Android Central Verdict
Bottom line: Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves is by far the smoothest way to play these two Naughty Dog titles. However, the upgrades are fairly light overall.
Two great games in one collection
Solid performance options, including 120 FPS
DualSense haptic feedback support
Few visual improvements
Steep price when not upgrading
Removal of Uncharted 4's multiplayer mode
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Naughty Dog is one of the biggest names from PlayStation Studios, building its brand on blockbuster titles like the Uncharted franchise. With Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, two of those games, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, which launched in 2016 and 2017, repsectively, are being bundled together with a handful of PS5 specific-improvements.
Uncharted 4 follows the final adventure of treasure hunter Nathan Drake, who is experiencing married life before dealing with the appearance of his long-lost brother, Sam. Drake subsequently finds himself resuming a hunt for lost pirate treasure. Meanwhile, The Lost Legacy is a spinoff title, following Nathan's part-time compatriot, Chloe Fraser, as she seeks an ancient artifact called the Tusk of Ganesh.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is a comfy, nostalgic trip with two games that hold up well. Overall, this PS5 version is the best way available to play these two games, with the framerate bump alone making this the definitive edition. There's also an upgrade option for anybody who previously owned one or both of the games on PS4. Still, the lack of major upgrades outside of the framerate means the price tag is steep for complete newcomers.
Disclaimer: This review was made possible by a review code provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment. The company did not see the contents of the review before publishing.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection: What I liked
If you've never played these action-adventure games before, both A Thief's End and The Lost Legacy revolve heavily around exploring the forgotten places in the world, solving Indiana Jones-esque puzzles and gunning down mobs of villains that try to stop you. It's something of a comfort food franchise for me, with pulp adventures that feel good to return to, and Naughty Dog's signature character dialogue standing the test of time.
|Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves allows you to import your PS4 save files for either game, so if you want, you can resume mid-playthrough with the enhanced version once you upgrade. I didn't use this feature, preferring to experience both games over again from the beginning, but it's nice to have the option.
The most immediately-felt improvement to both games is the addition of various performance modes. Tapping into the PS5's extra horsepower, players can choose from three different modes, allowing you to run the games at 4K 30 FPS, 1440p 60 FPS or 1080p 120 FPS. The difference in playing even at 60 FPS is transformative, making the gunplay smoother and reducing the previously-overwhelming motion blur, even in cutscenes. It was a sorely needed improvement. While the 4K mode is nice, the bit of extra visual clarity just isn't as important as the increased snappiness and responsiveness in-game.
The other major improvement involves how Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection utilizes the PS5 DualSense haptic feedback. Rain patters appropriately, while hurling the climbing rope feels snappy. Rough-and-tumble landings have an appropriate jolt, while you feel more immersed in cutscenes like when Nate gets slapped on the shoulder or Chloe narrowly makes a landing. The adaptive triggers are less-used though, providing more physical feedback when firing a gun, but otherwise not changing things up.
It's a testament to how good the games first looked back on the PS4 and PS4 Pro that even without any big improvements, both Uncharted titles look better than many modern games. The character models hold up extremely well, and the environments still look gorgeous. The bonus of the increased framerate is that even if specific models or scenes haven't been visually touched-up, they look far better in motion, which just makes for a more pleasant experience.
Loading times have also been dramatically improved. By tapping into the PS5's SSD, lengthy loading sequences are a thing of the past. Upon loading your save file, the games merely fade to black before resuming play two or three seconds later.
While the games are available in a $50 package, it's also very easy to upgrade. If you already own one or both of these games on PS4, you can just pay $10 to access the new versions of both games. At $5 per enhanced game if you're upgrading, it's definitely a fair price.
Certainly, there's plenty of game included in this package, while still being a reasonable length that doesn't feel bloated. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is the longer of the two titles, running anywhere from around 14-18 hours, depending on how much you go off the beaten path to explore. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is the shorter game, clocking an average of about 6-10 hours, again depending on just how much you want to explore.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection: What I didn't like
Outside of the aforementioned 4K mode, which does provide extra clarity if you're willing to take the huge performance hit, there aren't really any visual improvements. The games already looked great, but it would have been nice to see Naughty Dog cut its teeth on some form of ray-tracing, especially given the massive increase in available overhead for this remaster.
It's also disappointing to see that the multiplayer mode has been pulled. A Thief's End and The Lost Legacy both included a shared multiplayer mode, which had team deathmatch and was even later updated with a free Survival mode. Considering how these games are now being expanded to new audiences on the PS5 — as well as a PC port later in the year — it's a real shame that this mode is no longer available outside of the PS4 versions. Even from a more cynical perspective, the inclusion of microtransactions, and by extent increased revenue, makes the lack of multiplayer here feel like a missed opportunity.
Finally, the $50 price point is worth considering if you're a complete newcomer without the option of upgrading. These are great games and I still think they're worth it at that price, but the more limited scope of the upgrades available here means that if you're a bit hesitant to buy them right now, it's certainly understandable.
Confounding the upgrade process, you can still buy the games digitally on PS4, but only in a combined package for $40. Given the upgrades here, if you have a PS5 and don't want to track down potentially-cheaper used physical copies, springing for this collection is your best bet.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection: Should you play it?
4 out of 5
All things considered, if you own one or both of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy on PS4, then the $10 upgrade for Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is worth buying. $5 per game gets you a smooth experience that plays better than ever before. If you're new to these games entirely, I still think they're well worth checking out, though I can understand being a tad more hesitant at the $50 price tag.
It's great that more people will get to experience Nathan Drake's final story and Chloe's first standalone outing. Still, as comfy as these games are, it does make me want more, which to be fair, might be the point entirely. Uncharted is a franchise that used to define PlayStation and I hope this return to the past isn't the last we've seen of these characters. I hope the next return to this series brings new adventures altogether to the ranks of the best PS5 games, whether it's led by Chloe Fraser or a Drake.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is set to launch for PS5 on Jan. 28, 2022. It is currently planned to launch on PC at a later date in 2022.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection
Bottom line: Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is the best way available to play two fantastic PS4 games with new framerate options and DualSense support. The visual upgrades are pretty light though, so the price may be a hair steep for complete newcomers.