Naughty Dog has refined the action genre by skillfully mixing light gunplay and huge action set-pieces with the Uncharted series featuring some of the most cinematic storytelling in the industry. It makes sense that fans would want their favorite adventures on current consoles with some new polish, which is why we have the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection out now on the PS5. If only we could get that Golden Abyss port, the collection would be complete, but is this fresh plunder worth digging for?
This new set offers updates for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, two tales that are arguably near the top of the franchise and adventures that capture the wonder and enchantment of the treasure hunting lifestyle. Nathan Drake, his brother Sam, Sully, Chloe, and Nadine all live exciting and dangerous lives as they uncover riches that have remained hidden in remote parts of the world, with just the right amount of drama and character development to keep everyone engaged. What’s not to love?
Just for fun, I played the excellent intro to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and then jumped ahead to some of the bigger action scenes later in the game. Following that, I hunkered down and beat Lost Legacy again in one sitting, because it has several of the franchise’s best banter and emotion in it, while scratching that massive train scene itch. This was after getting my saves transferred though, so I could play around with some of the various character skins, color modes, and weapons from the bonus menu. Securing previous game files was incredibly easy – perhaps the most so far in all of my experiences on the PS5 – and it was an option in the game, not requiring PS+ to do so. May all future endeavors of this type be so clean and easy, I pray to the video game gods. A few seconds later, I was testing out powerful weapons in the early chapters of both games to watch henchmen run away in terror – having a blast.
Even though these are insanely enjoyable to play through again, most people will approach Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection with the purpose of seeing how fancy it can look on their new consoles, and the answer to that is: fantastic.
There are essentially three modes of visual presentation available, if the player has the proper setup capable of displaying them. First, there is Fidelity, which locks the framerate at 30 but offers that sweet 4K resolution for anyone wanting to maximize their pixels, while Performance mode brings 60 frames per second and 1440p. Both are solid and the difference probably won’t matter to the majority, or will be determined by display preferences, but then there is the thief option. Performance Plus brings the magic of 120 fps to the action of Uncharted, just at 1080p, and seems to be the preferred way to play for those who simply want to be impressed by the visuals. The games look crisp either way and playing with these settings can make for a fun mini-game of spot the difference.
Keen-eyed players who experienced these back on the earlier generation of consoles may notice that there is more detail in the environments and on some items now, with a few bolder shadows, longer distance rendering, better reflections, and a bit of tweaking on some of the lighting. Uncharted has some amazing sprawling vistas that always have me stopping to take things in, but even when the action is going there are fewer little imperfections to take you out of the moment. The games suffer from pop-ins less frequently, textures load quicker, and there aren’t as many unwanted remnants overstaying their welcome on the screen as before. It’s great to realize that there are fewer instabilities all around, but they do still happen occasionally.
Although the games look immaculate in most sections, there are a few rare parts where certain layers don’t load in or the facial animations seem a bit off. It’s hard to say if that’s from the games being several years old or some of the graphical massaging they’ve endured. I encountered a couple of floating items, like a grenade in one part, and I was soft-locked in an instance when the game wouldn’t let me climb the wall I was supposed to, but a quick reload of the checkpoint fixed it.
Compared to their older counterparts, these games load extremely fast. With how favorable the checkpoints are, death doesn’t cause much of a setback, but for those who simply want to coast through the story, there is an immensely serviceable lock-on feature and multiple difficulty levels. Holding the controller is comfortable and the response to button presses now feels insanely reactive, with fewer inputs eaten. I had to get used to playing again, but either I’m much better with this combat now or the improvements have made me a more effective murder machine.
There will be no killing in the multiplayer modes though, as those were left out of this version. Not a big loss to me, but I know some people enjoyed them. Personally, I was hoping for a small upgrade in the accessibility department, since Naughty Dog has done so well with those efforts in their recent entries, but there are no significant changes. Mono audio is now there to assist those with certain hearing issues and there was also a persistent center dot option added, which will help anyone who may have cognitive disadvantages or has trouble following the action when those hectic cinematic scenes start.
For those who feel like this isn’t enough or there are still some little things missing, there is a PC version expected later this year that could potentially add more or be enhanced with mods. For me, however, Uncharted nails the cinematic adventure so well, and it’s great to see the two campaigns looking as crisp as they do on the screen, making a valuable addition to my PS5 collection. Even though there are no extra frills, the core games stand on their own and I plan on digging through this collection frequently.
A PS5 key was provided by PR for the purposes of this review
Some of the coverage you find on Cultured Vultures contains affiliate links, which provide us with small commissions based on purchases made from visiting our site. We cover gaming news, movie reviews, wrestling and much more.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is the return of two stellar adventures from an excellent series. The fresh coat of paint is sparkling and there's still fun to be had, but not too much else to experience.
Gamezeen is a Zeen theme demo site. Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.