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Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection PC

Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection PC

Written by Eric Hauter on 10/18/2022 for PC  
More On: Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection

I’m a huge Uncharted fan, to the point where I’ve probably spent more time with Nathan Drake than I have with any other video game character. I’ve played all of the Uncharted games multiple times, including the Vita game. Heck, I’ve even put extensive time into the relatively unknown Uncharted: Fight for Fortune card game. I’ve loved the mix of action and humor in the games since the franchise’s inception, and I was delighted with the way The Lost Legacy continued that tradition after Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End brought the base series to its conclusion.

But it’s been a while since I spent any time with Drake, Nadine, Sully, and the rest of the gang. The Lost Legacy released in 2017, and I probably played through it twice, but after that I’ve been quietly hanging out to see what Naughty Dog does next with the series, giving the company the side eye as it seems to have gotten lost in the Last of Us woods.

While the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection isn’t exactly a new release in the Uncharted franchise, it does at least throw fans like me a bone, letting us know that Naughty Dog hasn’t completely abandoned us. I missed this collection, which gathers the single-player campaigns from Uncharted 4 and the Lost Legacy in a sparkly new package, when it hit PlayStation 5 earlier this year. But with Sony moving many of its first-party hits to PC, I was able to play through the collection this week, and…damn. I had forgotten how beautiful these games really are.

I can’t imagine that anyone reading this isn’t familiar with Nathan Drake, but since this collection is being released on a new platform, I suppose there might be some curious newcomers. So, here’s the deal: The Uncharted series follows Nathan Drake, a roguish adventurer with a quick wit and a heart of gold. Drake is arguably a thief; similar to Indiana Jones, he makes his living hunting down artifacts from other cultures and liberating them. But unlike Indy, Drake isn’t putting anything in a museum. He and his erstwhile partner (and sometimes mentor) Sully are all about that money.

Typically in an Uncharted title, Drake goes off in search of some artifact, and finds himself pulled into a tale of international intrigue. He is typically pitted against foes that are seeking the same item, and the games turn into a race around the world, delving into tombs and catacombs, solving ancient riddles, and murdering lots and lots of dudes. Drake is a charming sociopath, quick with a quip and fiercely loyal to his friends, but he doesn’t hesitate to toss guys off of cliffs or gun them down by the dozens if they stand between him and his goals.

Gameplay in Uncharted games is fairly standardized at this point, though some of the twists and turns of the story can still surprise. Drake does a lot of climbing with near-Herculean upper body strength, making jumps that he should by all rights miss. His other favorite activities are shooting dudes and puzzle-solving, though the order of these sees a lot of shuffling. The gunplay in Uncharted is simple but satisfying. By default, the game auto-aims for the player, making the real challenge keeping the Drake protected for long enough to take everyone down. You can turn off the snap-aiming in the opening menu, but I'm accustomed to playing this way, so I kept it turned on. There are some optional stealth elements as well, which can be fun, but I tend to just wade into the fray guns blazing. Uncharted 4 also added some small open areas to explore (which are also present in The Lost Legacy), which add some length to some of the middle chapters in each title. 

At the end of each adventure, Drake often comes across some supernatural aspect in his quest. Statues come to life, the dead walk, that sort of thing. He is frequently faced with dire choices, and typically chooses to do the right thing, even if it costs him his much-sought-after boon. Everyone has their favorites, but with amazing storylines and performances, these games are consistently a rollicking good time, and I frankly can’t recommend the entire series highly enough. As good as games like the newer Tomb Raider titles are, these games are even better, the gold standard by which such action/adventure titles should be judged.

Uncharted 4, arguably the biggest and the best game in the series, capped things off for Drake pretty definitively. At that point the series was considered concluded, but just a few years later Naughty Dog emerged with The Lost Legacy. Originally intended as a DLC for Uncharted 4, The Lost Legacy grew in scope until it was decided that it would be a stand-alone game, albeit a briefer and more concise entry in the series. With supporting characters Nadine Cross and Chloe Frazer taking the center stage, The Lost Legacy proved that the formula could work very well even without Nathan Drake. The Lost Legacy, while only clocking in at nine chapters compared to Uncharted 4's twenty-two, nonetheless feels like a complete game, just as satisfying as it's predecessor. 

It can be tough to review a remaster of games that have been bopping around the gaming ecosystem for over half a decade. Had I been reviewing games when these releases were new, I would have been hard-pressed not to give either of them a 10/10. And here we are, five years later, and the games absolutely hold up, looking and playing better than most games released in the current generation. As I am very familiar with these games, I don't mind saying that I whipped through a lot of the content. Drake, Chloe, and I have been through these adventures enough times that I am typically able to scamper through the environments like a monkey; the "where do I go next" aspect of these games is far behind me. As a result, I kept my time with the Legacy of Thieves collection light, skipping a lot of the optional content and treasure hunts to mainline the story. 

That's because in my mind, there is no doubt about the greatness of the games in this collection Therefore, the review comes down to how well the new version performs. And, of course, it performs perfectly. To be clear, both of these titles were gorgeous on PlayStation 4, with top-of-the-line graphics that still look amazing today. But my modest gaming PC (I’ve got a GeForce RTX 2080) was able to play the Legacy of Thieves collection at a 2560x1440 resolution, locking in at a rock-solid 60 FPS on all Ultra settings, and I gotta say, this game might be the best-looking thing I’ve seen on my monitor.

Usually at this point in a review, I say things like “But there was this slight hiccup with the framerate when there were too many enemies on the screen”, or “There was a bit of pop-in while some of the textures were loading”. Forget all that. Didn’t happen. Not even once. The performance of this game has been stellar. But do yourself a favor and let the shaders build the first time you boot it up; you’ll be dramatically adding to your load times if you don’t. For me, this took about four or five minutes the first time I loaded each title, but I foolishly skipped it the first time I played, which made load times a chore. Once it's done once, loads are smooth sailing, with the game booting from the main menu in a matter of seconds.

I played The Lost Legacy first on my PC, and I was once again stunned to see how amazing the game looks. In the opening scenes, Chloe Frazer is making her way through an open-air market in India, and the richness of color and texture…well…Naughty Dog is just showing off. Not long after that, some jets swoop in and bomb some buildings in the distance, and the explosions are so well done – not showy, but just realistic enough to have impact. The entire game continues along these lines, with every movement, every shadow, every texture being carefully considered and delivered to your eyeballs in the best possible way.

If you want proof of this game's beauty, just stop moving around for a minute. Look at the textures nearby. Check out the floor boards in a room, the paint chipping off of walls, the rust on the deck of a boat. Look at the way you can see not only the stitching on young Nathan's jean jacket, not only the texture of the denim, but the places where the jacket is worn and the denim is faded. No matter how many great-looking games are released every year, there just aren’t that many development teams capable of delivering what Naughty Dog can. Uncharted 4 looks just as good, of course. I don’t have an ultrawide monitor, but I wish I did, because some of the sweeping vistas in Uncharted 4 are unbelievable. 

For fun, I plugged in one of my DualSense controllers to my PC, which I have never done before. I typically use a wired Xbox controller, which worked just fine for this game. But once I tried to play with a DualSense, I stuck with it for the rest of the game. PlayStation 5 owners know why – the reactive triggers alone are enough of a selling point. I’m curious how many non-PS5 owners have picked up DualSense Controllers to play through some of these Sony PC games. If you are playing these games, and you haven’t, you might want to consider it. As expected, the on-screen button prompts changed appropriately to compensate for the new controller layout. The only issue I had with my DualSense controller was when I plugged it in for the first time, my system switched the sound over as though my controller was the speaker/output. This was probably my own fault, as I shouldn't have done it on the fly, but it was worth noting.

Screenshots don't do this game justice. You gotta see it in motion to really grasp how beautiful it is.

As a quick side note: I don’t yet own a SteamDeck, but our hardware editor John Yan does. He reports that Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection runs extremely well on Valve’s remarkable handheld. So if you are wondering, yeah, it seems pretty good.

The bottom line here is that this collection contains two of the best action/adventure titles ever released, allowing you to play them in just about the best possible way. The only folks I wouldn’t recommend this release to are people that just played this collection on PS5, or folks that are die-hard fans of the multiplayer (which I never really got into). These games are a rib-bruising good time, some of my all-time favorites, and they’ve never looked better.

Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection gathers two of the best action/adventure titles of all time, and presents them in the best possible light. Limited only by your gaming PC’s capabilities, both the performance and content of these titles are nothing less than stellar. Laughs, thrills, and gorgeous presentation; beyond recommended, this collection is a must.

Rating: 9.5 Exquisite

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

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About Author

Howdy.  My name is Eric Hauter, and I am a dad with a ton of kids.  During my non-existent spare time, I like to play a wide variety of games, including JRPGs, strategy and action games (with the occasional trip into the black hole of MMOs). I am intrigued by the prospect of cloud gaming, and am often found poking around the cloud various platforms looking for fun and interesting stories.  I was an early adopter of PSVR (I had one delivered on release day), and I’ve enjoyed trying out the variety of games that have released since day one. I've since added an Oculus Quest 2 to my headset collection.  I’m intrigued by the possibilities presented by VR multi-player, and I try almost every multi-player game that gets released.

My first system was a Commodore 64, and I’ve owned countless systems since then.  I was a manager at a toy store for the release of PS1, PS2, N64 and Dreamcast, so my nostalgia that era of gaming runs pretty deep.  Currently, I play on Xbox Series X, PS5, PS4, PSVR, Quest 2, Switch, Luna, GeForce Now, (RIP Stadia) and a super sweet gaming PC built by John Yan.  While I lean towards Sony products, I don’t have any brand loyalty, and am perfectly willing to play game on other systems.

When I’m not playing games or wrangling my gaggle of children, I enjoy watching horror movies and doing all the other geeky activities one might expect. I also co-host Spielberg Chronologically, where we review every Spielberg film in order, which you can find wherever you get your podcasts.

Follow me on Twitter @eric_hauter, and check out my YouTube channel here

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