Fans have enjoyed Naughty Dog’s third-person adventure franchise for almost two decades. With record-breaking sales and countless awards for all the talent involved, the series eventually culminated in the incredible Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (2016) and its spin-off, Uncharted: Lost Legacy (2017). The success of these two titles eventually prompted Sony Studios and Naughty Dog to combine them into a set and released them as a single remastered title, on PlayStation 5, called the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection.
Alas, all of the Uncharted titles have only ever been available on PlayStation consoles. Given the success of the franchise, however, it was only matter of time for Sony Studios and Naughty Dog to adapt Nathan Drake’s saga to reach as many fans as possible! However, the way in which the companies have done this has left a lot to be desired. For a start, only the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection (first released on PlayStation 5 in January 2022) has been adapted for PC, with no word on whether any of the original trilogy will follow. The move is unusual for fans who already enjoy the franchise, and ultimately leaves players new to the Intellectual Property (IP) highly disappointed.
Inspired by Lara Croft’s story, Naughty Dog set out to mix Tomb Raider’s addictive gameplay and Hollywood blockbuster action with cinematic storytelling. Thus, Uncharted (and its eventual spin-off) was born. Uncharted is a third-person action-adventure franchise that has taken to ancient Incan temples, dark grungy dungeons, castles, and deadly mountaintop caverns; since 2007. The series follows happy-go-lucky Nathan Drake in his various tomb raiding, pirate-blasting and jewel thief-ghosting misadventures.
As it stands, the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection bundle comes with inherent value, but only to fans of the franchise. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End acts as a fitting conclusion to a story spanning close to two decades. In it here where we see a much older Nathan come to terms with the life he has built. He now has a child and a wife he needs to worry about. His days of wild adventuring need to be put to rest… but not before one final adventure (of course). The game is wonderful and the manner in which Nathan reminisces of his youth — directly contrasting with the present — is a neat way to tie off some loose ends and explain away backstory fans have wondered about for years. Similar to previous titles, the game follows a linear trajectory with big setpieces and a semi-open map design benefitting its numerous firefights.
Uncharted: Lost Legacy, on the other hand, acts as a “standalone expansion” (read: spin-off) to Nathan’s adventure. It follows series regular, and self-admitted badass, Chloe Frazer and her antics in the Western Ghats Mountain ranges of India. It follows a similar structure to Uncharted 4, and it comes with the same critical acclaim as its predecessor. With both these titles in mind, there is simply no way of addressing the small matter of why the rest of Nathan Drake’s story seems to have been forgotten. It goes without saying how players unfamiliar with either Nathan Drake or Chloe Frazer will have no intention to jump in at the end of the story, and the Legacy of Thieves Collection does nothing to fix that for PC gamers.
What Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection does do, is bring fans of the franchise upscaled and reworked versions of the same games recently remastered for PlayStation 5. Gameplay remains unchanged from the original release, and the story still holds up half a decade later. Loading is pretty much non-existent, and both titles run exceptionally well on modern console hardware. The Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection PC release brings the franchise to desktop computers for the first time since its 2007 inception, and it comes with all of those initial PlayStation 5 improvements, and more.
PC ports are often joined by hefty texture packs and graphical improvements. Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is no different. It features unlocked frame rates, ultra-widescreen support, beyond next-generation resolutions, and what is arguably the sole reason to play it on PC: support for Nvidia DLSS and AMD FSR 2.0 for ultra-smooth gameplay at ridiculous resolutions. Alas, there seems to be zero support for ray traced reflections, which is a bummer considering it is a re-release of a remastered bundle on a brand-new platform.
While an unlocked framerate serves as a spectacular reason to play on PC hardware, modern gaming’s biggest advancement comes by way of Nvidia DLSS and AMD FSR. While others exist (such as Insomniac’s in-house method), these are currently the strongest methods of variable upscaling, and actively developed by the graphical powerhouses, Nvidia and AMD. Thanks to these technologies, gamers can technically push ultra high-definition resolutions on medium-end hardware, at a fraction of the performance cost of native rendering methods. Using deep learning and neural networks together with dedicated graphical cores, medium-to-high-end hardware can output buttery smooth 4K gameplay, and most gamers would never even know the difference. In the case of Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection PC, gamers can scrutinise in extreme detail how many hair follicles Nathan Drake has at any given moment. Thanks to these technologies, the game can be enjoyed on a recommended-spec build featuring AMD Ryzen 7 1700x 3.20 GHz eight-core processor, Nvidia GTX 1060 8GB, 32GB RAM, 1TB Samsung 980 Pro NVMe.
As expected with a PC port, loading times and texture streaming can vary greatly from system to system. As such, the near-instantaneous loading from the console counterpart is not a feature one can expect from the PC port. With that said, loading is still non-existent on recommended specifications. It must be noted how the game does take a while to get going. There were a grand total of twelve (12) crashes before the main menu was reached, and, in switching between Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: Lost Legacy, a further series of crashes were experienced. Fortunately, once in-game, performance was buttery smooth throughout all sessions during the review period.
To Sony’s credit, Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection PC bundles two games together with improvements specifically for PC, at a fraction of what triple-A titles go for currently (50 USD or your regional equivalent). This is not only wonderful news to fans of the franchise who have already purchased the game(s) on Sony’s console, but also for fans who have been holding out for a PC release since rumours started to circulate in 2018. It is also a far cry better than whatever Sony decided to do with the Marvel’s Spider-Man re-release and its spin-off! With that in mind, it needs to be noted how the existence of this collection is still questionable at best. It makes no sense as to why Sony and Naughty Dog would make the final chapter of a truly epic saga more accessible, but not the other instalments. Players unfamiliar with the franchise are much better off getting the true collection on PlayStation and experiencing the exceptional story, from the first title through to the last.
Whether gamers wish to support publishers beyond buying a game more than once, or have perhaps been holding out for the series to come to PC, now is the perfect time to complete the Nathan Drake saga. At its worst, the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection for PC does the franchise a disservice by being called a “collection”, even if it does include two incredible titles worthy of the suggested retail price. However, as a PC port, Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves is nothing more than a means to end, making the release merely average at best.
|The conclusion to Drake’s story, now in ultra widescreen||Where are Uncharted 1, 2 and 3?|
|Two games in one||No ray tracing!|
|Nvidia DLSS and AMD FSR are the real heroes||Who is this for?|
Title reviewed on Windows 11 (via Steam) with code supplied by Sony Interactive Entertainment.
Junior Editor at Vamers. From Superman to Ironman; Bill Rizer to Sam Fisher and everything in-between, Edward loves it all. He is a Bachelor of Arts student and English Major specialising in Language and Literature. He is an avid writer and casual social networker with a flare for all things tech related.