PS4 players) consistently enough, but fluctuates from 30 to 60 inconsistently.
Fascinatingly, the game recommends a custom preset based on my PC specs, and while it looks good (with some graphical effects turned to Epic by default) it isn’t a solid 30fps.
There are other weird foibles noticeable when playing on PC. The smooth transitions between different scenes and levels aren’t as smooth. There are moments where I jumped ahead a wee bit faster than the game can load in the background, forcing the screen to freeze and a loading screen to appear. And in cutscenes, sometimes at the start of a new scene, the character animations stutter and render at a lower framerate than it is supposed to be played at. It’s more noticeable when the cutscenes transition into a new location.
It’s minor gripes, but when you’ve seen how the game nicely hides all those loadings seamlessly on consoles, it’s kind of disappointing to see said seams here on PC. Even when installed on an SSD it’s not fast enough, which more likely goes to show how different the PS5 is at running games compared to a platform like PC. This port is based on a PS5 remaster, after all.
Should you have a beefy PC, this is likely not a problem. But if you have to run on a lower-end PC, the Low graphical settings still present a passable looking visual for the most part. Though it can be hard to discern some objects- the clearly marked areas where you clamber on look too blurry and can blend in the background if you don’t pay attention when playing on Low.
Other than that, in general, Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy look magnificent. From the chill highlands of Scotland to the windy streets in India at night time, both games offer some good visual eye candy. Amazing animation and performance capture. Captivating performances on all the characters. And explosions. Plenty of explosions. It is a PlayStation movie game after all.
Also, there are plenty of PC-specific options. Uncapped framerate, support of different aspect ratios (including ultrawide), AMD FSR, Nvidia DLSS, mappable key/button bindings, mouse and keyboard support, and Xbox controller support.
There’s also Nvidia Highlights support, which, should you opt to, will record a clip of moments before an achievement is unlocked- to replicate the same way how a PS5 can record and save moments where you unlock a Trophy. Neat.
In short, it pretty much has most if not all the PC-specific features seen from the recent crop of PlayStation Studios PC releases.
In Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, regular protagonist Nathan Drake has settled down, swore off treasure hunting and got a regular day job… until his long-lost brother Sam suddenly reappears in his life. From here, Nate is forced to go on one more adventure, this time to search for pirate treasure.
Meanwhile, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy stars Chloe Frazer. A familiar face that didn’t appear in Uncharted 4, here she is the protagonist on her own escapades separate from Nate’s.
The gameplay of the Uncharted series, I argue, peaked at Uncharted 2. And by now, there’s hardly any surprise. Both titles in the Legacy Of Thieves Collection are action-adventures, this time more adventure rather than action. Because the action has gotten rather stale. Oops, suddenly a bridge collapses. Oops, now it’s a ledge. Oops, now it’s a whole building got teared apart. Oh no, a whole city is damaged because of some armed goons chasing you. You get the idea. Things will explode and be destroyed underneath your feet.
But this shouldn’t be a problem for PC players. Assuming you never played any Uncharted before, the action set-pieces here are less frequent but hits harder. When things pop off, they pop of in grandiose fashion. But more often than you’re just engaged with platforming. There are so many things to climb and jump. Expect a lot of vertigo-inducing climbs and mouth-gasping falls. Or question how these characters have such innate physical strength and cardio to actually pull all of these moves in one day. Turn off your brain (except for the puzzle-solving sections), enjoy the ride.
And speaking of rides, if you play Uncharted 4 first, expect a very linear theme park ride. There’s very little variance in pathways that you can take to the next story bit. The only moment of freedom you really get is from the open-ended combat sequences. These are usually located in open-ended areas with many ways around them to stealth around/stealth kill/murder them in cold blood with all the weaponry you can pick up. A combat sandbox if you will. These are not as often presented but are a treat when it happens. It even incorporates some of the traversal mechanics, like the grappling hook.
Uncharted The Lost Legacy experimented a bit by having a chapter where you are free to explore three different areas in your own order. It’s an interesting twist, a refreshing one at that.
Pacing-wise, both games are solid as many of PlayStation’s movie games tend to be. You can be immersed in both games and play each of them in one sitting.
The Uncharted Legacy Of Thieves Collection isn’t called Uncharted 4 Complete Edition, for a good reason. This remaster lacks the online multiplayer mode the original shipped with.
But aside from that one big omission, everything from Uncharted 4 and Uncharted The Lost Legacy is here. Expect to finish Uncharted 4 in under 15 hours while The Lost Legacy in under 10.
Is it replayable? Not really. Unless you really like messing with the combat this is probably a game where you just finish and be done with. It’s a good time if you are looking for a linear single-player experience, but don’t expect anything more from this collection.
I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of Uncharted. Well, I used to. I finished Uncharted 2 way back then in one sitting, on Hard, and still believe that it’s one of the best games on the PS3.
But now that I grow older, linear “movie games” just don’t really excite me as much. The new God Of War games are an exception as those games still let you off and do video games stuff despite their tight scripting. In Uncharted games, if you’re not progressing forward, you’re wasting time because nothing outside the main path is fun.
And there are many aspects of the Uncharted games I have fallen out of love for. The fast-paced cover shooter where you must jump around a lot was fun, but now it’s just stale. The melee combat sections are dreadful where you just mash buttons and still be left unsatisfied with your own punches. The controls are loose yet stiff at the same time. Loose, as in sometimes your button presses don’t feel registered so you have to mash them more than you should. Stiff, as in how slow your character is moving around obstacles, they feel too sticky when they hit a wall rather than smoothly moving across it.
That said, playing The Lost Legacy again (a full review of that when it launched is here and I still stand by it), and Uncharted 4 for the first time doesn’t feel like a waste of time. I now understand that my tastes in games have evolved, and for a time, these sorts of games were what PlayStation fans are craving. It’s tight. It’s action-packed. It’s also a bit light-hearted. Just don’t stop to think about how many human lives have perished and how many priceless artefacts of the world have been decimated thanks to your adventures. It’s the video games equivalent of a big-budget blockbuster popcorn flick. And when you understand that, then you can truly enjoy it for what it is.
The PC port of Uncharted: Legacy Of Thieves Collection has some technical hiccups if you don’t have a PC with the latest specs, but otherwise it’s decent enough.
The games within the Uncharted: Legacy Of Thieves Collection looked great in this remastered form and retains the same action-packed adventure from its original releases.
PC players that never played the series can hop right in… when the price is right. This linear single-player package is a fun romp but not exactly essential play.
Played on PC. Review copy provided by the publisher