Platforms: PlayStation 5
Release Date: January 28, 2022
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection brings Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy to the PS5. Thanks to the power of Sony’s hard-to-find current-gen system, both PS4 titles look and run better than ever. This enhanced port is every bit as impressive as God of War, Ghost of Tsushima and Death Stranding. Despite the games’ PS4 origins, Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection ranks as one of the best titles you can play on PS5.
Uncharted 4 and Lost Legacy are critical darlings, and many fans consider them the pinnacle of the Uncharted series. Like the other PS4 games that migrated to PS5, the crisper visuals and higher frame rates in this remaster serve to enhance an already spectacular experience. The new presentation is the main draw but it’s what lies underneath that will keep you playing until you reach each game’s end credits.
For this Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection review, I’ll provide an overview of each game, along with the collection’s PS5 features. Be sure to check out our full Uncharted 4 review and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy review for more detail on each title.
Read on to see what makes Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection one of the PS5’s first must-own games of 2022.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection review: Story
Uncharted 4 is protagonist Nathan Drake’s final outing in the series. As such, the game’s narrative relies heavily on exploring the character’s origin and motivations. There are entire sections where you play as a young Nathan Drake, getting into all manner of trouble with his older brother, Sam Drake, or his gruff mentor, Sully. The past and present sequences combine to tell a cohesive narrative, filled with a good mix of over-the-top set pieces and intimate character moments. Story-wise, Uncharted 4 is the most mature entry in the entire series.
The Lost Legacy stars fan-favorite character Chloe Frazer, who goes on a globetrotting adventure of her own. Chloe hunts for long-lost treasure at the edge of the world while fending off a legion of bad guys who seek said treasure for nefarious purposes. Uncharted 4 antagonist Nadine Ross tags along for the ride, and provides a world-weary, cynical outlook that contrasts with Chloe's optimism and curiosity.
The tone in Lost Legacy is reminiscent of the early Uncharted games. Whereas Uncharted 4 felt like the ending of the series, Lost Legacy feels like the start of something new. The fact it’s a compact adventure (about half as long as a standard Uncharted game) keeps the story moving at a steady pace.
Though both titles have no shortage of high-octane action and wild set pieces, each is decidedly more grounded than the first three Uncharted entries. Naughty Dog’s writers clearly grew as storytellers after having worked on The Last of Us. Neither game in this collection is as bleak as that title, but The Last of Us’ influence is pronounced, especially in the smaller character moments.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection review: Gameplay
Both Uncharted 4 and Lost Legacy are action/adventure titles, inspired by the classic Indiana Jones films and the original Tomb Raider games. There are healthy doses of combat, exploration and platforming, which prevent the titles from ever feeling stale.
The cover-based, third-person shooter combat in these two titles is as good as the series gets. The enemies’ aggressive nature forces you to move from cover to cover frequently. If you try to hunker down in one spot, you’ll soon find yourself flanked or flushed out by a grenade or rocket launcher. Melee combat has also undergone an upgrade, making it easier to pound a foe’s face in if they get too close. And whenever possible, stealth is also a viable option. Though it's not as refined as the likes of Metal Gear Solid or Hitman, creeping up on an unsuspecting baddie from behind and snapping their neck feels immensely satisfying.
While the gameplay is virtually identical between the two titles, Lost Legacy feels more fluid than Uncharted 4. The latter isn’t sluggish, but it’s clear that Naughty Dog refined the controls between titles. Or perhaps Chloe handles better because she’s lighter and nimbler than Nathan. Whatever the case, the controls in Lost Legacy are exceptional, and easily the best of the entire franchise.
PS5 DualSense haptic controls are now part of both games. The right trigger button offers a small amount of resistance when you depress it, mimicking what it’s like to fire an actual gun. This addition is nice but, it isn’t substantial enough to impact the overall gameplay. After a few minutes, you’ll forget that haptic feedback is present. Rumble doesn’t feel all that different on the DualSense controller than it did on the DualShock 4. Though the haptic feedback isn't exceptional in this title, I appreciate its inclusion.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection review: PS4 save data transfer
If you’ve played either game on PS4, you’ll be happy knowing that you can pick up where you left off by downloading your save data stored in PSN’s cloud server. The simplicity of downloading one’s old save file stands in contrast to games such as Marvel’s Spider-Man or Death Stranding, which force you to install the PS4 game to your PS5 and upload save data. You’ll also be happy to know that all previously earned trophies unlock the instant you enter each game.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection review: Visuals and sound
The original games were visual showcases on the PS4, so it’s no surprise that they look even more stunning on PS5. Dense jungles, sprawling plains, bombed-out cities and ancient ruins come to life thanks to the visual enhancements.
There are three different display options to choose from. Fidelity mode presents the game at a native 4K resolution with a frame rate locked at 30 frames per second. Performance mode runs at targeted 60 fps, with a variable 4K resolution from a base 1440p. Finally, Performance+ has the game running at 120 fps at 1080p.
I set the game to Performance mode for the majority of my playtime. While 120 fps sounds good on paper, I personally could not tell the difference between that and 60 fps. The drop in visual quality was also noticeable. Fidelity mode certainly looks the best, but it’s difficult going back to 30 fps after being spoiled by 60 fps games on both PS5 and PC. To my eyes, there is little visual degradation between Performance and Fidelity modes. Being able to play at 60 fps is a reasonable trade-off for what I consider a minimal loss of graphical crispness. Like Miles Morales: Spider-Man on PS5, Performance mode is the best way to experience Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection review: Verdict
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is the definitive way to experience Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy. Both titles look and run spectacularly on PS5, thanks to high-resolution textures and buttery smooth framerates. Though some players may bemoan the lack of Uncharted 4’s multiplayer mode, the vast majority of people will be too busy enjoying the titles’ captivating narratives to care. Missing MP mode aside, this is an all-around solid package.
Beyond the prettier visuals and fluid controls, Uncharted 4 and Lost Legacy are thrilling experiences that place you in the thick of their respective adventures. The bombastic set pieces, engaging characters and fast-paced narratives are timeless. As such, the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is a must-own PS5 title for veterans and newcomers alike.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is available for $49 at Amazon. Those who own digital editions of PS4 games can upgrade to it for $10, which we've covered in more detail in our guide on how to upgrade Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves on PS5. You need to own only one of the games to take advantage of this upgrade. Expect Legacy of Thieves Collection to arrive on Steam and the Epic Games Store sometime in 2022.