Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection PC Review – Technically Sound But Something Is Missing

The Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection finally brings Nathan Drake to PC, but it’s an odd choice of games that don’t always hold up.

Sony’s current plan to bring its latest and greatest titles to PC has been successful. Every port has been great, with tons of options and fantastic support for low-end machines.

With great ports, no matter how good the game itself, they all at least make sense. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered is a great showcase, while God of War could be considered a soft reboot, with the relocated Kratos only having strong ties to previous games.

Horizon and Days Gone and the rest of Sony’s crop are all self-contained. Contrary to this trend, the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves collection includes Uncharted 4, in addition to Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. While The Lost Legacy is a better standalone game, Uncharted 4 relies heavily on some sort of interaction with the series before it. Some PC audiences might feel slightly left out if they haven’t played titles in the series before.

Nathan Drake’s latest adventure feels a bit empty on PC. Sure, Uncharted has been around for 15 years, but the idea of ​​bringing a collection of games to a platform that’s never had an Uncharted game without three of the main titles still seems a bit odd.

What is stranger is that there is already a “Nathan Drake Collection” on PS4, which collects all the previous adventures of Nathan Drake. This clearly shows that work has been done to bring games to the industry standard x86 architecture and higher resolutions, from the complex cellular architecture of the PS3.

The decision to release the new titles first left us perplexed. It’s an easy open lens for Sony, and preserving older titles with PC ports would have been a welcome addition.

However, this new PC port also lacks Uncharted’s multiplayer mode. The PS5 version of the collection also omitted these modes. That means you’ll have to reach for your dusty Dualshock 4 if you want to get into the arcade action on PS4.

That’s not to say these are the only issues with games. Uncharted 4 has aged in ways that Naughty Dog will probably never realize.

Uncharted 4 on PC: a writer’s problem

Nathan and Elena play PlayStation

We are six years after Uncharted 4. The fifth in the series was once the star of the series on PS4. A modernized, realistic new vision from Nathan Drake leads the charge for what would become not just Naughty Dog’s modus operandi but Sony’s as well.

Starting with The Last of Us, Naughty Dog got a bit more serious, departing from the campy tones of previous games.

Nathan Drake is no longer content with harrowing adventures and instead becomes Neil Druckmann’s self-insert as he explores his feelings towards fatherhood.

However, as Druckmann and his team craft a complex and genuinely thrilling treasure hunt tale, the game’s focus on the now aging Nathan Drake can get annoying, especially when the journey is so long.

That was the style back then

Sam and Nate

This may not be the fault of Naughty Dog as a whole, as Uncharted 4 was written during the true “dadification” of the gaming industry. As the predominantly male leadership grows and melts families, they have also influenced the gaming sphere at large. Bioshock, God of War, and Death Stranding all focus on the male perspective when it comes to their creative output.

The heavy reliance on Druckmann’s direction and the retirement of former creative director Amy Hennig changed the direction of Uncharted 4.

Hennig’s controversial departure from Naughty Dog led to a complete overhaul of the narrative. While we don’t have details on exactly what Hennig did or didn’t work on, it’s clear that Uncharted 4 has a bit of an identity crisis when it comes to tone. The high-octane adventure can suddenly hit you with a tonal boost as the narrative turns to an introspective look at its characters.

Uncharted 4 hasn’t aged as well as The Last of Us, as Naughty Dog’s attempt at a “they’re taking me back” tale from Godfather III can feel disjointed at times.

Thankfully, The Lost Legacy manages to improve Uncharted 4 apprehensions thanks to the strength of new direction.

A strong fallout

Nadine and Chloé’s adventure is lighter. It doesn’t try to be deep or stray too far from Indiana Jones inspiration. It’s a testament to the fact that not all franchises need to be dark or gritty to be good.

Light-hearted anti-heroes aren’t bogged down by the main game’s overload of heavy, tired themes. You never feel like you’re about to be forced into an unwanted emotional moment.

It also proves that brevity is key. While it might get away with a lack of setup due to its spin-off nature, Lost Legacy’s quick intro and into the game’s general loop, rather than the nearly four to five hour tutorial of 4, is something to consider.

Although repetitive in nature, it never gets boring thanks to highlighting the best parts of Uncharted 4: its instant gameplay.

A penchant for murder

Uncharted Combat 4

Yes, the cast of Uncharted practically committed genocide by thinning out the gene pool with their previous adventures. However, it was with Uncharted 4 that the team finally got it right.

A common problem with previous games was that Drake’s weapons either snuffed out humanity like badgers or did nothing at all. Headshots, general shots, and punches now all have the intended effect. The lack of introduction of supernatural enemies (always the worst parts of previous games) helps keep combat flowing.

The shift from shooting galleries and relying on cover fire to small complex areas requiring slow mastery of all aspects of the combat systems makes pit stops fun.

The game is also technically sound, with both titles dropping us right where we died, after several failed attempts at tricky jumping puzzles. We can only consider this kind of technical prowess as magic.

Uncharted PC Port Performance

We tested Uncharted on three different systems. A desktop computer with an Nvidia RTX 2070 and an AMD 2700X, a Steam Deck and a Razer Blade 15, with a 3070 Ti and an Intel 12900K inside.

On both laptop and desktop, we managed a solid 60FPS, at ultra. Uncharted’s port work, provided by Iron Galaxy, is prodigious.

However, it is important to note that PC gaming has not been a niche for quite some time. These ports, while excellent in many ways, shouldn’t get brownie points for providing what the consumer expects. Even though this excellent port works incredibly well, it still feels like some options have been held back.

While we thought the options weren’t as deep as we’d like, the port is absolutely solid. You’ll get higher refresh rates on monitors that offer these features, but on the Blade 15’s 240Hz panel, that style of gaming starts to stop benefiting at some point. The possibility of seeing Drake climbing something at 144 Hz has the same effect as at 60 or 30.

Uncharted PC on Steam Deck

uncharted pc on steam deck 30fps

What surprised us the most was the full support for Uncharted on the Steam Deck. It’s yet another verified title for Sony, and yes, it’s a great way to play. We didn’t bother with the 40FPS/40Hz activity, opting instead to try it without any major changes.

What we found was a game that, playing on Medium, still gave us around 45-50FPS and a solid 30 when limited. A few more tweaks will get you that illustrious 60, but again, this is a game that works just as well at 30 as it does at 60.

Uncharted: DLSS vs. FSR

Uncharted pc dlss vs fsr comparisonShot at 1280×720, DLSS and FSR sharpness at 75.

The failure of the Steam Deck isn’t even due to the hardware at all. In fact, it’s hardly a Steam Deck issue. AMD’s oversampling, FSR, which renders a game much lower resolution and explodes it with machine learning, reduces much of the game to a moving blob.

If you’re playing on the go, it’s more noticeable in cutscenes, while docking the Deck – or using it on a desk – will force you to witness how ugly it really is. Even increasing the sharpness never helped.

Uncharted pc dlss vs fsr comparisonShot at 1280×720, DLSS and FSR sharpness at 75.

However, on desktop, downscaling the game to the same resolution and using Nvidia’s DLSS produced much better images. AMD’s FSR is simply not competitive.

Despite this, FSR helped the Steam Deck to play the game at “ultra” settings in “Quality” mode.

Verdict on Uncharted PC

Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection on PC works exactly as expected. It’s another solid port from Sony, even if Uncharted 4’s writing doesn’t age particularly well. We can only recommend the collection with a few caveats. PC gamers will miss the entire Nathan Drake saga, and the absent multiplayer modes make it something we can only recommend for those looking to experience it with those particular asterisks.

7/10

Tested on PC (with time spent on Steam Deck)

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