Developed by: Naughty Dog
Published by: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platforms: PlayStation 5 & PC
Reviewed On: PS5
Review Copy Provided By PlayStation Asia
Uncharted is finally here on the PlayStation 5! Well, to be fair, the original PS4 version of the game was already playable on the PS5 since the new console was launched, but still, to be able to play the game after it’s remastered to make use of the PS5’s tech prowess was an experience to behold.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is a package of two games in one; Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End featuring everyone’s favourite thief, Nathan Drake, also known as PlayStation’s Indiana Jones, and Lost Legacy – the standalone Uncharted game featuring Chloe Frazer, the witty-tongue and fun to be around female protagonist.
Same Old Game, Brand New Experience
The games are the same as the original versions but they now come with some PS5-powered goodies; 3D Audios, 3 different graphic modes, haptics, and of course the crazy fast loading speed. The 3 different graphic modes are the real deal here, the game offers a Performance+ mode with 120 FPS mode but on a 1080p resolution, a Performance mode with 60 FPS on a 4K resolution upscaled from a 1440p base resolution, and a Fidelity mode with 30 FPS mode and native 4K resolution. Those with an HDR-able display can further their experience by enabling HDR mode.
Throughout my gameplay experience, I’d actively switch between the 3 graphic modes just to enjoy what the game can do and though it sounded like a lot of work (it is), it was worth it. When I’m cruising on the 4×4 on the big open space, I’d set it to Fidelity and feast my eyes on that unbelievably beautiful game world that I still cannot believe was a PS4 game. But as beautiful as the game looked on Fidelity mode, I prefer to settle for the more balanced Performance mode most of the time and the reason is simple – 30 FPS just doesn’t cut it anymore and the game feels ‘slow’ and unnatural. To me, the Performance mode was a perfect balance, and to be honest, the difference in graphic quality between Fidelity and Performance was negligible.
Ideally, I would want to make full use of my TV’s 120hz capabilities and run the game on Performance+ mode. The temptation to play the whole game on this mode was great but I’d have to trade it for a massive graphic downgrade. Now, the game doesn’t look ugly at all on 1080p, but after I’ve experienced the beauty the other two modes offered, there was just no way I could fixate on 1080p alone. This is why I would only use this mode when it comes to action-packed activities like fistfights and some firefights to let the silky smooth animation shine.
Saying that the game is beautiful is an understatement. I must have taken at least 200 screenshots from the Photo Mode when I played the original Uncharted 4 on the PS4 back in 2016 and I wasn’t expecting myself to be too excited about it this time. But as it turns out, my expectations were wrong and I was more into it this time than I was previously. The picturesque landscape and settings just never ceased to amaze me. The details in the ancient ruin architecture are rich and sharp even from a distance away. I thought the original game looked great but the remastered edition made the PS4 edition look like a DVD version compared to the PS5’s Blu-Ray.
On the 3D-Audio side of things, I thought the effects were a little shy at first but they slowly established their presence after a while. It was a weird but cool feeling hearing a dialogue taking place in front of me while clearly noticing the sound of rain behind. The sound of explosions was glorious and bullets whizzing through sounded real but other than that, there isn’t much of the 3D-audio thing going on. But don’t get me wrong, whatever the game has does give a certain resemblance of immersiveness but I am greedy and I wish there was more.
One of the things that I wish was more is the haptics sensation on the Dualsense controller. The controller would respond appropriately when punches are thrown and received, or whenever a character vaults from one place to another but the feeling was mild. I was using Chloe and was jumping from roof to roof in India, scaling advertisement signages and such, and every time Chloe landed on a signage, there’d be a subtle vibration that replicates the effects of the signage shaking after someone landed on it. Similar sensations are present in many areas in the game but they are hardly memorable in my experience. Does the additional sensation add to the gaming experience? In some ways, It does. But there are parts of the game where the intensity can go from 0 to 60 in one second and it’s hard to notice the haptics during those intense moments because it is as I said, quite mild. Adaptive triggers worked the same for all the weapons I picked up, and if there were any differences, they were negligible to me.
The fast loading speed of the PS5 has a strong showing here. Respawning from death, or reloading a checkpoint, they have never been quicker in Uncharted. I’ve even grown accustomed to starting my game via the activity card from the menu, just clicking on the activity card, waiting for a few seconds, and just continuing the game from where I stopped. The part where the card shows the remaining percentage left on the chapter I was playing was also helpful whenever I was wondering how much more of the game was to go.
What I Liked
- The game looks more beautiful than ever.
- Great loading speed means more game time.
- The 3 graphic modes really add to the overall experience.
What Could Be Better
- The 3D Audio and Haptics feel a little mild but that’s just me.
Most of the upgrades in this version are just experience-enhancing features but they made a meaningful impact in improving this game as a whole. In fact, Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is the perfect Uncharted experience that every PS5 owner must get their hands on. It’s amazing how a game that came out in 2016 didn’t feel out of place in 2022 and I’m not just talking about the PS5 upgrades, I’m talking about the game as a whole. Uncharted 4 and Lost Legacy are two titles that went on to win multiple awards and accolades after they were launched almost six years ago and yet, the award-winning and generation-defining standards they set then continue to be relevant today.