It goes without saying that if you’ve already played a relatively new game on a previous generation system, or still own it, there’s no reason to buy the new version on a newer system unless there’s something new or improved about it (I’m looking at you, Metro Redux, and your thankfully revamped controls). Especially given how the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S are both backwards compatible. Which is why, if you’ve played or still have Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy you don’t need the Uncharted: Legacy Of Thieves Collection (PlayStation 5, PC), which brings those third-person action / adventure games to Sony’s new system and PCs.
If you haven’t played them, though, Uncharted: Legacy Of Thieves Collection is both a good time and a good value.
Well, assuming you’ve already played 2007’s Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, 2009’s Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and 2011’s Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (all of which are available in the Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection). Given how Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End brought this series to a satisfying conclusion, and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy was an engaging side story / post-script, neither should be your first time with this series.
Uncharted: Legacy Of Thieves Collection…
is also not the way to go if you were hoping to play Uncharted 4‘s multiplayer modes on Sony’s new system, since they’re not included. Or if you were hoping they’d give the graphics a full next-gen upgrade, since this just makes the previous version’s visuals look slightly cleaner, and even then only if you’ve got a 4K TV.
But while the versions of Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy in the Uncharted: Legacy Of Thieves Collection may not add enough to warrant an upgrade, for people who never played either game, or only played one and not the other — and, as I said, who’ve already made their way through Drake’s Fortune, Among Thieves, and Drake’s Deception — this cheekily-titled two-fer is a great way to play two games that rank among the better installments in a series where the low points ain’t that low.
Let’s start where you should start, with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, in which Nathan Drake’s life as an explorer comes to an end while also showing how it began (which you can read more about in my original review). In yet another globe-spanning adventure, Nathan and his older brother Sam have to — say it with me — find a lost treasure before some bad guys can. Hence why your time in this game is spent killing said bad guys while also doing a ton of running, jumping, climbing, and puzzle solving so you can get to the next area full of bad guys and the treasures you both want. Or, if you’re lucky, more clues to the location of your ultimate objective.
What makes the exploratory aspects of Uncharted 4 different from previous installments is that you now have a rope you can use to swing and climb your way to previously unavailable areas. Which isn’t to say this plays like Spider-Man: Miles Morales, or even one of Batman’s Arkham games; more like what you’d expect in a Tarzan game if anyone made one based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ original novels. Even so, having a rope adds some challenging and thrilling moments that make getting around that much more interesting.
Uncharted 4 also adds some more open areas, giving you more options when it comes to approaching enemies (and, of course, for them to come at you).
As for the Uncharted: The Lost Legacy part…
of the Uncharted: Legacy Of Thieves Collection, well, this is where things get really good (as you can see from reading my original and more in-depth review). As much as I’ve appreciated the Uncharted games, one aspect has always bugged me: Nathan, who’s a bit of a smug putz. Something that became even more obvious in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves when they introduced his ex and clearly better half Chloe, who is just as skilled as Nathan, but way more likable. Well, assuming you like women who are smart, feisty, and don’t take shit from smug putzes.
Having you play as a way cooler character isn’t just what makes The Lost Legacy part of the Uncharted: Legacy Of Thieves Collection so much fun (though it does help). This game also expands upon Uncharted 4‘s mechanics in some interesting ways. The most notable being that this goes even further with the open areas than Uncharted 4, adding some unique (and optional) activities. It’s kind of like what they did in Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, though Gears 5 is actually a better comparison, since these moments in Lost Legacy, like those in Gears 5, require you to do a bit of driving.
As much fun as these games are individually, though, playing The Lost Legacy right after Uncharted 4 did get a little tiresome. Which isn’t to say that Legacy is boring (hardly) or that these games are redundant (not at all), or that one made the other look bad by comparison. No, it was more like how you end up hating Oreos — and yourself — when you eat an entire bag of them in one sitting, but are fine if you spread them out over, say, three days. So, y’know, be warned.
In the end,
while the versions of Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy in the Uncharted: Legacy Of Thieves Collection are not necessary for people who own them or have played them multiple times, this is essential for those who’ve yet to enjoy these epic and engaging adventures.