The Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection finally brings Nathan Drake to PC, but it’s a bizarre choice of games that don’t always hold up.
Sony’s current plan to bring their latest and greatest titles to the PC has been a success. Each port has been great, with a bounty of options and fantastic support for lower-end machines.
With great ports, regardless of the quality of the game itself, they’ve all at least made some kind of sense. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered is an excellent showcase, while God of War could be seen as a soft reboot, with the displaced Kratos having only stringent connections to previous games.
Horizon and Days Gone and the rest of Sony’s crop all stand alone. Bucking this trend, the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection features Uncharted 4, in addition to Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. While The Lost Legacy is a better standalone game, Uncharted 4 heavily relies on having some kind of interaction with the series prior to that. Some PC audiences might feel slightly left out of the loop if they’d not played titles in the series prior.
Uncharted Legacy of Thieves: Key Details
- Developer: Naughty Dog
- Price: $49.99/£39.99
- Release Date: October 19, 2022
- Platforms: PC (also available on PS4 and PS5)
Uncharted Legacy of Thieves trailer
A missing link
Nathan Drake’s last adventure feels a little empty on PC. Sure, Uncharted has been around for 15 years, but the idea of bringing a collection of games to a platform that has never had an Uncharted game on it without three of the main titles still feels slightly odd.
What’s stranger is that there’s already a ‘Nathan Drake Collection‘ on PS4, which collates all of Nathan Drake’s earlier adventures. It clearly shows that the work has been done to bring the games over to industry-standard x86 architecture and higher resolutions, from the PS3’s complex Cell architecture.
The decision to first release the newer titles left us scratching our heads. It’s an easy open goal for Sony, and preserving the older titles with PC ports would have been a welcome addition.
However, this new PC port is also missing Uncharted’s multiplayer mode. The PS5 version of the collection also omitted these modes. That means that you’ll have to reach for your dusty Dualshock 4 if you want to get in on the arcadey action on PS4.
That’s not to say that these are the only issues with the games. Uncharted 4 has aged in ways that Naughty Dog probably won’t ever realize.
Uncharted 4 on PC: A Writer’s Issue
We’re six years on from Uncharted 4. The fifth in the series was the once star of the show on PS4. A new, modernized, and realistic-ish take on Nathan Drake lead the charge for what would become not only Naughty Dog’s modus operandi but also Sony’s.
From The Last of Us onwards, Naughty Dog has become slightly more self-serious, departing from the campy tones of previous games.
Nathan Drake no longer just goes on rip-roaring adventures and instead becomes Neil Druckmann’s self-insert on exploring his feelings towards fatherhood.
However, while Druckmann and his team craft an intricate and genuinely thrilling treasure-hunting tale, the game’s focus on the now-aging Nathan Drake can get grating, especially when the journey is so lengthy.
It was the style at the time
Perhaps it isn’t Naughty Dog’s fault as a whole, as Uncharted 4 was written during the true ‘dadification’ of the gaming industry. As the predominantly male leadership grows up and starts families, it too has influenced the wider gaming sphere. 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 removal of the previous creative director, Amy Hennig, changed Uncharted 4’s focus.
Hennig’s controversial departure from Naughty Dog led to a complete redo of the narrative. While we don’t have details on exactly what Hennig did or did not work on, it’s clear to see that Uncharted 4 has a bit of an identity crisis when it comes to tone. The high-octane adventure can suddenly hit you with tonal whiplash as the narrative shifts towards an introspective look at its characters.
Uncharted 4 has not aged as well as hoped, as Naughty Dog’s attempt at a Godfather III ”they pull me back in” tale can come off as feeling disjointed at times.
Thankfully, The Lost Legacy manages to improve on Uncharted 4’s misgivings through the strength of a new direction.
A strong spin-off
Nadine and Chloe’s adventure is a lighter affair. It isn’t trying to be deep, or stretching too far out of the Indiana Jones inspiration. It is a testament to how not all franchises need to be dark or gritty to be good.
The lighthearted anti-heroes aren’t bogged down by the main game’s overburdening of weighty, tired themes. You never feel as if you’re about to be coerced into an unwanted emotional moment.
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It also proves that brevity is key. While it can get away with a lack of setup due to its spin-off nature, Lost Legacy’s snappy introduction and into the general loop of the game, rather than 4’s nearly four to five-hour tutorial, is something to take note of.
While repetitive in nature, it never gets dull thanks to highlighting the best bits of Uncharted 4: its moment-to-moment gameplay.
A penchant for murder
Yes, the cast of Uncharted has pretty much-committed genocide by thinning out the gene pool with their previous adventures. However, it was with Uncharted 4 that the team managed to finally get things right.
A common issue with the previous games was that Drake’s guns either culled humanity like badgers or did nothing at all. Headshots, general shooting, and punching now all have the intended effect. The lack of introduction of supernatural enemies (always the worst parts of prior games) helps by keeping combat flowing.
A shift from shooting galleries and reliance on cover shooting, to small, intricate areas that require a slow mastery of every aspect of the combat systems make for fun pit stops.
The game is also technically sound, with both titles plopping us right where we died, after several failed attempts at some tricky jumping puzzles. We can only think of this kind of technical prowess as wizardry.
Uncharted PC port performance
We tested Uncharted across three different systems. A desktop featuring an Nvidia RTX 2070 and AMD 2700X, a Steam Deck, and a Razer Blade 15, with a 3070 Ti and Intel 12900K inside.
On both the laptop and desktop, we managed a solid 60FPS, at ultra. Uncharted’s port work, provided by Iron Galaxy, is stupendous.
Although, it is important to note that PC gaming hasn’t been a niche for a while. These ports, while excellent in multiple ways, shouldn’t be getting brownie points for providing the consumer with what is expected. Even though this excellent port functions incredibly well, it still feels as if some options have been held back.
While we thought that the options weren’t as deep as we’d like, the port is absolutely solid. You’ll get higher refresh rates on monitors that provide those features, but on the Blade 15’s 240Hz panel, this style of the game begins to stop benefiting at some point. The ability to see Drake clamber something at 144Hz has the same effect as seen at 60, or 30.
Uncharted PC on Steam Deck
What surprised us the most was Uncharted’s complete support on the Steam Deck. It is yet another verified title for Sony, and yes, it’s a great way to play. We didn’t bother with the 40FPS/40Hz business, instead opting to try it out without any major changes.
What we found was a game that, when playing on Medium, still gave us around 45-50FPS and a solid 30 once limited. A few more tweaks will get you that illustrious 60, but again, this is a game that functions just as well at 30 as it does at 60.
Uncharted: DLSS vs FSR
Where the Steam Deck fails isn’t even due to the hardware at all. In fact, it’s barely a Steam Deck issue at all. AMD’s supersampling, FSR, which renders a much lower resolution of a game and blows it back up with machine learning, reduces a large portion of the game into a moving smudge.
If you’re playing on the go, it is more noticeable in cutscenes, while docking the Deck – or using it on a desktop – will force you to bear witness to its full ugliness. Even upping the sharpness never helped.
Over on the desktop though, reducing the game down to the same resolution and using Nvidia’s DLSS, produced much better images. AMD’s FSR just doesn’t compete.
Despite this, FSR helped the Steam Deck play the game with ’ultra’ settings on ’Quality’ mode.
Verdict on Uncharted PC
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection on PC works just as intended. It’s another solid Sony first-party port, even if Uncharted 4’s writing isn’t aging particularly well. We can only recommend the collection with some caveats. PC players will be missing out on the whole Nathan Drake saga, and absent multiplayer modes make this something that we can only recommend to those willing to experience it with those particular asterisks.
Reviewed on PC (with time spent on Steam Deck)