Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection Performance Review

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Nathan Drake is back with his first PlayStation 5 adventure, bringing Chloe and her friends for an updated and improved dual package of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and spin-off Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. Offering improvements and huge performance leaps over the PS4 and PS4 Pro version of the globetrotting thief. But is a treasure worth fighting for?

This new remaster offers a few avenues of gameplay, with existing disc or digital owners of the PS4 version of either of the included games being able to upgrade for $10, Euros or stunning British pounds to this new pack. Or you can make a full purchase if you’re new to the Uncharted fold, and even PC gamers will get a release later this year. As we’ve seen in previous Death Stranding and Ghost of Tsushima remasters, you can easily import your PS4 save using the main menu’s built-in chat tool. Allowing you to pick up where you left off – just cleaner and faster than before. Simply download or copy your save to your PS5 drive, then launch it and convert it to PS5 format. Note that you can copy multiple backups; you just have to do them one by one from the main menu.

Indiana Mods

The biggest improvements are resolution and performance, with Legacy of Thieves offering three game modes. Unfortunately, there’s no multiplayer included in this build, which is a shame as a mode would have really helped this style of play. The first of the trio of modes is Fidelity, which runs at crisp, crisp 3840×2160 (aka 4K) resolution at the same 30fps as the PS4 & Pro version, which runs at 1920×1080 and 2560×1440, respectively. This helps any associated buffers in the image, such as alpha textures, shadows, screen space reflections, etc.

Unfortunately, there is no multiplayer included in this version.

Next – and probably the most popular – is Performance mode, which offers the same 2560×1440 resolution as the PS4 Pro by doubling frame rates to 60fps by halving frame times to 16.67ms. The loss of 4K pixel clarity is a minor but noticeable sacrifice, but the gain in temporal pixel count and extra smoothness is welcome, especially given controller input latency which I’ll get to later.

Finally, we have Perf+ mode, which again doubles frame rates over Performance mode at 120fps – as long as you have a TV to support it. The cost is, again, the resolution, which now drops 50% to 1080p, matching the base PS4 but running at four times the frame rate. This mode is clearly the one that feels smoothest on a 4K display, but the latency improvements are again noticeable even on Performance mode at 60fps. No dynamic resolution scaling seems to be used, but the engine’s Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TAA) helps minimize noisy segments and MB shutter speed has been increased to compensate for faster frame rates , which helps improve motion clarity on objects, textures and more on PS4 and PS4 Pro. All three modes are available in Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy and can easily be swapped through the menus without delay, meaning you can choose your poison between pixel brightness or pixel frequency, and switch between them depending on what you are doing at the time.

With a game like Uncharted, the increased smoothness of controller refresh is beneficial, even game-changing. What is a huge improvement, however, are the cartridge-like load times – or rather the near absence thereof. Even on an SSD-powered PS4 Pro, loading a save unpack into RAM can take upwards of 36 seconds; On PS5, Legacy of Thieves is over 10x faster, with loads now taking around three seconds and effectively dropping. The menus just disappear and the action fades away. This move to a native PS5 app allowed Naughty Dog to take advantage of SSD speed most integrated with the memory subsystem configuration, all within the new SDK and relevant API calls. Additionally, the Legacy of Thieves version has a smaller footprint on your disk due to Oodle texture compression technology and dedicated compression hardware built into the PS5’s System on a Chip (SoC). With both games installed, it takes up 40% less disk space overall.

Performance

What about this performance then? Let’s start at the top: with Uncharted 4 and the PS4/Pro version, both targeted at 30fps and in the majority of the action, and they got close enough to that to never be a problem. One of the biggest and most frantic sections was the Raiders of the Lost Ark tribute truck and jeep chase which was first revealed in the acclaimed E3 2015 gameplay trailer. saw drops on the base PS4 and Pro to nearly identical levels, mostly only in the next 16ms refresh cycle, but it could see low 20fps moments appear in brief action segments, mostly fill-rate and bandwidth-limited, but sometimes you might also get longer stutters with context switching. These cause 80-100ms spikes and stalls when they occur, pointing to CPU, memory, or other cache-related delays. This happens with the switch to driving as the world simulation comes back online. As a 30fps game running on stock PS4 hardware, however, it was solid.

It shouldn’t be surprising to see that on PS5 it doesn’t drop a point in the same stressful segments when running native 4K/30fps. It keeps the frame time counter flatter than a villain’s EKG after an encounter with serial killer Nate. This is true of Fidelity mode in both Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy.

Action-packed scenes secure performance as a favorite mode in my PS5 port playback.

Switching to Performance mode at 60fps, we’re now starting to see drops in those same heavier sections of Uncharted 4 and some of the battles in Lost Legacy as well. They’ve always been minor and never this frequent in my game, but when they do happen, it rolls over to the next refresh cycle and they never add more than short, mid-50fps segments. Most of the action scenes, cutscenes, and exploration run at a steady 60fps, which is a solid increase from the previous cap of 30fps. The same storylines and sections play out in both games and really secure performance as a favorite mode in my playthrough of the PS5 port.

The final 120fps Performance+ mode is the most demanding on CPU time, and the bottlenecks that can occur when trying to target such a high 8ms refresh rate. As such, we can see more frequent drops from this target in both games through the action, and they’re most prominent when driving through the wide, linear jeep levels. Uncharted 4 comes out on top, maintaining frame rates above 100 fps in my tested segments. Again, given that the 8ms frame time is half that of 60fps, the drops here are almost imperceptible when they occur. The Lost Legacy, on the other hand, can be a little heavier on the GPU and fill rate with all the foliage among battles, causing us to drop near that 100fps line more often and in the 90s when we look at the long terrain views while driving. These are again brief and infrequent enough not to be of great concern, but these are the only dips I’ve really noticed without the frame rate tool picking them up.

New images from the Uncharted movie

Also, since this is a PS5 port of the Pro version now running at four times the frame rate, we occasionally see physics issues and sped up animations crop up. They are noticeable when they do, but are rarely groundbreaking. The extra smoothness offered by the 120fps mode from motion and controller input times are excellent though. Alongside the DualSense improvements to haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, we can see huge reductions in input times, which is a key area of ​​the Naughty Dog engine. They stagger the job over three frames in addition to any core engine polling latency, which means that each frame is processed through CPU-to-GPU render stages. Based on the PS4 Pro, we see around 144ms of entry times as the median, which is the most likely entry times of a collection of actions tested. It’s slightly slower by 4-8ms on the PS5 in Fidelity 30fps mode, but we see big and noticeable reductions as we go into 60 and then 120fps mode, 120fps being under 100ms and around 60 ms at the absolute best point. .

Summary

Uncharted 4 is the last crusade for Nate in more ways than one. Here it’s refined, smoother, faster and sharper, but not to a level that many were hoping for, I’m sure. Unlike God of War on PC, which we covered a few weeks ago, we no longer get bells and whistles on PS4 Pro. Improved textures and resolution are the only minor visual improvements, with level of detail, ambient occlusion and others all remaining the same. These still wouldn’t transform Uncharted 4 or The Lost Legacy, but might have enticed more returning fans to double down on the Legacy of Thieves collection. It remains to be seen what the PC version planned for later this year will offer compared to this one; support for a 21:9 aspect ratio would be great to add. Overall, Legacy of Thieves on PS5 is a great update for those who prefer faster, cleaner visuals, but more aimed at those diving into either for the first time, or the cheaper $10 option for die-hards who want to double down. This is, of course, a polished and improved version, which underlines how Naughty Dog was ahead of the pack even in 2016. But for anything beyond pure performance and controller improvements, you might want to be a little more treasure.

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