Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection
Uncharted's Conclusion Finally Reaches The PS5
Before we begin the first impressions of Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves, I'd like to admit that I was a victim of jumping the gun a tad bit. Initially, I thought that the entire Uncharted series was featured in this collection, which would include the original trilogy. As it turns out, the Nathan Drake Collection was released back in 2015 without a "PS5 Remaster." Honestly, the trilogy of games didn't need it as it ran just as if not more impressive on the PS5. The Legacy of Thieves Collection solves an issue that plagued Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy which was its framerate.
The first three games on the PS5 ran at a solid 60fps whereas the non-remastered PS4 versions ran at 30fps. With the new Legacy of Thieves Collection, for the first time, both titles now run at 60fps. This is impressive as both UC4 and The Lost Legacy were titles made for the PS4 in mind. This is as opposed to the Nathan Drake Trilogy being remasters of PS3 titles ported to the PS4. I say all of this to let potential players know what they are getting themselves into. In short, Legacy of Thieves includes remasters of both Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy. Nothing more, nothing less, but a slew of improvements that help both games into the next generation.
Before players can begin the titles, they are offered two options to play first, either UC4 or Lost Legacy. Depending on which is chosen is the game that will install first, with the other game installed in the background. This is a feature that almost all compilation games should have as it gives the player the option to finish one game rather than wait for both titles to install. The stories of the treasure hunters are relatively solid in length, leaving more than enough time to finish one adventure before starting the next.
Uncharted 4: A Theif's End
Despite being the fourth game in the series, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End shares the status of the other games in the series in that they are standalone titles first, sequels second. A lot of ground has been covered since players were introduced to Nathan Drake in Uncharted and the famous "fortune hunter" has decided to settle down. Unfortunately, or rather, fortunately, family has a way of roping the adventurous back in. This time around, the stakes are higher than a simple whimsical trek down some ancient ruins.
There's an extended tutorial that takes over the span of two chapters, the first exploring Nathan's childhood at a Catholic orphanage. While Nathan's past was addressed in some capacity in the previous titles, this is the first time players can play a young Nate. Controls behave as fans of the series would expect, yet in full 60 frames-per-second. It's always a treat when older titles that were once 30fps locked are played unlocked. Sure there's also the potential for more frames-per-second but for the average consumer, the difference between 30 fps and 60 fps is at its largest.
This comes into play with the two graphical options, favoring 4K fidelity over framerate. My preferred option was and will always be performance as the Uncharted games look beautiful in higher-res but play even better in "lower-res." The story for Uncharted 4 is also grounded, offering fans of the series a personal side to Nathan Drake and new players a sincere introduction to him. I'd make the case that starting here is better. Animations are fluid, especially in combat, where even mashing the square button feels like a lot is happening at once.
While most players may have a copy of Uncharted 4 as it did come included as a bundle for the PS4, the PS5's version remains the "definitive" version at least until the PC version is released. Alongside Uncharted 4, a spinoff title was released titled Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (Not Uncharted 5!)
Arguably, depending on who you ask, the better of the two, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is in many ways different yet familiar to the series. The stark difference is the main character, focusing on Chloe Frazer exclusively over Nathan Drake. This also marks her first appearance within a single-player campaign since Uncharted 3, making Lost Legacy a "companion piece" for Uncharted 4. This brings up some confusion about whether or not the title is Uncharted 5, but the devs have already denied such claims.
Taking place sometime after Uncharted 4, The Lost Legacy aims to tie up loose ends following the game's ending. Characters that were once antagonists are now secondary protagonists, such as Nadine. Nathan Drake's brother, Sam, plays just as big of a role in The Lost Legacy as he does in UC4. Unfortunately, first impressions had prohibited me from seeing Sam in action, but Lost Legacy more than makes up for grand impressions.
From the moment the player controls Chloe, no sooner are they stealthily moving through Indian alleyways, jumping from rooftop to gutters. In the next level, Chloe and her partner Nadine are exploring ancient ruins for Hindu artifacts while also fighting the henchmen who tailed them there. The gameplay is the classic Uncharted style that players have wanted from UC4, favoring gameplay over narrative. While UC4 was story-intensive, picking apart Nathan's legacy, Lost Legacy is "A Day In The Life Of Chloe."
The gameplay is identical to UC4 save for animations being different between Nathan and Chloe. What's interesting here is that Chloe has immediate access to a lockpick as well as a vehicle while traveling through the dangerous jungle. While I'm still not a huge fan of Uncharted's gunplay and combat, the exploration and platforming are as great as its predecessors. Fans of Chloe will enjoy her time in the spotlight, offering a unique spin on Uncharted that only she could deliver.
Players who own the games on the PS4 both digital and physical can upgrade to the collection on PS5 for a discounted price of $10. This makes owning the game on the superior next-gen console cheap without breaking the bank. This does come with a catch, as two years ago Sony released Uncharted 4 for PS Plus users. Those expecting to get a next-gen upgrade for $10 will be distraught to know that the PS+ version of UC4 does not apply.
Despite this, whether it's upgrading to next-gen or experiencing the title for the first time, PlayStation Studios has done a fantastic job on the remasters. Considering their track record, it's safe to say any remaster is a brilliant one, yet with the company's last original title released half of a year ago, maybe it's time to look forward. Fortunately, Sony has a lot of tricks up its sleeve as many of their first-party IPs are expected to release relatively soon. Can't wait for Gran Turismo 7!
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is out now on the PS5