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Uncharted Legacy of Thieves Collection Review


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Need to know

What is it? A story driven action-adventure game about hunting for long-lost treasure.
Expect to pay: £45 / $50
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: PlayStation
Reviewed on: Ryzen 5 3600X, 32GB RAM, RTX 2070
Multiplayer? No
Link: Official Site

I've missed Uncharted. The reckless personalities, lush environments, and delightfully ridiculous action set pieces are unlike anything else we have in games, and coming back to the series with this PC port of the fourth game and its standalone expansion (The Lost Legacy) has been an absolute pleasure.

I first indulged in the Uncharted games years ago now on PlayStation, and haven't revisited them since becoming a PC player. I've always loved Nathan Drake because he's a morally grey hero who, with a cheeky quip and a mischievous smile, can get away with almost anything. Where Lara Croft claims she's just an archaeologist, despite her chaotic exploits, Drake and crew are self-confessed thieves, mercenaries, and rogues, with silver tongues and dark pasts. In his wake, history is destroyed one collapsing temple at a time, but in the end he always makes the right choice… and ends up no richer than when he started. They're thrilling adventures–and Uncharted 4 is the best of all of them.

You've probably already heard how good it is: near-universally acclaimed on its original release back in 2016. It was and still is the perfect ending to Nathan's story. At the outset, he's given up his life of adventure, living a normal life with love interest Elena, but the arrival of long-lost brother Sam lures him into one final mission. Sam steals the show, but Elena's role is crucial, Nathan's inability to be honest with her sharply highlighting his struggles with settling down. He needs adventure, and wrongly sees her as standing in his way. It's a beautifully crafted emotional conflict that's all the more poignant for the quiet moments that lead into it, including a still perfect scene where the two play Crash Bandicoot together. A moment of peaceDUP nostalgia in a game otherwise filled with firefights and spectacular close calls.

Uncharted Legacy of Thieves

(Image credit: Naughty Dog / PlayStation)

X marks the spot, even on a scope

All that action has aged wonderfully well. As someone who plays a lot of FPS games, I prefer shooting and aiming with a mouse for the combat sections, which are actually more frequent than I remembered. Diving from cover to cover is still exciting and deadly, even playing on the regular difficulty settings I was forced to time my peeks and plan my positions. With bullets streaking past you and the odd grenade lobbed into your cover, the firefights are engagingly stressful and with a mouse I feel more in control of where my own bullets and grenades landed.

When it could be avoided, I found myself leaning into stealth as much as possible to avoid the messy, chaotic conflict of a small army running at you. Stealth was way more satisfying in any case as it spared some of the extra nice gun ammunition I wanted, and it offers yet another opportunity to sketch out a mastermind plan. Did these plans always work? Hardly ever, admittedly, and most of my stealth efforts became firefights all the same, as I swore and ran away from the soldier who had spotted me.

The climbing mechanics are still lovely little puzzles you solve as you work your way to a goal, finding the fun in architecture better than the recent Assassin's Creeds. Accessing the surroundings to find the best route to make it to your goal has always made the series feel like you're a real smart 'donkey' for feeling your way through an ancient fort. Uncharted 4 in particular likes to mix up its mostly linear pathing. During a trip to an Italian mansion, your team has to slink from roof to roof to avoid the guards hunting you, free to pick your own paths across the rooftops rather than just one predetermined by the game. It makes you feel intelligent as you evade your enemies and also dumb when you get caught.

Uncharted Legacy of Thieves

(Image credit: Naughty Dog / PlayStation)

It's a gorgeous, first-class travel package that takes you physically and emotionally to incredible places.

A favourite puzzle from the two games may be one from Lost Legacy where giant statues wield massive weapons down onto platforms. The right path means these weapons miss you and counting the number of moves you can make as these mechanical menaces tick and crunch into place with every step is a proper brainteaser. Every time you hop onto a new platform, that triggers the statues to move so you have to think three steps ahead at all times. Three rounds of this means that by the end you're both a pro and also overthinking the moves they make. Entirely ridiculous and campy in execution, but exactly the type of thing I want from an Uncharted game.

And the driving sections are still tense and exciting in both games, from the freedom of Lost Legacy's Jeep section to the downhill dash in Uncharted 4. And graphically, even going in with the expectation that this is a studio that excels at visuals, the art continues to be absolutely stunning.

Six years after its original launch, this is still the best action-adventure game out there. It takes the genre, crushes it up, rehydrates, simmers, filters, condenses, and compacts into its purest form. It's a gorgeous, first-class travel package that takes you physically and emotionally to incredible places. The beginning of each area or chapter feels like a red carpet rolling out in front of you, inviting you to experience something new each time. The frozen earth of Scotland, the colourful savannah of Madagascar, the dry evening breeze of Italy. Uncharted takes you somewhere and turns it into a playground of chaos to mess around in (and probably blow up on your way out).

Uncharted Legacy of Thieves

(Image credit: Naughty Dog / PlayStation)

Paradise found

There is a fantasy element to Uncharted 4 that's just believable enough to not break your immersion. You're rarely given a chance to think about how most of these illusive places would have been found already through current technology, or how despite being shot twenty times by a literal army, hiding behind a wall will recover your health. The sheer pace and variety keeps your suspension of disbelief afloat through any number of perilous climbs across crumbling ancient ruins.

This collection includes The Lost Legacy, a standalone spin-off that started life as DLC before expanding into its own experience. I hadn't played it before, and it's only made me want a new Uncharted sequel more.

Focusing in on side-characters Chloe and Nadine, it creates a relationship between them that is so well-written and performed that you get to see these two in a way Nathan couldn't. They're independent adventurers carrying the weight of family legacies on their backs, without the luck and luxuries of being a Drake. As they grow from strangers to friends, you come to hope for more dialogue of them exploring their pasts, the gossip of what happened between Chloe and Nathan (especially now he's a married man), and how they came to be the fearless women they are now.

Uncharted Legacy of Thieves

(Image credit: Naughty Dog / PlayStation)

The very beginning chapter of Lost Legacy is as tense as Uncharted has ever been. Fearing for the life of Chloe as she navigates a literal warzone and holding your breath as she's approached by leering guards is far from what Nathan Drake ever experiences in your time with him. It already sets the two adventures apart and even improves on some of Uncharted 4's best bits. The typical working conversation is natural, some of the awesome architecture is more like the series' previous set pieces, and because it's shorter, the pacing was at times a little tighter. And man did I enjoy hating Asav.

Though the adventure isn't as long as Drake's this one has plenty of its own strengths. Driving about India in a Jeep opting to find more and more treasure tokens for a mysterious reward was the best sort of gaming busywork. Without spoiling it, this reward has an actual in-game use which was a relief when I was initially expecting just a Steam achievement. The freeform exploration means you can take your time with your two heroes, just soaking in all the sights and collecting all the treasure hidden away in the river basin. Climbing ancient structures has never felt so awe inspiring. I audibly gasped a few times when stone crumbled beneath Chloe's hands only for her inevitable recovery to save her from death.

The climbing also represents some of Chloe and Nadine's relationship, as they become closer they help each other up these challenging walls. Their calls to each other to make sure they're alright are more concerned as the game goes on and their friendship feels like they entirely respect each other as equals and partners. Where they bickered about the right way to approach things at the beginning, there is instead conversation, joint decisions, and trust. Drake's main companions have mostly been mentors or lovers rather than just plain friends so it's great to see that relationship blossom from nothing to something over the course of Lost Legacy.

Uncharted Legacy of Thieves

(Image credit: Naughty Dog / PlayStation)


Performance on PC is smooth, and despite its age the game looks brilliant on modern hardware. I was initially a little worried when my 2070 struggled on Ultra so I toned it down to High, with DLSS whacked onto Quality. At that point there was still some occasional stuttering, mostly notably with water-y situations but nothing too bothersome. The recommended settings say the game should run on an SSD ideally but my PC uses an HDD.

On the other hand the Razer Blade 15 with a 3070 at 2560 x 1440 handled the Ultra setting with no problem at 60 fps. Clever guidance in the graphics settings shows you what level is possible on your system, which gave me the confidence to crank them up and enjoy the sights. It was smooth like butter on the Razer Blade even without DLSS activated. With DLSS on I did notice a difference in texture quality of course, but it was minimal and it's only in a side-by side comparison that I could really see it change. On Ultra the graph showing the performance showed my Blade was at the very limit of what it could do so DLSS certainly helped take the game out of the red zone and into a more comfortable spot with its Quality setting.

My experience was marred, however, by a strange bug in cutscenes, where characters refused to move or speak their lines: switching to the Blade and its SSD seemed to fix the problem, so I'm hopeful that it's not a widespread issue.

Uncharted Legacy of Thieves

(Image credit: Naughty Dog / PlayStation)

The Uncharted Legacy of Thieves Collection is a great addition to Sony's PC catalogue, whether you're playing these games for the first time or just taking the excuse to experience them again. Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy are the pinnacles of what the last generation of consoles achieved, up there with modern classics such as God of War and Persona 5, and still well worth your time. I've missed Uncharted, and I'm so glad I got the opportunity to see Nathan Drake's last adventure once again.

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