The Legacy of Thieves Collection doesn’t feel like much of a remaster. Perhaps it’s because Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Lost Legacy look marvelous already, but the changes are slight enough that it feels like both of these ports could have simply come in the form of free updates, much like Ghost of Tsushima and Days Gone before them.
Yet here we are, with Naughty Dog delivering bespoke PS5 versions for two of the previous generation’s finest adventures. I had a blast revisiting them, and now they look and play better than ever before, but should existing owners upgrade? I’m not so sure. While first-timers now have a definitive way to experience these masterful games, veterans hoping for a titanic shift will be underwhelmed, if still entranced.
While The Legacy of Thieves Collection is also coming to PC later this year, I was only able to test the PS5 release for this review. While you can probably push these games further with the best of hardware, the next-gen console is still able to elevate them to levels previously unforeseen.
Both A Thief’s End and Lost Legacy support the same three visual settings in the form of Fidelity, Performance and a 120 frames per second mode. The first renders the game at a native 4K resolution at 30fps, essentially mimicking the original PS4 release without the need for a checkerboard rendering solution. It looks beautiful, and is how I decided to play through both titles over the past couple of weeks.
Performance lowers the resolution down to 1440p, but this is arguably a worthwhile compromise for the addition of a silky-smooth 60fps. I’m not exaggerating when I say that these games feel almost new when playing at such a threshold, allowing the action to feel and look more fluid than ever before. However, image quality takes a decent enough hit in terms of fidelity that not everyone will gel with it.
My closest comparison is Final Fantasy 7 Remake, which used a similar duo of visual options where I once again opted for the lower frame rate so the graphics could really sing on my 4K display. I bet the majority of players will prefer to play this way, especially those who don’t have a television or monitor to really help fidelity mode shine. I’m just a visually obsessed snob who needs the fauna, explosions, and charming treasure hunters to look as sexy as possible. If I have to simp, I’m doing it at the highest resolution possible. 120fps speaks for itself, but you will need a very specific display to make use of it, and the resolution drops right down to 1080p.
Beyond these visual additions, there is nothing new at all to be found in this collection if you own both of the games already. Visuals are unchanged, the multiplayer has been removed, and you can even carry over your PS4 progression to earn all of your existing trophies for a second time. That’s a bit of a bummer, but I love myself some trophies so I ended up playing both games to completion again just to receive that lovely ping of serotonin each and every time an accolade surfaced on screen.
Fortunately, both A Thief’s End and Lost Legacy are both wondrous experiences, and deserve to be played a second, third, or even a fourth time because Naughty Dog has long established itself as the master of its craft. Each game is a vast, unpredictable adventure that seeks to take hold of us and never let go, whether we’re cruising through the luscious blue oceans of Madagascar as Nathan Drake or ascending ancient statues in the Indian mountains as Chloe Frazier. There is seldom a dull moment, the narrative of each game propelling forward at an aggressive pace with writing and characters so compelling that it can be hard to stop saying.
It’s also refreshing to return to these games after the unending misery of The Last of Us Part 2, which saw Neil Druckmann take his storytelling vices to the most extreme. A Thief’s End remains a poignant character study that seeks to deconstruct the legacy of Nathan Drake and the consequences that comes with chasing each new mystery that crosses your path, but it stumbles into saccharine melodrama and ludonarrative dissonance just enough to occasionally stumble. Its finest moments are well worth experiencing and remain a technical achievement, but almost six years later its writing doesn’t always hold up. That, and Sam Drake is a wasteman.
Lost Legacy feels like a spiritual successor to Among Thieves that incorporates all the enhancements that made A Thief’s End such a masterpiece. Chloe Frazier and her relationship with Nadine Ross is excellent, offering an outside perspective to the series we’ve never seen before that views the Drake brothers on equal footing as many of the established villains. All of these characters are pilfering through graves in search of riches, and there is rarely anything honourable to be said about such an occupation. Lost Legacy isn’t afraid to delve into that thematic dichotomy, and it remains a blast, perfectly balancing fun, charming storytelling with explosive set pieces, many of which are the best I’ve ever seen in the genre. Make Chloe and Nadine gay in the inevitable reboot, or I’ll burn Naughty Dog to the ground.
The Legacy of Thieves Collection compiles the two finest games in the Uncharted series while making them look and feel better than ever before. Yet they already pushed boundaries that are yet to be usurped, meaning existing owners of this game need to shell out for a relatively minimal upgrade without too much to offer. I still think it’s more than worthwhile just to relive these adventures once again, but part of me wishes a little more effort was placed into bringing them to life for a new generation.
Score: 4.5/5. A PS5 code was provided by the publisher for this review