Not Quite A Review Of Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

A thing of beauty is not a thing to ignore.

Tomb Raider, released in March last year, was a very good game. I played it on PC, with everything turned up high but without the fancy TressFX hair technology that made all but the best AMD GPUs weep. It was a beautiful, extremely enjoyable adventure.

Sure, Lara sounded a bit weird at times and she got a little too comfortable with mass murder in that videogame way that we all kind of just have to accept if we like shooting things with bow and arrow. But I thought it did a great job of making her motivations understandable. I could identify with her struggles, even if there were times when the dialogue was delivered as though auditioning for a bit part on Casualty.

The Definitive Edition of Tomb Raider comes to PS4 and Xbox One this week. It’s the same game with a sprinkling of higher resolution textures, better models and lighting effects, and with the fancy hair from the PC version. It looks absolutely fantastic. Better than my original play through on PC and at least as good as anything we’ve seen so far on the new consoles. But it’s still the same game.

If you didn’t play this when it was released last year, and you have access to a PS4 or Xbox One, this is the way to play it. If you played through on PS3, Xbox 360 or even a mid-high end PC, there’s not really anything of substance here to encourage another play through. Of course, some of us loved the game enough, and are shallow enough to value the extra visual fidelity so highly that you want another run through anyway.

This release contains all of the DLC released for 2013’s reboot too. There’s a new tomb to raid in the single player story and some new maps for the enjoyable multiplayer side of things too. The new tomb is found quite early on and it’s good enough but, like all the other optional puzzle-based tombs in the game, it’s a tad lightweight and easily solved. You won’t get more than about 15 minutes out of it.

Likewise, the multiplayer maps are decent and the multiplayer – which was always quite enjoyable on consoles – is likely to enjoy another month or two of activity with the new edition of the game. But it’s not anything too special and it won’t make any significant dents in Ghosts, Battlefield 4 or Killzone’s multiplayer fan bases either.

There is voice control in the PS4 and Xbox One version, with Microsoft’s console also getting some artifact-stroking gesture control and the ability to change camera angles by leaning. We only had access to the PS4 version so I can’t attest to the obvious virtues of leaning sideways on your sofa instead of lightly pushing your right stick to move the camera around. What I can tell you is that the voice control is sensitive.

It works well, most of the time, allowing you to swap weapons or ammo types as well as call for the map and pause. Unfortunately, it sometimes mistakes an enemy shouting about your gun for you shouting for your gun and if you’re setting up for a legendary flaming bow headshot at the time your enemy vocally thrusts the handgun into your digital mitts, it’s a tad frustrating. I also encountered random pause (and resume, more worryingly) occurrences when I was talking to someone else in the room.

So it’s a game I very much enjoyed playing last year that has been bundled up with some lightweight DLC and re-released. I’m enjoying playing through it again on PS4 and I’d guess that many of you would too, although you might want to wait for a price drop.

The textures are extremely good, although it was a good looking game last year too, and Lara’s face modelling is the best I’ve seen on a console anywhere. 60 frames per second might have been downplayed by Square Enix recently, but it genuinely makes a difference to the fast paced section in particular. It’s all so smooth and fluid and cinematically presented.

Make no mistake, this is an extremely beautiful game and packed with those sort of breathtaking moments where you’ll stop worrying about progress for a few precious moments and just stare at the surrounding vistas. But it’s still a bit cliched in its story, doesn’t make nearly enough of the potential in the initial hunger or open wound systems and it still has Camilla Luddington doing the voice – which wasn’t a problem for me but many forum posters did not like her performance.

If that sounds good to you, then Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition is the game for you. I can certainly think of worse ways to pass the time while I wait for the next wave of big console releases to arrive.

36 Comments

  1. I think I`ll wait till this version is down to around the price that the PS3 is now. Unless they stick in on PS+ then I`ll just settle for that.

  2. If they did that deal if you have it on PS3 you can get it for cheap on PS4, I would have bought this but they just milking it. I know it’s graphically better & includes all the DLC but it’s no excuse to sell it for the asking price.

    How much is it on PC?

    • I don’t get these “can’t believe they are charging £xx for this game” comments.

      Its a different format, you aren’t forced to buy it – I don’t recall seeing people complaining about GTAV coming to PC (e.g. “I can’t believe they are releasing this on PC, I’ve already got it on on 360”)

      Why shouldn’t it be a full price (you can actually get it for sub £35 if you shop around) game? Because you’ve already played it last year on a different console? I don’t understand that argument.

      Console game prices are too high in comparison to PC, but that is a completely separate argument.

      • It’s a re release nothing different from last gen that’s the argument, look at the likes of AC4, COD are re releases but they knew that so they do that upgrade offer which tomb raide should do!

        And your argument about GTA coming on PC is invalid cause it never came to PC & bet you loads of PC gamers ain’t played it.

        And yes no one forcing me to buy it wasn’t going to buy it either, I have it on ps3

      • The release window of ACIV, COD etc was a month? or a very short space of time.

        Plus they’d already specified they were releasing next gen versions of those games you mentioned – the PS4/XBOX one consoles weren’t even in production at the release of Tomb Raider.

        GTAV has been rumoured to be on its way to PC, it was an example – GTA4 came to PC. Months and months after the console releases iirc.

        My point is PS4 and XBOX1 are different consoles, different architecture. Just because you have it on PS3 you think the game should be heavily discounted?

      • I stand by my statement! Cause it’s a different console shouldn’t matter, it’s the same as the last console no change in story, game play, same shit MP. So they made it pretty graphic wise.

        £25 maximum!

      • I agree with Cron on this one, they can charge what they like for it. There are plenty of people who haven’t yet played Tomb Raider and will happily pay full price. And there are people who have completed it and wouldn’t purchase a super HD version even if it was £5.
        Square haven’t done anything wrong here, it’s a perfectly sensible business strategy.

      • Of course they aren’t doing anything wrong and can charge whatever they want, they don’t owe it to you. I think though that if they offered an ‘upgrade’ discount to people that already purchased it on PS3 they’d likely make more money and have people feel that their prior custom is appreciated. It doesn’t have to be £10 like the other similar offers, it could be double that or even more.

  3. Excellent, I haven’t played this yet so will definitely be picking up a copy for my PS4.

    • Yep, same here. Should tide me over until Uncharted 4!

  4. I got this free (on PC) with my gfx card purchase.
    Been playing it on Ultra settings and it looks amazing!

    I think I’d happily play through it again on PS4, if only for the trophies, at the right price. It’s a really good game, up there with the Uncharted games imo :)

  5. Despite having this on PS3 I’ve ordered it on PS4. Partly because I don’t enjoy Killzone Shadow Fall’s multiplayer so I have more gaming time than I expected, and partly because I have a soft spot for TR (loved the first few original games). There also isn’t much coming out on PS4 that I’m interested in.

    Apart from Tomb Raider, I’d probably only buy “upgraded” versions of The Last of Us and GTA 5 from PS3. Perhaps also Dead Space, but I think we’re more likely to see a new game as DS3 came out quite a while ago.

    • Thief? Don’t you like that, looks exactly like dishonoured & if I recall you platted dishonoured

      • Not too fussed about Thief to be honest – I think Outlast and Watch_Dogs are the only things that interest me, and I believe they come out in Feb and Mar respectively. Not platted Dishonored yet, just need to do one more playthrough…it’s a great game, and probably more interesting than Thief from what I’ve seen. ;)

    • I can see this game becoming a victim of shortage for one of the very reasons that you have just pointed out, bugger all happening with next gen at the moment. You might be wise to pre-order! Otherwise tackle that mountain of backlog goodness stored up on last gen ;)

      • I’m a bit of a visuals whore so I am looking forward to seeing TR on PS4…and I’ll make sure I play it on my 40″ TV rather than my 19″ monitor this time around! The PS3 backlog is work in progress – I’m just doing GTA 5 multiplayer first, as it’s the only game in my PS3 backlog that has multiplayer trophies (then the rest can be played/platinumed at any time)! :)

      • Good answer, although from comments I’ve read here and there it feels like some people might buy the game simply to justify buying an expensive new console so that it doesn’t gather dust.
        Obviously this isn’t your case, but I think that I’d have been a member of that category had I made the leap to next gen at launch :P

      • Peace Walker Youlesey boy, get your Metal Gear on!! I’m not going to stop pestering until you’ve finished it and handed in a 5000 word essay on why you loved it so much :)

      • Yeah, I totally get what you’re saying freeze and some people probably will buy it to justify the purchase. I’m happy to admit I’ve probably played more PS3 of late (the PS4 is lacking a game with a really good story), but I know it will get used and I do love the few games I’ve played so far on PS4. :)

        It’s a good move from Devs though, why not try and make money from a better version while the PS4 is having a lull, especially when most of the hard work is already done! As I said, TR is an exception though – there are only a few games I would re-purchase.

        @ron – haha, I will mate, I honestly will. It’s in the top 10 of my backlog list (I actually have a list), I just want GTA done first as it’s got multiplayer trophies – I like to know that the plat is always possible, not relying on servers being open etc. ;)

  6. Well i’ve pre-ordered this at my local Game, trading in my half price copy of Marvel Lego and handing over a crisp tenner for this game..as well as my £5 deposit £15 quit for this is a bit of a bargain..

  7. Still have my fingers crossed that Shopto will honour their slip-up late last week – £16.85 is a good price for a PS4 game.

    • Gutted I missed this error. I didn’t play it the first time around though, so Amazon’s 37 quid isn’t too bad.

    • Bargainous! a VERY good price rept0n! Let us know if they honour it!

      I’ve got the Amazon pre order @ £37 too. You can get it from Play.com for under £35 but I’d rather pay a few quid extra and get it from Amazon.

    • Pre ordered from amazon. IMO £37 isn’t bad for a PS4 game, even if it is a remake/port. Didn’t play this on ps3, so looking forward to it. Roll on Friday!

  8. I was hoping for a comparison between the two platforms. Apparently the frame rate on the X1 drops as low as 18fps.

  9. I didn’t play the PS3 release so am looking forward to playing this, as luck has it I have a day off Friday so I know what I will be doing!
    I found a Pre Order for £37 so can’t complain about the price

  10. Is this worth a purchase? I didnt have it on ps3 but there isnt much out for next gen atm so im looking to play something new.

    • Definitely. Especially if you like action/adventure games. It was one of my favourite games last year and I might even get it again when I pick up a PS4, just to enjoy the revamped visuals.

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