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UNCHARTED: Legacy of Thieves Collection Review

UNCHARTED: Legacy of Thieves Collection

Developer: Naughty Dog, Iron Galaxy Studios
Publisher: Playstation PC
Platforms: PlayStation 5PC (Reviewed)
Release Date: 19 Oct 2022
Price: $79.95 AUD – Available Here $49.99 USD – Available Here

Overview

Can we just call this year the year of the PlayStation? Because that’s how it feels like. We had many great releases in 2022 but with each of their former console exclusives finally making its way to PC, it seems more and more that Sony is a winner. If you have told me years ago, that one of the supreme rulers of PC gaming would be a console company I would call you crazy. But apparently, this is the timeline we’re at and I’m loving every minute of it.

It’s easy money, too. All of their games already earned their stripes long ago as console exclusives so you already know what you’re getting up. Triple-A releases with great reviews finally making their way to PC so you know what you’re getting. One thing I found that they all have in common is that they are all incredibly well-optimized and can run on toasters, so you’re not just getting some half-baked ports as an afterthought. In any case, UNCHARTED: Legacy of Thieves Collection is finally in our hands so let’s see what we’re dealing with.

Story

First of all, let’s clear up some confusion about the name of this game. If you were like me, when you read the “collection” in the title, you would probably assume it is a pack of all Uncharted games. Nope. It only includes UNCHARTED 4: A Thief’s End and its expansion, UNCHARTED: The Lost Legacy. Why didn’t they just call it something like “Uncharted 4: The Complete Pack is beyond” me. Anyway, onto the story.

Many years before the events of the first game, Nate and Sam hunt for the treasure of pirate Henry Avery, who amassed a fortune during the 1695 Gunsway heist. Alongside Rafe, the Drake brothers infiltrate a Panamanian jail to access the former cell of Avery’s first mate, where Nate discovers a hollow St. Dismas idol. When the prison warden who aided them demands a cut, Rafe impulsively kills him, triggering a frantic escape. Nate and Rafe successfully escape, but Sam is shot by guards and presumed dead. Fifteen years later, following the events of the previous game, Nate retired to New Orleans with his wife Elena. He is visited by Sam, who survived the gunshots. He explains that he escaped the prison with drug lord Hector Alcazar, who demands that Sam find Avery’s treasure or be killed. And that sets our main story in motion.

The thing is, the story is good and it works well for all the characters in the game but not so much for you – the player. Everyone knows each other, they all have these already-established connections and some characters from the previous games again make an appearance. But for you, the PC player, most of that will often leave you in a profound state of confusion. Who is this person, what history is there between them and Drake, how did he meet Elena, and where? If you want some answers to any of that or more background info, your only resolution is to hit up Wikipedia or YouTube. It’s not like you can do anything else. It just feels like watching a 5 season show by starting it in the middle of season 3 and frantically trying to piece things together.

As for Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, we play as Chloe Frazer, a character introduced in Uncharted 2 and making an appearance in Uncharted 3 as well. Here we guide her as she is trying to find the legendary tusk of Ganesh, the son of the Hindu god Shiva, who lost the tusk while defending his father’s temple. Chloe’s own father was killed by bandits while searching for the tusk. She is also aided by the former boss of the Shoreline mercenary group, Nadine Ross. You will be (or were) acquainted well with Shoreline in UNCHARTED 4: A Thief’s End as they are a primary enemy faction in the game and Nadine also appears as a secondary antagonist there.

Gameplay

As for the gameplay – holy moly. This….game…is….good. Nate is a flawed person as a character, but also gameplay-wise. He moves, grapples, and jumps around with experience but also with a subtle layer of clumsiness behind his movements. Like he is constantly on the verge of stumbling and falling face down. It really gives a whole new dimension of anxiety during shootouts. The combat is diverse enough. Aside from a bunch of mandatory action-packed encounters in the game, it’s up to you how to approach any shootout. Will you stay hidden in tall grass and sneak from one mercenary to another to break necks? Or maybe scout a grenade launcher somewhere and just go full Rambo and decimate everyone in a few seconds? Maybe mix up some acrobatics and swing from cover to cover while enemies scramble around trying to keep up with you. After all, they can’t shoot what they can’t see.

In general, UNCHARTED™: Legacy of Thieves Collection is a fine blend of combat, exploration, and puzzle-solving. The puzzles throughout the game are all finely tuned and rest in the sweet spot of just enough challenge and brainstorming, no need to google anything or have some obscure knowledge of what pharaoh ruled Egypt and what was the name of his pet cat.

Visuals

For a game that made its debut on PlayStation 4, it still holds pretty well. Of course, this collection comes to PC with a couple of improvements such as AMD Fidelity FX Super Resolution 2, improved UI for game options, reimagined user interfaces, the addition of scale sliders for some menus, GPU and VRAM detection and management options, and 4K support. But even if we put all that aside, the visuals here are enough to make you fire up that photo mode every once in a while.

Audio

There is not much to say here that most of you didn’t know already, especially us from the PC crowd that was forced to either watch Twitch streams or long Youtube plays to get any sense of what these games are about. But not anymore! I’ll just say point out the obvious about the impressive roster of voice-acting veterans here including Nolan North, Emily Rose, and Laura Bailey. There is also a noticeable variety when it comes to guns. Some have a trademark of being loud as hell, and some are known for their signature three-bullet bursts. Eventually, after putting in enough hours you can tell what guns enemies are using by sound alone. But also, getting blasted in the face by RPG is also a pretty clear hint in my book.

UNCHARTED: The Lost Legacy also introduces a silenced pistol to the arsenal and it is a damn shame that it isn’t found anywhere in the base game. It would work insanely well for a stealth approach.

Overall

There is one last thing I have to point out here. Perhaps obvious for some of you but both games in UNCHARTED™: Legacy of Thieves Collection are very much linear and straightforward. There is a certain level of liberty and wiggle room in some chapters like Madagascar where you can drive around and explore as much as you want. The expansion also expands (heh) on that a bit but despite what assumptions you might have upon hearing the word linear, it is where the true strength of this game is.

The end result is a game that is action-packed, engaging, and with enough side content (collectibles, bonus modes upon completion) to keep you around but it never overstays its welcome. It is a great time to be a console player on a PC. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d say to make it make sense but that’s what it is now.

Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here.

Summary

Excellent
9
Tight gunplay coupled with a captivating story. It doesn't bring anything new to the table or redefine a genre, but with such a level of quality and engagement behind it, it doesn't need to.
Admir Brkic
Admir Brkic
I play video games from time to time and sometimes they manage to elicit a reaction from me that I can't help but to write about them.
Tight gunplay coupled with a captivating story. It doesn't bring anything new to the table or redefine a genre, but with such a level of quality and engagement behind it, it doesn't need to.UNCHARTED: Legacy of Thieves Collection Review