Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection PC Impressions – Drake Lands Gracefully on PC

Alessio Palumbo
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection Naughty Dog

Nearly nine months after the launch on PlayStation 5, Sony and Naughty Dog are about to release Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection PC, due tomorrow on Steam and Epic Games Store.

While it's only the latest in a long series of PC ports of former PlayStation exclusives, with many more yet to come (starting with Sackboy: A Big Adventure, launching before the end of the month), Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection PC is more significant than other ports because it delivers one of PlayStation's most iconic heroes, Nathan Drake, to a brand new audience.

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It is no coincidence that Uncharted was the first PlayStation IP to successfully make it to theaters, albeit after a very long gestation. Sony even got Tom Holland, one of the rising Hollywood stars, to play the main character. Only a few years ago, it would have been unthinkable to see Drake on PC. This port alone is enough to demonstrate how serious Sony really is about expanding into the PC gaming market.

At the same time, it's worth highlighting that this collection does not include the whole story of Nathan Drake. In fact, one half of the collection is the last game in the tetralogy, while the other half is the spin-off Lost Legacy featuring other characters.

Needless to say, it would have been better for newcomers to be able to witness the entire saga. The Nathan Drake Collection did a good enough job of remastering the first three installments, after all, although it lacks 4K and PS5 support, to begin with. Alas, perhaps Sony will eventually release it on both PS5 and PC at some point.

Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection does have something in common with The Nathan Drake Collection, though, and that is the removal of multiplayer. While unfortunate, it is no big loss, given that the Uncharted multiplayer was never more than adequate (unlike The Last of Us Factions). On PC, it would have easily been forgotten among the veritable treasure trove of multiplayer shooters available to gamers.

Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is also interesting because it is the first Naughty Dog game to ever launch on PC, making it the first example of their engine running on the platform. Given that The Last of Us Part I is coming soon to PC, this collection can be taken as a testbed.

Naughty Dog worked alongside Iron Galaxy on this version of the game. While generally respected for their porting expertise, Iron Galaxy was also behind the dreadful Batman: Arkham Knight PC port that forced Warner Bros. Games to remove the game from Steam until it was fixed and to offer full refunds.

There's no need to worry, though, as Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is a solid, though not exceptional, port. Let's begin with the breadth of settings. We've seen far worse but also better - for instance, there is no full screen option, only borderless windowed, which is a disturbing trend with recent PC games. The game supports Ultrawide displays, though.

As confirmed before release, the collection features NVIDIA DLSS 2 and AMD FSR 2 support. Each upscaling technique can be tweaked not only through the quality setting but also with a sharpness slider, and that's something not all games enable on the user end. As an added bonus, NVIDIA users can enable the Highlights feature of GeForce Experience. The software will then smartly capture exciting action bits of footage at key moments.

You can also tweak the render scale, turn V-Sync on or off, and lock frames, but only to 30 FPS, which is a bit disappointing. HDR is supported, but once again, the options are a bit lacking as there is no proper setup, only the usual SDR brightness slider. This is the only area where the PS5 version has an advantage, though it's sadly a common occurrence with HDR games on PC.

The actual graphics settings are also adequate. You can pick up various presets, with Ultra being the highest, although by selecting Custom you can bump Model Quality even further to Enhanced.

Ultimately, though, what really matters is how the game looks and runs. In that regard, Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection passes the test with flying colors.

There is no built-in benchmark tool, so we captured a gameplay section from Chapter Six. While there is no combat, the early part of this section takes place in a crowded setting featuring dozens of NPCs. We used DLSS Quality Mode since the game (powered by the DirectX 12 API) already runs so well that there was no reason to use lesser presets.

GPU CPU Resolution Runtime Avg FPS Min FPS 90th % 95th % 99th % GPU Clk(MHz) GPU Util% GPU Temp (C) GPU NV Power (Watts) (API) CPUClk(MHz) CPU Util % CPU Temp (C) CPU Package Power(Watts) OS GPU Base Driver GPU Driver Package System RAM Motherboard
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 12th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-12700KF 3840x2160 D3D12 103.55 13.57 84.42 85.09 71.45 1556.08 110.53 70.14 253 4550.22 25.57 83.51 94.18 Microsoft Windows 11 Pro 2009 10.0.22000 NVIDIA: r521_90 NVIDIA: 52225 16GB DDR4 3200 MT/s
Micro-Star International Co. Ltd. PRO Z690-A WIFI DDR4(MS-7D25)

Considering that the PS5 version asks users to choose between 4K@30FPS, 1440P@60FPS, and 1080p@120FPS, it is obvious that Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection PC is the definitive version. In fact, there is enough performance headroom that ray tracing would have been a great addition, though it was probably out of the scope of this port project.

Speaking of the visuals, both games can still look amazing even several years after the original launch. That's mostly thanks to the incredible artistry of Naughty Dog, which is prominently displayed during interior scenes and dialogues, with state-of-the-art facial animations and lip sync. Exteriors, however, sometimes show a bit of their true age compared to more recent titles.

There is no gameplay difference from the PlayStation 5 version, or indeed the original version, save for the addition of adaptive triggers and haptic feedback, which are fully supported on PC. However, the implementation of the DualSense's most unique features is far from the best we've seen yet. That's not to say they are not a slight improvement over regular rumble in these games, but other games implemented the features in a way more impressive fashion.

Playing Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy in 2022 is still very much a fun action/adventure experience, with only minor caveats. The former game is particularly linear, while The Lost Legacy saw Naughty Dog dipping its toes into more open-ended gameplay and larger environments for the first time. Still, Naughty Dog's gameplay evolved way more in The Last of Us Part II, which still has to grace the PC shores. Perhaps it won't be too long after the release of Part I.

At any rate, if you've been interested in checking out the Uncharted franchise but never wanted to grab a PlayStation console, this is your best chance. Nathan Drake, Victor Sullivan, Chloe Frazier, and Nadine Ross have never looked this good or been displayed this smoothly, that's for sure.

 

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