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‘Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection’ review: A not-so-big upgrade

Kyle Chua
‘Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection’ review: A not-so-big upgrade

The games remind you of how good they looked for their time

Official screenshot from Sony

It's the definitive edition of the games but paying for the upgrade might turn off some

Uncharted 4 and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy were among the generation-defining games of the PlayStation 4 (PS4), and now Sony is rereleasing both games on the PlayStation 5 (PS5) with some additional enhancements.

While I like the idea of previous-gen games taking advantage of next-gen hardware, this new package isn’t exactly a homerun. 

Perhaps the question in a lot of curious fans’ minds must be, “Why is Sony charging us $10 for this upgrade when there’s no new content and it’s free for other games?” I’ll admit that it’s kind of hard to justify the price at first, but there seems to be a logical reason for it. 

One of which is that you can upgrade and get access to the entire next-gen versions of the collection without the need to own both games. Let’s say, you only own Uncharted 4, you can purchase the upgrade for the same price and still gain access to Uncharted: The Lost Legacy on PS5. This is my favorite benefit from this new collection as it streamlines how you can own and access both games. 

Of course, you also get to enjoy three new graphics modes: Fidelity Mode, Performance Mode, and Performance+ Mode. Fidelity Mode lets you play in native 4K at 30fps. Performance Mode, meanwhile, targets 60fps at a lower resolution. And Performance+ Mode tries for 120fps at 1080p resolution. 

Nathan Drake was not amused at his wife’s memory-card-wipe prank

All three modes run fine, with Fidelity Mode being my favorite. Uncharted 4 is already a good-looking game, but at 4K resolution, it becomes even more beautiful and cinematic. I almost forgot how the two games were visually ahead of their time. I do wish there was an option for 4K resolution at 60fps, but at this point in the PS5’s life cycle, I know that’s not possible yet. 

A lot of the other visual enhancements, I’d argue, are a lot more subtle. This is a remaster, after all, not a remake. So if you played this before, don’t go into this one expecting dramatic graphical changes. For the most part, when it comes to the graphics and the effects, it looks almost the same on the PS5 as it does on the PS4. 

The collection also supports the PS5’s 3D audio features and the DualSense controller’s adaptive triggers and haptic feedback. These are great additions to upping the immersiveness. I particularly love the implementation of the haptic feedback here, with a lot of gameplay moments perfectly lending themselves to the feature. For example, when you’re climbing walls as Nathan Drake and part of the rock surface that you’re holding onto suddenly crumbles, your controller gives off a tactile rumble that helps sell what’s happening in-game. 

Now, are these features worth the $10 asking price? That depends on you. If you haven’t played Uncharted 4 before, this is now the definitive way to experience it. 

However, I think Sony shot itself in the foot when it released the next-gen upgrade for The Last of Us Part II for free via a software update. That update similarly added a 60fps option on next-gen. And it kind of set a precedent for upgrades that don’t come with new content. The company has, for me, unknowingly conditioned consumers to expect these performance boosts to come at no extra cost. This is why I don’t exactly blame anyone who would rather stick to the original releases and play them via backwards compatibility on the PS5. 

The sweeping vistas do look good in 4K

Sony won’t even allow those who own the game via PlayStation Plus to upgrade. Not to mention, the multiplayer component from the original is not included here. So I think this is a hard sell to anyone who’s not a diehard Uncharted fan. 

Then again, it makes financial sense for Sony to rerelease Uncharted games at this time. A new movie is coming out, which could help introduce new fans to the franchise. At the same time, those who just got into the PlayStation ecosystem and are looking to get acquainted with the company’s first-party properties now have a game to pick-up. 

At the end of the day, Uncharted 4 and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy are still excellent games even for today’s standards. They’re epic, swashbuckling adventures that beg to be experienced on the biggest screen possible at the highest resolution available. And everything, from the intentionally pulpy story to the big set piece moments, are as breathtaking today as they were when these games first hit store shelves. Sure, they weren’t my top choices for games that I want remasters of, but I sure am glad I got to re-experience these modern classics again. –

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