Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series is one of the most celebrated on the PlayStation console – and now two of the games from the series have come to PC, and it’s about time.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and The Lost Legacy. A Thief’s End, which appeared on the PlayStation 4 in 2016, sees series hero Nathan Drake and his brother Sam searching for the lost treasure of pirate Henry Avery while The Lost Legacy (PS4 in 2017) is a standalone expansion to A Thief’s End and has mercenary Nadine Ross and explorer Chloe Fraser searching for the lost tusk of Ganesh.
A Thief’s End and The Lost Legacy are two of my favourite entries in the Uncharted series but it does seem strange that Sony decided to introduce PC gamers to Naughty Dog’s excellent adventuring series with the last two games in the series.
Most recently, PlayStation games appearing on PC have been ported over by Sony-owned Dutch powerhouse studio Nixxes Software, but not this time: Developer Iron Galaxy is responsible for bringing Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves collection to PC, and I had my reservations. Well, I’m pleased to say they’ve done a sterling job.
The recommend PC for 30 frames per second at 1080p is an Intel i7-4770 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X CPU, nVidia GTX 1060 (6GB) or AMD RX570 (4GB) GPU and 16Gb of memory. The game takes up around 110Gb of space, too. My PC falls between the recommended and the performance specifications and is let down in the GPU department by a – here we go – AMD RX580 GPU.
The advanced graphics settings defaulted to ultra quality with enhanced character models but after experiencing a fair bit of slow down in A Thief’s End’s opening boat sequence (frame rates averaged around 50FPS but dropped as low as 10FPS at one point) I dropped the graphical fidelity down to high. There’s a nice slider within the advanced graphics menu that shows you how much VRAM all those visual bells and whistles will use. At high quality all round the system was using around 5500Gb of VRAM. I have an 8GB card so there was plenty of head room.
I also turned off locked 30 FPS and turned on the on-screen performance counter which showed how many FPS I was getting at various points throughout the game.
There doesn’t seem to be any ray tracing here but one thing I noticed when first playing the game was an on-screen message saying “Building Shaders”. PlayStation actually recommends that players with PCs that have a CPU with 6 cores or less, to wait until the shader library is totally compiled before playing.
I was ensured my GPU was running the latest AMD Adrenaline drivers (22.10.1). I could have played using mouse & keyboard but I played it with a controller.
At time of writing this, I had sunk almost 30 hours into both games, most of it on The Lost Legacy. As is an almost given these days, the game’s have an excellent in-built photo mode, which I used to capture the images in this review.
So how does this latest PlayStation title play on PC, and especially a PC using a GPU that – and I’m sorry but I keep banging on about this – is several generations old but still a remarkable piece of silicon? Please note this is generally a review about how it plays on PC: It’s not a review of the game play.
It performs bloody remarkably, thank you very much, and gives me hope that there is still a little life left in the old RX580 yet. Remember, we’re talking about a several generations old card, here (and granted games that came out on console xx years ago), but I was averaging close to constant 60 frames per second on both games using the High graphics preset. It was reaching as high as the low 100s during cutscenes, too. Remarkable.
I experienced the occasional stutter during heavy moments but it was nothing that impacted game play and and only had one crash early on in the game that forced a complete system reboot.
Visually, the game is stunning, with minute details on the characters faces pin sharp and environmental details just a joy. If you have a super grunty PC, you’ll be smiling as you play this, especially The Lost Legacy with has some amazing locations and jaw-dropping set pieces as Nadine and Chole traipse around India.
Game play-wise, A Thief’s End and The Lost Legacy are just as good on PC as they were on console, with the PC version offering 4K resolution, ultra-wide monitor support, and adjustable texture and model quality, anisotropic filtering, shadows, reflections, and ambient occlusion.
Of the two games, I prefer The Lost Legacy over A Thief’s End but I think it’s because of the chemistry between the two female leads Chloe and Nadine. It’s also smartly written with an engaging narrative and enough action to keep you wanting to push through to the end.
In my opinion, seeing more PlayStation titles appear on PC is only a good thing and I’m happy to report that despite my reservations, this collection is another one well worth adding to the library. It’ll cost you $NZ89.95 which, for two lengthy titles, is pretty damn good value, I reckon.
There’s one thing all these PlayStation games coming to PC have made me realise, though, especially given that later this year Insomniac’s Spiderman Miles Morales coming to PC, is this: I just that one of these days I’ll be pushing my luck with the AMD RX580 GPU – but that’s not this week.
Not long in the future, though, I might need to make an appointment with the Home Office and put the case for a graphics card upgrade, right?
Verdict: Highly recommended.