Sick. Perfect. Magnificent.
Following on from the likes of Ghost of Tsushima and Death Stranding, it’s Naughty Dog’s turn to dip their toes into the realms of a PS5 enhancement for two of the last generation’s finest titles. Both Nathan Drake’s final outing with Uncharted 4 and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy’s smaller story with Nadine and Chloe get the full PS5 remaster treatment here, breathing new life into each title with a bunch of technical enhancements.
As with several recent rereleases, there’s a degree of difficulty reviewing a re-release without going over old ground, but to catch you up, here’s the basics. In Uncharted 4, Nathan Drake is pulled out of retirement for one last job, and has to trek across the globe and, naturally, retrieve some long lost treasure. And kill a lot of people while doing so. In The Lost Legacy, Nadine Ross (One of U4’s antagonists) and Nate’s old flame Chloe Frazer take a trip to India in search of the mythical Tusk of Ganesh.
Both games received 10/10 reviews from this very site, and it’s not really a surprise to learn that our opinions haven’t changed much since they went live. Uncharted 4 is still a blistering rollercoaster of perfectly paced action. Just when you think you’re about to settle down, the intensity ramps up yet again and pulls you back in, so much so that the shortest gaming session can quickly turn into a marathon without even realising it. The script is still as intriguing and sharp as the day it came out, and graphically, it remains as a shining example of what can be achieved in the medium. Lost Legacy is much the same, but with a shorter, more tightly compacted story thrown into the usual chaos and high octane action. If I had to pick flaws with the benefit of hindsight available to me, the final fight in Uncharted 4 is a little bit anticlimactic, but all things considered it’s still an absolutely stunning title.
What reason, if any, exists to upgrade to this collection on PS5 though? Well, the first one should be immediately apparent the instant you boot it up (or indeed if you look at some of the clips in our videos). The frame rate. Making the jump from 30 to 60fps is transformative in many games, and that applies here in abundance. Uncharted has never targeted anything above 30fps before, but the change almost provides a reason to play them all over again on its own. Everything feels markedly smoother, from the traversal to the gunplay, making combat encounters seem completely fresh. The additional horsepower not only doubles the frame rate to a remarkably stable level, but also enhances some of the already sumptuous visuals. Yes, the PS4 Pro patch back for U4 in 2016 enabled a checkerboard 4k resolution and implemented HDR extremely well, but the differences here are marked. There are two modes to choose from, offering up either native 4k at a locked 30fps, or a “near-as-dammit” 4k with a rock solid 60fps. Coupled with the additional detail in environments and character models that this new resolution can display, and you’re presented with a title that is hard to believe ran on hardware that’s getting on for ten years old at this point.
One area that has received an incredible boost is, predictably, the loading times. It wasn’t until I went back to the PS4 version to capture some footage that I remembered how lengthy the loading times were on the old generation. The PS5’s SSD is something that we’ve essentially taken for granted at this point, but it completely eliminates any loading time for both titles here. Choosing a chapter from the menu throws you into the game within seconds. The SSD also eliminates the rare instances of texture pop-in from the original titles, with assets streaming in instantly without a spinning drive holding the games back.
Honestly, there’s not too much more to say about this release. It looks nicer, it performs better, it has no loading times, and if you own the PS4 version of either title, you can upgrade to this collection for a tenner. It’s a worthy upgrade if you’re considering playing either of them again, as the 60fps modes are legitimately game changing. Combat in particular has a tangible benefit, with encounters feeling smooth and almost easier to navigate thanks to the additional frames. It is important to note here, however, that if you claimed Uncharted 4 via the PS Plus collection, you will not be eligible for the upgrade offer.