Let’s face it. The Tomb Raider franchise is one that makes you wonder in anticipation over what to expect from a new sequel, or a reboot as in the latest installment. When the Definitive Edition was announced , I kept on wondering in what ways can an awesome game be even more awesome. When I first popped the disc in to my PS4, I was left speechless and was literally blown away.
Tomb Raider Definitive Edition is a sweet candy to the eye, and a beauty to dive in and get yourself lost. Through more than 13 years of Lara, she has never looked this real and lifelike. You can almost see the contraction of every muscle as it is covered with mud and sweat, and the flow of Lara’s beautifully rendered and detailed hair as she wanders on a fantastically designed and detailed island. Mixing old school signature environmental puzzles and adrenaline fueled action segments, this game proved to be stellar upon its release and has succeeded in going one step further with this edition.
The Definitive Edition is a huge improvement on last year’s release of Tomb Raider on consoles. The environment feels richer and more detailed, Lara feels so alive, and the experience itself is magnetic. Whether you are hunting for artifacts and collectibles, solving puzzles in optional tombs, or battling myths and gangsters to uncover the secrets of the island, you will be having a blast.
The addition of voice commands, which can be accessed via the PS4 camera, or via a connected microphone, can now allow you to pin point your location on the map by simply saying ‘show map’, or switch between weapons by saying the weapon’s name. Though it is far from being a necessity, it is a nice addition to the gameplay elements.
Running as smooth as 60 Frames per second at a 1080 p resolution, Tomb Raider‘s universe comes to life in the best possible way. Whether you are scaling a hill, striving through a storm to find shelter, or wandering among ancient ruins,you will be rewarded with a graphical bliss and a plethora of added awesomeness. The game runs so smooth during cut-scenes and actual gameplay and is a big improvement over last year’s release. Though the frame ratio is not consistent all the time, the drop is not that significant and doesn’t ruin the experience at all. This remake tries to exploit the power of the new gen capabilities in all aspects.
Sound-wise,I played the game on my 5.1 surround home theater system and recommend that you do the same. It will add much to the depth of the experience, and you will be able to hear the farthest animal sounds around you, or an approaching enemy from a distance away.
Not much of a significant improvement to the gameplay mechanics has been applied, which isn’t a bad thing as it was great as it was. The controls are as responsive as they can be, made obvious by the seamless switch of weapons, sneaks behind enemies to perform stealth take-downs, and scales across cliffs , all of which may take place concurrently.
Tomb Raider is a beautiful game, starring a beautiful protagonist, and the Definitive Edition has contributed to this beauty by making it even more of a beautiful experience. Whether you played it on the PS3, Xbox 360, or even Steam, playing it again on the new gen consoles is not a loss at all and actually worth it.
After finishing it, I was left wondering again about what a new Tomb Raider installment would be like, and to what levels of realism would the series shift to. I guess only time will tell.