Ah, Uncharted – how we’ve missed you.
Playing these two compilation games again is like welcoming in an old friend after years apart.
Naughty Dog’s Indiana Jones-style adventure series feels as fresh as the first time I played it.
And thanks to a series of improvements for the new PS5 console, this is now the definitive way to play the fourth game, A Thief’s End, and its expansion campaign The Lost Legacy.
Both titles first came out on the PS4 in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
They were great.
But with a new Uncharted movie on the horizon starring Spider-Man himself, Tom Holland, Sony obviously thinks now is the perfect time for gamers to reacquaint themselves with action hero Nathan Drake and his wise-cracking pal Sully.
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Now if you’ve played both games before and feel like you’re ‘done’ with them, this’ll be a slightly harder sell.
Because when it boils down, all you’re getting is souped-up graphics, use of the haptic feedback in the PS5 controller, speedier load times and nicer sound.
So this new release, for me, is best suited to newcomers who own a shiny PS5 and have somehow managed to miss out on two of the best titles of the late PS4 era.
For them, this is the ultimate must-buy.
Because despite their age, the Uncharted games feel fresh as a daisy and the gameplay is second-to-none as you dart about exotic locations, running, jumping and climbing through levels while dodging bullets and shooting off your own weapons.
It’s exciting and exhilarating as the set piece action scenes remain first-in-class. What a thrill ride.
The storytelling, as we’ve seen more recently with the Last Of Us sequel, is one of Naughty Dog’s biggest strengths and has a matureness to it in these latter Uncharted titles, at least in the moments you’re not being chased through a deadly tomb.
Both Nathan Drake and fellow protagonist Chloe Frazer offer strong heroes to get behind as the pace in each story takes off at lightning speed.
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It’s great to remind yourself of the excellent spin-off that is The Lost Legacy because it was an incredibly strong piece of downloadable content after the main games that showed a potential future for the Uncharted series without a need for Drake.
It’s akin to today’s much loved Miles Morales Spider-Man spin-off game that helped lauched the PS5 generation and is as much a fully fleshed out story, way batter than many ‘proper’ new games going for £60+.
For the tech geeks out there this PS5 remaster package offers full use of the DualSense controller’s new haptic feedback in the triggers so that every jump, bump and gunshot rattles through your hands during gameplay.
It does add to the immersion, making you feel more inside the blockbuster set pieces than before.
Load times are practically non-existent, which is so lovely after memories of lengthy waits as the ageing PS4 tried to keep up with these huge generation-stretching titles at the time.
Those with fancy earphones will get 3D audio sound, with booms, bangs and bullets whizzing by like they’ve just passed you.
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Again that gives a greater sense of being in the game than we’ve ever experienced.
For graphics lovers, there’s a Fidelity Mode where you play in a super sharp native 4K resolution with a 30fps target frame-rate.
But you can also choose Performance Mode, which has a super smooth 60fps target frame-rate and makes everything run along silkily like butter.
Performance+ Mode sees a high impact 120fps target frame-rate and a 1080p resolution. So ridiculously smooth but not quite as detailed in the pixel count as a result.
For the average gamer, they won’t really see a huge different between any of these. Each provides a fluid and improved performance on the original.
Naughty Dog have clearly loved returning to their action adventure series after half a decade away.
There’s a real labour of love feel to every moment of this remaster.
And it only fuelled in me a sense that I can’t wait for a new Uncharted to be announced, one built specifically for the PS5 from the ground up. That’d be incredible.
If you’ve never played Uncharted before, this is as five-out-of-five a game as you’ll ever see in review.
Grab this for £42.99 and set aside February for nothing else.
For those who have loving memories of both games and are intrigued enough to relive them in a souped-up PS5 version, then as long as you’ve paid full price before for either title you’ll be able to get this new collection for just £10. Bargain.
It is well worth another play, and will give you the better part of 20 hours of fun again.
But be prepared, the newness of it lies within little tweaks here and there, rather than major changes and new gameplay. You’re ultimately playing the same games from yesteryear but now at the very peak of their powers.
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