While it’s been difficult to get your hands on a PlayStation 5, those that have been lucky enough to find one of Sony’s shiniest new machines in the wild have had a mixed bag of releases to enjoy.
Aside from a handful of stellar (mostly first-party) titles, we’ve seen developers and publishers re-releasing some of their big hitters, hoping for another bite of the apple this generation.
This time, it’s the turn of Naughty Dog’s iconic Uncharted series, with the Legacy of Thieves Collection. Featuring Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and the standalone spin-off Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, these PS4 bestsellers have been given the upgrade treatment.
While a collection of the entire series would have been great to see, it’s understandable why this pair would be bundled together, as they mark a point in the series where Naughty Dog moved away from the more light-hearted bombast that Amy Hennig had spearheaded and pulled in the help of Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley to add in some of the more grounded and adult themes we’ve come to expect since The Last of Us.
Uncharted 4 follows the story of Nathan Drake as he discovers a brother, long-thought dead, is actually still alive – digging up some old demons and attempting to save his brother’s life along the way. It simultaneously gives us a deeper understanding of Nathan’s backstory and wraps up his arc with a satisfying end.
The Lost Legacy is set some time after Uncharted 4 and follows Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross on their own adventure, as they search for the legendary tusk of Ganesh.
Available as a complete purchase (or via an upgrade fee if you own either or both already), you won’t find any extra content bundled in aside from the graphical options and upgrades that the PS5 can support. Each game offers ‘Performance’ and ‘Performance Plus’ options, 60fps and 120fps 1080p respectively, plus ‘Fidelity’ which locks at 30fps with a 4K resolution.
To be clear, Uncharted 4 is undeniably one of the PlayStation’s best titles and looks breathtaking in 4k, but during our playthrough, we found the 60fps option the best experience, making the gunplay and climbing sections just sing on screen.
From its explosive opening speedboat chase to an insane car chase through Madagascar, Uncharted 4 took the franchise and cranked everything to max, blending iconic action moments throughout that make it clear Naughty Dog were as much crafting a Hollywood movie as they were a series defining videogame.
Huge set-pieces aside, the core gameplay is solid. You explore wide-open spaces, solve puzzles and, of course, fire a gun or two (kidding, there’s way more than two) as you fight your way through to Libertalia, the legendary Pirate City.
The combat was revamped to offer more options on the field. You can run and gun your way to victory, taking cover where necessary. But with an aggressive AI that will always push you to keep moving and have your eyes on a swivel, there’s a well-executed stealth mechanic that is often the better option. Hiding in tall grass or picking the best vantage point gives you more time to work on those all-important tactics, as you pick off enemies one by one – sometimes with a rather joyous kick to the face, courtesy of a well-timed rope swing.
The Lost Legacy takes those changes Uncharted 4 introduced and condenses them into a much tighter but still ample experience – doing its best to trim out any of the perceived flab to streamline the action. Gone, for example, are the temporary hold-ups as your partner character searches for a crate to climb on, while Naughty Dog also experimented with a semi-open world environment for a large chunk of the adventure, with more trinkets to collect along the way.
Gameplay aside, what makes these titles great and pushed us through to the end is the characters and their dynamics at play. Nathan and his brother Sam bouncing off each other was always a joy, as was finding out more about the early days of Nathan’s character.
The Lost Legacy, however, doubly deserves points here for crafting a script which sees Chloe and Nadine work so well. We get the chance to dig deeper into their characters and never feel the omission of Nathan Drake as a negative.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and The Lost Legacy are two unmissable experiences for PlayStation players.
They’re huge, bombastic, and rich stories that go toe to toe with some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters around – and with their upgraded graphics it’s hard not to say this collection is worth a look. If you’ve yet to play either game, this is a must-buy.
Ultimately, however, these are a fairly barebones repackaging. So if you’ve already experienced both games, the high price tag might not be such an easy sell.
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