January 28, 2022
Sony Interactive Entertainment
Naughty Dog, Iron Galaxy Studios
As one of PlayStation’s tentpole franchises, Uncharted has been on the top of many gamer’s favourite franchises of the modern era. Adventure, drama, action, suspense, and even a dash of romance; the Uncharted series is quintessential first-party AAA goodness and you’ll be hard pressed to find many who disagree with this notion. Following the success of The Nathan Drake Collection on PS4 & PC, Sony have bundled Uncharted 4: A Thieves End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and packaged it as Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection. Both games have been remastered with improved visuals and framerates, with some additional PS5 features included.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Uncharted series, let me set the scene for you. The original Uncharted trilogy (Drake’s Fortune, Among Thieves, and Drake’s Deception) follow the adventures of Nathan Drake, Victor Sullivan, and Elena Fisher on their globe trotting adventures seeking fortune from legends long lost to history. Naughty Dog crafted a style that perfectly fuses gameplay with narrative to truly give players the sense that they are embarking on epic adventures across the world. The standout aspect of the series, for me, has always been the expertly designed puzzles and environmental traversal – a feature I am yet to see rivalled in any other series or on any other platform.
Uncharted 4: A Thieves End, the first title in this collection, sees Nate’s story come to a close through gripping drama and engrossing set piece action. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy features Chloe Frazer, a one-time accomplice of Nate’s, and Nadine Ross, a one-time antagonist of Nate’s, teaming up for a heist of epic proportions. Betrayals, reunions, and gripping tension are a common thread throughout the series, and keeps players coming back to the blockbuster franchise even these many years later.
“The series has amassed worldwide acclaim from players and critics alike, and several titles have earned major accolades and awards.”
The Uncharted series combines third-person cover based shooting with dynamic puzzle solving, creative world traversal, and Hollywood-level script writing to bring the lives of these fortune-seekers into player’s hands. The series has amassed worldwide acclaim, and several titles have earned major accolades and awards, including Uncharted 4 taking home BAFTA’s ‘Best Game’, D.I.C.E’s ‘Outstanding Achievement in Story’, and The Game Awards’ ‘Best Performance’ for Nathan Drake by the immaculate Nolan North. Outside of this, the series has also been a massive seller, with sales surpassing 15 million for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End alone.
Overall, the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is, at least by way of visuals and gameplay fluidity, the definitive way to experience both titles. Having completed Uncharted 4 on PS4 and dabbled in The Lost Legacy, I can say that the visual quality, smoothness of action, and overall polish across both titles has been stepped up for the new PS5 iteration. With such a rich and diverse swathe of locations, set pieces, characters, and objects on display in both games the visuals are simply dancing off the screen in stunning 4K.
Uncharted has never really left gamers wanting more when it comes to visual style and graphical power. I remember playing Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune all the way back on the PS3 and being stunned by the quality then, and the Legacy of Thieves Collection has given me a similar feeling. Sure, the two games in the collection would still be considered “modern”, but there is definitely a notable improvement from the original PS4 editions and these new PS5 upgrades.
Gameplay is king, and the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection preserves the top-tier gameplay quality as experienced in the original titles, and tightens the screws ever so slightly to feel like the games were purpose built for the PS5. Indeed, when playing older titles that have been remastered for modern consoles I often can feel the ageing game feel through the controller. I am pleased to say that both games feel tight, smooth, and dialed-in to perfection. Through a good set of headphones, the audio of both games is stunning, with environmental effects, voice acting, and swelling instrumental themes adding to the sensory delight when paired with the gorgeous visuals and outstanding gameplay.
“…I for one did not notice any particular implementation of the adaptive triggers or creative use of the haptic feedback.”
Where the collection falls a little short, however, is the lack of DualSense utilisation, which features in the game’s marketing: “Feel the action unfold with the DualSense™ wireless controller’s haptic feedback through punches, vaults and vehicular traversal. Experience the tension in rope swings via dynamic adaptive triggers.”
I feel Sony failed to properly utilise the magic that is the DualSense controller in the Legacy of Thieves Collection. Sure, there’s vibration and rumble, but I for one did not notice any particular implementation of the adaptive triggers or creative use of the haptic feedback. Especially considering there is so many uses of the rope swing in Uncharted 4, I was a little disappointed
Overall however, these two games really do hold up in a modern, next-generation context against other titans of the industry, both first-party and otherwise, and the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection did a marvelous job bringing me back to a franchise I have always loved and appreciated. Despite the minor letdown with the lack of proper DualSense integration, this collection is the definitive way to experience Uncharted 4: A Thieves End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, and gamers both new and seasoned would do well to give it a spin.
- Two of the greatest AAA titles of modern memory conveniently bundled together
- Gorgeous visuals, updated to take advantage of the PS5's horsepower
- Gameplay is a smooth as ever, surpassing the PS4 experience
- Little-to-no standout DualSense implementation, despite being listed as a new feature
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection joins the Nathan Drake Collection as the best way to experience some of the greatest titles PlayStation has ever put out into the world. Naughty Dog truly are kings of their craft, having created many of the industry’s greatest games, and with Uncharted established a franchise that captures the movie-like-magic of adventure cinema and brings it into the interactive space. Who knows what the future of the Uncharted franchise has in store, but for now getting your hands on this collection is a sure-fire way to experience a platform-defining experience that should hold up for years to come.