With plenty of previous generation games having undergone remasters for next generation consoles, there’s already been examples of titles and franchises that got it right and wrong. Some have been big winners like “The Last of Us,” “Gears of War,” “Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition,” and “Grand Theft Auto V;” some have been fairly average and forgotten right away like “God of War III” and “Saints Row IV: Re-Elected”; and some have been PR disasters like “Halo: The Master Chief Collection”.
When Bluepoint Games was handed the PlayStation’s flagship franchise “Uncharted” for remastering, there was understandable concern. Naughty Dog’s action-adventure series was one of the biggest and best franchises of the entire last generation of gaming, with “Uncharted 2: Among Thieves” in particular frequently cited as one of the best games made for its genre. How would this turn out?
Excellent it appears. Digital Foundry and Eurogamer have tackled next week’s “Uncharted: the Nathan Drake Collection” release to see how the new PS4 remastered version of each of the three games compares to the PS3 trilogy. The result is nothing short of spectacular with a lot of enhancements that go beyond a mere cosmetic upgrade.
As expected, each of the games has scored a resolution and frame rate bump from 720p/30fps to 1080p/60fps. Testing across all the games reveal that the frame rate is rock solid except on the most minor of occasions (namely scenes with smoke or water) dropping below 60fps but never below about 55fps and with no torn frames or screen tear.
Graphics have also undergone some tweeks – 2xMSAA anti-aliasing has been replaced with anisotropic filtering that the site reports is likely around 16x. Assets, lighting, and effects have all been rebuilt and boast higher resolution texture maps. There’s ambient occlusion now along with remodelled scenery, characters, and objects along with more realistic character textures, shading, and dynamic shadows. There’s also a distinct lack of pop-in which was a common problem in the original games – especially the first – and motion blur of varying kind that you can enable or disable depending upon your preference.
Combat has also been improved with the ‘dead zone’ decreased, input latency reduced, easier aiming and adjusted damage values. Cut scenes are upgraded to a full 1080p60, but due to the cramming of all three games on one disc there is reportedly some unwanted macroblocking – about the only complaint they could make. Loading times have also been significantly improved.
Two videos show off the differences. The first looks specifically at the first game and shows off comparisons of PS3 & PS4 versions of the same scenes. The second reviews the trilogy overall and includes footage from the second and third game remasters. “Uncharted: the Nathan Drake Collection” hits stores both physical and digital on October 9th.