Comparison of Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection

When Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End first premiered at E3 in 2014, Naughty Dog showed off an exciting trailer that showed Nathan Drake standing on a beach in unprecedented detail and, in addition, , running at 60FPS. In the end, those 60FPS stayed on track except in multiplayer, but 30FPS was plenty considering the quality of the final game. That said, we were always asked what would have been had this been completed. And now, thanks to the PlayStation 5, we can see it running at 60FPS in real time. Or at 120FPS, if you prefer.

Reviewing Uncharted 4 and the spin-off Lost Legacy – both remastered for PlayStation 5 – will remind us of the cat Naughty Dog has been playing for the past gen. Both games are impressively executed with a perfect cinematic action formula, offering strong characters, beautiful scenes, and some special settings. During the PlayStation 4 generation, the study has once again demonstrated that it has dominated the balance so far to deliver an engaging experience for the player with a well-defined cinematic experience.

So what does the new Legacy of Thieves collection offer? At the time of the review of this project, we did not really know what to expect: the trackers did not leave clarity on the improvements that would have been made to the graphics, in particular in the resolution and the frequency of pictures. After reviewing the game, without any restrictions, you can confirm that there are some improvements and changes in the presentation, but the title is the inclusion of three different modes: one for quality, one for yield and one more yield.


For starters, the quality mode renders a fixed resolution of 3840×2160 with a frame rate target of 30FPS. This is, as expected, the mode with the highest image, but the pixel count advantage isn’t as big as I thought; Naughty Dog’s temporary anti-aliasing super-sampling is actually good, while the aesthetic with lots of post-processing isn’t so reliant on intrusive pixel-level detail. The yield? It’s basically a 30FPS presentation set as a rock, with an unerring frame rate.

In performance mode the goal is to deliver 60FPS, with barely any occasional noise (which is not noted in-game). The resolution here is more or less the same as the originals on the PlayStation 3, and actually also the same as in The Last of Us: Part 2, 2560×1440. Basically, this delivers a similar experience to the PlayStation 4 Pro, but with a doubled frame rate and fixing all the rendering issues of the original. The more capable Ultimate mode records the resolution up to 1080p, but boosts the frame rate sufficiently up to 120FPS. Yes, there’s an obvious reduction in nitidez that way, but the best part about the move is the Uncharted experience which I find more interesting. Offering this at 120FPS isn’t possible, but the crashes aren’t too frequent and when they do occur, they’re not too intrusive.

All three modes have their uses, but the only noticeable one in this aspect is the lack of dynamic resolution escalation. This is something we’ve never seen in any Naughty Dog game, and has a direct impact on the resolution of the selected game. I think the PlayStation 5 could have survived with resolutions up to 1440p or 1080p in their respective modes, but not throughout the game. Unfortunately the game’s TSAA is well tolerated, except that an implementation of DRS would have opened the doors to another option: a 40FPS fidelity mode with the screen running at 120Hz, like the one seen in Ratchet and Clank: One Dimension Apart.

Each of the modes has its own strengths, but the good news is that Naughty Dog has improved the graphics as well, and these changes apply across all three modes. These improvements are milder than the head-to-head comparison with the previous version, but are appreciated either way. For starters, the LOD distance has been increased and in a number of scenes you can see things as the vegetation draws more and more. The result is that you’ll see fewer pop-ins and a better level of detail, which is fantastic.

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Second, there’s a change in overall brightness and contrast that makes me curious. Basically, the game seems to have a stronger contrast on PlayStation 5, wondering how the console interprets SDR content. It is not known why, but it particularly affects flowering areas. The new version therefore has a bit more vibrant color than the same content on the PlayStation 4 Pro. There are also subtle changes to how specific elements are darkened, while some textures look more defined. The quality of shadows and highlights is also better in some areas.

There are some changes in motion blur. For starters, camera blur rotation has been reduced, and comparing the 30FPS modes on the PlayStation 4 Pro and PlayStation 5, we appreciate that the blur is much more exaggerated in the previous generation. Personally, I’d like an option to restore this to PlayStation 5, but I suspect most people will prefer the new implementation. More than that, the blur quality itself has improved, with fewer image artifacts as a result. Unsurprisingly, motion blur doesn’t scale as expected with very high frame rates: at 120Hz, for example, it’s almost invisible due to the lack of shutter speed adjustments.

It’s also important to note that Lost Legacy features all of the changes I mentioned in the Uncharted 4 talk, and as of now, it continues to look the same.

Another much better is the loading times. These are dramatically better, although we should bear in mind that in a long previous-gen game there are almost no cutouts; data is streamed during games, with which there are no more loading screens from the start or continuously. Without a doubt, this reduction in loading times shows a drastic improvement in loading a chapter or exiting the menu. For example, one of the loads took 48 seconds on PlayStation 4 Pro, which was reduced to 32 seconds when playing the PS4 game thanks to backwards compatibility. Is this the native PlayStation 5 version? Only 2.4 seconds. The game simply makes a black ball and then you are in action. This lets you replay scenes you’ve already enjoyed without constantly having to deal with loading screens.

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Naughty Dog also includes support for 3D sound and DualSense control. On the former, I generally prefer to play with my home cinema team, and both of these games still have a particular quality sound mix that takes advantage of the surround channels and subwoofer. On the PlayStation 5, the new 3D sound features are designed, as usual, for older users or, to a lesser extent, TV users, with the aim of delivering surround-like experiences to an audience who does not have access to a team with several altavocs.

The result is impressive: the low frequencies are brilliant and there is a full sense of three-dimensionality in the sound. The introductory sequel to Uncharted: Lost Legacy is one of the best examples, with the sounds of war in the background contrasting with the approaching sound. Shooting in the market is another great sequel, and the sounds of missiles and objects exploding are very compelling. Basically, Naughty Dog managed to transfer the original surround mix to the altavcas, and it works just fine. The game wasn’t designed for that, so it’s another good example of what can be achieved with a good adaptation.

The functions with the DualSense, on the other hand, are less emotional. When capturing video for comparison, switch between one control and another to test identical footage. Going back to the previous-gen version, it became clear to me that the implementation of DualSense had a positive effect on gaming, but while the pain is worth it, it’s not enough to say that it is precisely a game changer. Now that’s it, even going up and down in the menu has an associated response in the command, which is a nice detail.

I can’t help but think that Naughty Dog could have unlocked the frame rate in the existing PlayStation 4 Pro code and delivered a stable 1440p60 experience similar to how the park for PlayStation 5 from The Last of Us Part 2 worked, and much of the audience would have had enough. Undoubtedly, this ten dollar update features multiple modes, improved graphics, and much better loading. As a collector of video games in physical format, moreover, I’m glad to see that we now have a full version of both games, parked and improved. It’s a similar situation when you have a movie you really like on Blu-ray and you decide to buy the 4K UHD Blu-ray version as well. I really enjoyed playing those games, definitely, and now I’m brave enough to see how all of those improvements translate to the Remastered Collection when it hits PC in the coming months.

Translated by Josep Maria Sempere.




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