Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves review (PS5)

Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves offers two familiar classics with a freshly added layer of polish for PlayStation 5 owners. Does the upgrade warrant another playthrough? We found out.

It’s beginning to become a familiar pattern – the best games of the last console generation reappear for a new audience. The Last of Us was one of the best games to ever grace the PlayStation 3, and The Last of Us – Remastered showed us that it effortlessly held up on the PS4 as well – only to be eclipsed years later by the sequel, which pushed the boundary much further on a technical level.

We probably still have a few years before developers really tap into the full potential of the PlayStation 5 – most likely when they leave the PS4 generation behind – but with the Legacy of Thieves collection we immediately see that a pair of older games can still be counted among today’s best. And because the series made such an impact, it’s hard to believe that it’s been well over four years since the last game, Uncharted – The Lost Legacy.

Both that game and Uncharted 4 are included here – the two PS4 entries in the series, even though the original PS3 trilogy was also remastered. Channeling blockbuster franchises like Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider, Naughty Dog’s epic adventures still hold up in terms of the fun ‘popcorn movie’ vibe they give off, with Uncharted 4 being an especially big highlight as it feels like the most streamlined of Nathan Drake’s adventures. It’s streamlined to the point of being a tad linear, but that’s oh-so-easy to forget when it’s this much fun to watch and play.

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The Lost Legacy, in comparison, is a tad less linear, though the story is of course tightly directed and the game will guide you in the right direction. You have more freedom to explore this time around though, which is a refreshing change of pace even though we wouldn’t argue it’s a change for the better (or worse, for that matter).

Both games are identical in terms of content to their PS4 counterparts, so if you read our Uncharted 4 review or our take on The Lost Legacy then you know what to expect here. There aren’t any new chapters or side objectives, and if anything there’s actually less content this time around, seeing as how Uncharted 4’s multiplayer mode didn’t make it across for the remaster. Uncharted was always a single player experience for us, but it’s a shame for those who enjoyed it that you can’t engage in multiplayer anymore.

Upgrading to the Legacy of Thieves collection can be a tricky prospect by the way, because although Sony is offering a very affordable upgrade option for those who own the PS4 version either digitally or on disc, this doesn’t apply to people who grabbed Uncharted as a freebie through their PlayStation Plus subscription. If you did away with your disc copy when you got a free digital copy, you’re now forced to pay full price for the upgrade, which you probably weren’t anticipating and which might leave a sour taste in your mouth.

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If you look beyond those issues on the business side of things, there’s an impressive though fairly expected array of upgrades to enjoy. The most noticeable change for all players includes DuelSense support, which works great in both games. Gunplay obviously benefits from it, but on rails sequences in moving vehicles are even more thrilling as you’re trying to aim while you can feel a bumpy road working against you.

What’s also impressive is the upgraded audio system, which supports spatial 3D audio that even works on standard TV speakers or headphones. We originally played the games with an optical audio cable connected to a surround sound setup, but using the power of the PlayStation 5 to deliver a similar experience to all users is a step forward.

Visually, how much mileage you get out of the Legacy of Thieves collection will depends on your preferences and setup. If you have a 4K television, then you can now play both games at a full 4K resolution – though the frame rate will be capped at 30 frames per second. You can double that with performance mode, but it does return the game to the original resolution that was used for the PS4 versions – which definitely feels like something that could have been provided with a (free) patch. Lastly, the performance+ mode boosts the frame rate all the way up to 120 frames per second at a 1080p resolution – though it’s worth noting that a lot of older 1080p TVs won’t support that kind of refresh rate.

Despite a few of these side notes, however, these are still absolutely brilliant games that are must-play titles for any PlayStation fan – or gamer in general. If you’ve already played them and the cheap upgrade option isn’t available to you then the asking price is a bit much, but for anyone else this represents great value for money with two smashing games at less than the price of a regular AAA title.

Score: 9.0/10

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