The following review of Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves (PC) , is in addendum to our original review for Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves, released on January 28, 2022 for PlayStation 5. For our original review, click here.
OS: Windows 10 64-bit CPU Processor: AMD RYZEN 9 300XT (12 Core Processor) Memory: 32 GB RAM DDR4 Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super DirectX: Version 12 Install Size: 42 GB
Uncharted’s legacy is unequivocally profound. If anything, the franchise has been a proven staple to Sony’s successes within its previous generation of hardware. Without Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, the PlayStation 3 would have sat in deep purgatory, while the acclaim of both the XBOX 360 and Nintendo Wii would have cast massive doubt over PlayStation’s future in the industry. Yet, it carved a path for Santa Monica development crew, Naughty Dog, to grow exponentially as not just another studio but THE studio for PlayStation while the rest were essentially playing catch-up. It redefined cinematic action-adventure, with cream of the crop gameplay and visual presentation. It was untouchable, and arguably remains so today. But after fifteen years after our charismatic protagonist stumbled his way into the unknown, Nathan Drake is about to chart new grounds on PC.
While I would argue that the entire anthology of the franchise would have been perfection, Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is an ultimate essential to those that have yet to marvel in what was groundbreaking for the gaming industry over a decade ago. Uncharted 4: Among Thieves (2015) and Uncharted: Lost Legacy (2017) are the latest entries into the franchise, and given recent rumours that have been swirling about for the last 36 months, may well be the last of Naughty Dog’s contribution to the series. Rumours aside, the titles were primed for PC, regardless of its exclusivity being tied to the PlayStation platform. While Horizon: Zero Dawn may have been Sony’s testing bed, Uncharted: Lost Legacy is what will define PlayStation’s future for publishing titles on a platform other than their own.
It's All Relative...
✔️ The pinnacle of action-adventure platforming, now on PC.
✔️ Two fantastic titles in one bundle make for hours of entertainment.
✔️ AMD FSR2 Pushes presentation to its prime.
❌ Few bugs that can be easily patched.
Simply put, Uncharted sets the bar when it comes to priming itself for immersive gameplay, and exhilarating environments that one would only dream of experiencing. I don’t embellish when I say that Uncharted remains the pinnacle of action-adventure titles, exhibiting integrity in every facet that’s incomparable to other games of the same ilk. You can only compare from catalyst, for which other title’s of the same genre become the enthesis of. Now as for Uncharted: Lost Legacy on PC, it’s hands down, one of the greatest games I’ve had the pleasure of reconvening with after traversing through its stormy mountains and dusty dunes earlier this year for PlayStation 5. Raw and straight to the core, the title is an aesthetic masterpiece that bodes massive promise from PlayStation as just an example of what’s to be expected across both platforms in future. That said, it should be noted that you will need a powerhouse PC to run the game at optimal level, but can still be experienced on lower end hardware with minimal requirements, but that I would only suggest if you cannot get your hands on the PS4 versions of both titles, for which I encourage you to do if this is the case.
But with the above specs noted, I was absolutely enthralled from beginning to end once again. It never ceases to amaze me how Naughty Dog are able to perfect body language in their titles. The realism is insane, and viewing these titles natively on a 240Hz/4K monitor blew me away. While its PS5 counterpart boasts a dazzling 120Hz VRR Patch for those that have the means to display 120fps, AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution 2.1 upscales rendering for both image quality and performance. Boosting my settings to Max, I was able to play the game without any performance issues, granted I waited for all shaders to load at the beginning of the game. I did have one unexpected crash, but I found this was due to shaders loading in real-time during the opening sequence; not an issue with the game, just an example of my impatience and anticipation to wait for the game to install properly – I suggest doing so before jumping in.
So how does the game handle in the traditional sense? On controller, both PS5 and XBOX, just as expected as the game was designed to use the former in both the architectural and practical sense with PlayStation 5’s haptic registers relaying through Steam’s controller settings. As for those looking to play on the ol’ Keyboard and Mouse, it’s relative to how experienced you are on the given hardware. I found myself leaning toward the combination after deciding to give it a go halfway through Uncharted 4’s campaign, and decided to play Lost Legacy entirely with the dual peripherals. While I’m a controller person at heart, I did enjoy my use of an unfamiliar controller scheme. A welcome feature was controlling the camera with a mouse for rapid movement rather than the tedious motion the traditional analogue stick could project on console.
I’d say that given the extensive layout in switching guns on keyboard did give me some issues, but that was easily adjusted through the game’s options – an advantage to those equipping themselves with gaming mice. The omission of haptics and adaptive triggers were sorely missed but I did have a seamlessly enjoyable experience on the intended transition for newcomers to the series. Just as it was for PS5, zero load times are a sensational welcome that keeps you attentive to every single second in each title here, without the need of short intermission or immersion breaking load times. It’s high octane, expeditious action from the moment you leap into both these epic escapades. Drake’s 20+ hour campaign leads in Chloe’s 10+ hours adventure, giving a fantastic evergreen experience to both timelines, although it’s suggested you play Uncharted 4 prior to Lost Legacy.
I don't embellish when I say that Uncharted remains the pinnacle of action-adventure titles
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection now seats itself firmly as a cross-platform triumph through PlayStation’s continuous efforts to reel in a new target audience toward its acclaimed mastery in first party gaming. The efforts of each respective studio won’t undoubtedly go unnoticed, giving precedence to Uncharted’s predecessors for which I hope to see land on PC in the near future. It goes without saying that Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, remains one of the greatest video gaming experiences that re-platformed Naughty Dog as a leading industry developer, but Uncharted 4: Among Thieves personifies and amalgamates the studio’s everlasting growth through a merry marriage from its core engine of both Uncharted 2 and The Last of Us, which escalates further here. This is a legacy statement for PlayStation, that now see’s its heralded history firmly planted among Greatness.
Original Review by Dan Rizzo – First Published February 8, 2022.
No other series has defined PlayStation’s legacy within the last two decades as Uncharted. “Sic Parvis Magna” isn’t just a phrase that’s thrown throughout the series as a story beat, but exactly how from its humble beginnings, Uncharted elevated the bar for many development teams among the Sony family, including the Santa Monica based development team themselves. Naughty Dog have gone above the threshold and strove for greatness in each and every release, and has been instrumental in PlayStation’s ongoing successes in the hardware market. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End sought to end the team’s post at the helms of our mighty, yet overly-confident treasure hunter Nathan Drake, with his mentor Victor Sullivan attached to the hip. But it was also an emotional stretch that saw a twenty-something year old kid become a man.
A man that would eventually fall in love, settle down, become domesticated and have responsibilities to his family. While a ‘Domesticated Drake’ was living the simple life, the treasure trove was endless and the world kept spinning with a sea of thieves still at it for gold, leaving ex-cohorts to do their deeds respectively. Chloe Frazer took the lead in her own spin-off with Uncharted: Lost Legacy; an amazing once off that saw the Australian plunderer travel through a similar path we saw in Uncharted 4, with an unlikely partner at her side in Nadine Ross – one of two lead antagonists in the aforementioned Drake title. The two games packaged does this final chapter justice as Naughty Dog bids a fond farewell to a cornerstone of PlayStation’s legacy, in Drake and his preposterous perils. Is it goodbye? or just a ‘catch you later, kid?’ Who knows?
So, let’s begin with the obvious question here. What’s actually new about this collection, and why do I need it when I already own both games? Well, for starters; both have zero load times. Not once did I run into any loading issues that were more than sufficient to run bot Uncharted 4 and Lost Legacy. Recalling both title’s PlayStation 4 version, just booting the game was well over a minute long whereas the PS5 port has existentially removed anything that resembles an Uncharted loading screen. This playing in part of the new NVMe M.2 hardware that’s capable of incredible hard drive speeds. Graphically, both titles are still a marvel. Little to no texture pop-in occurred during my playthrough of both games, and indeed looked incredibly crisp and vibrant on a 4K monitor. The detail laid is immaculate in comparison, making the PlayStation 4 version seem well ahead of its time.
But in terms of grasping its sensation, the Dualsense haptics double-down on the Uncharted experience from the smallest snap of Nate’s fingers, shaking a vile of resin, to collapsing down a rocky mountainside and explosive canons off a pirate ship. The controller LITERALLY, and I mean LITERALLY in every sense of the word, jumped out of my hands while escaping a Panama prison. Scraping the sides of a hill scape and torching a van to flames, these are all unique feelings and senses that should be impossible to translate into a motorised mechanic within a gaming controller, but the PS5 somehow manages to immerse and evoke feeling in these incredible cinematic joyrides. Now gameplay wise, for the initiated it’s like riding a bicycle. Just jump in – no-pun intended – strap yourself with as much ammunition needed and get hunting for gold.
If this truly is Nathan Drake's final arc, then its story is excellently concluded with what is quite possibly one of gaming's greatest feats in gameplay, writing, graphical fidelity and cinema.
For newcomers however, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this collection as an entry point to the franchise unless you’re already well acquainted with its lore. I would however highly recommend Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection for starters, gaining the experience and knowledge needed, then returning here. It is quite befuddling that a collection dubbed “Legacy” omits the first three chapters of such a magnanimous series. Regardless, Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy Remastered have come out on-top winners in re-appraising its ports on new hardware. This is more than an upscaled remaster that had was seen in Bluepoint Games’ bolstered bunch of Naughty Dog originals for PS4, rather taking the framework of the individual games and assets, plus adding a layer of needed polish and abolishing anything that may resemble a stutter or shortcoming, perfecting each respective game with stunning visuals and re-rendered cinematics.
Skeletons in the closet...
✔️Remastered to perfection. Graphically untouchable and incredibly immersive.
✔️Dualsense haptics are on another level in this collection.
✔️Zero load times, Native 4K 60FPS, crisper detail in graphics and HDR? A masterclass in gaming.
❌Some bugs, but nothing a quick patch can’t fix.
Let’s not beat around the bush here, Uncharted is in a league of its own when describing each integral facet and feature of its respective line-up. The Legacy of Thieves collection cements this by giving Nate his moment again, only with a little more detail, while The Lost Legacy shines with those that may have missed it on the PlayStation 4. Chloe’s sidequest with Nadine gives Laura Bailey’s role some legging upon experiencing A Thief’s End, to understand the newcomer’s character and background, while Frazer remains as mischievous as ever. Meanwhile, Nate’s more contemporary life has lead the treasure hunter into finding rare commodities for Jameson Marine Incorporated; an excavation company that salvages sunken items.
Now married, Nate leaves his old life behind committing to his once rocky relationship to his wife Elena. The reporter continues her work as a writer, while Drake reminisces on old finds while working. But the need for adventure lingers and only gets stronger upon the re-emergence of his once thought dead brother Samuel Drake. The abandoned brothers had believed they were the heirs to the Drake fortune, while they also investigated the long lost treasure of Pirate, Sir Henry Avery. Only, the two would need an insurance policy by the name of Rafe Adler, who’s obsession over Avery’s gold never wavered.
Now reaching mid-life, Nate and his estranged Brother secretly head off in hopes of discovering the city of Pirates and Avery’s riches that was said to be buried there. If this truly is Nathan Drake’s final arc, then its story is excellently concluded with what is quite possibly one of gaming’s greatest feats in gameplay, writing, graphical fidelity and cinema. It’s bowed in a neat re-release that personifies what was a unique period for PlayStation fans, and how inspirational this series truly was not just for gamers, but for the industry as a whole. Without it, there would be no Last of Us, or Tomb Raider reboot. Assassin’s Creed wouldn’t be as diverse, nor mechanically ranged. It’s games and franchises like this that live on forever through conversation. That’s backed by the amazing talents of its performers that do more than stand in a booth here. Nolan North IS Nathan Drake, the swagger, the personality, the character is all engrained into the experienced and revered Voice Over artist.
Troy Baker as Samuel Drake is a match made in heaven with Nolan, sharing a brotherly bond the two had in real life. Emily Rose as Elena Fisher is almost like looking into a 3D rendered mirror of the actor herself, while Richard McGonagle’s portrayal as long-time father figure and rapscallion Victor Sullivan, footprints the Cigar smoker’s gravelly vocals with mentorship. Claudia Blacks Chloe Frazer puts the actor on a pedestal to take over the series and bring it to new heights, while Laura Bailey’s Nadine Ross has a mysterious path in the Uncharted legacy that will surely be seen down the line. While these two titles omit some foundations of Uncharted’s longstanding ties to Naughty Dog’s in controversial dismissals and departures – most notably series creator’s Amy Hennig who left during pre-production – The Last of Us Team of Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley did the final chapter justice and has concluded Uncharted with one of Drake’s most intense and memorable escapades, ever.
Seek your legacy and leave your mark on the map in UNCHARTED: Legacy of Thieves Collection. Experience Naughty Dog’s thrilling, cinematic storytelling and the iconic franchise’s largest blockbuster action set pieces.