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Hands-on with Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition on PS4

Ryan Clements's Avatar + Posted by Ryan Clements on Jan 06, 2014 // Social Media Specialist

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition is not a simple, upscaled version of last year’s critically-acclaimed adventure. It’s a colossal effort, soaked in visual enhancements and technical optimizations. Just when we thought Lara Croft hit her peak, she keeps on climbing.

One of the first challenges Crystal Dynamics faced was Lara herself — even though the team had smashed expectations with the impressive original game. A new head and face model have been implemented in this portrayal of Lara, bringing new life to the legendary heroine. Among the torrent of improvements made, the developers worked with subsurface scattering technology on Lara’s skin. This means light will actually pierce the top layer of her skin and diffuse, giving it a realistic glow.

Lara’s equipment has also been given abundant attention. Her bow and pickaxe clatter, bob, and move with her body, giving her entire character a renewed sense of authenticity. She sweats and bleeds like the best of us when put under extreme duress, and the remarkable animation and voice work continue to instill Lara with life.

There was no slowing down for Crystal Dynamics after Lara was reworked. The environments were handled with the same attention to detail. The world is packed with more foliage, debris, bits, and bodies than before. Dynamic weather sweeps through levels to bring smatterings of rain and lightning. Fog is no longer a singular, visual plane, but rolls through the world in individual motes of cloudy white. Smoke from fire pools at the top of rooms — a crown to the crackling red below.

Tomb Raider: Definitive EditionTomb Raider: Definitive Edition

And all this barrels onto the screen in native 1080p, running at a buttery framerate. Picking up a DualShock 4, Tomb Raider: Definition Edition is about as smooth as silk; each action Lara takes is a showcase of the technical marvels behind the scenes.

Combat and exploration still feel great, and DualShock 4′s features have been put to good use. The touchpad can be used to light a torch or adjust the in-game map, for starters. When Lara picks up radio chatter, the voices play out of the controller speaker. The lightbar flashes a staccato rhythm when Lara opens fire, and it lazily glows red and orange to match the light of her torch.

To sweeten the experience further, Crystal Dynamics has also included all the multiplayer DLC, which means eight maps and six weapons are added to the mix from the get-go. The team even included the Dark Horse comic, and the complete art book, all accessible from the main menu. Even outside of the game proper, there are tons of additions to peruse.

The motto of the team seems to have been an equal split between “Why not? and “What the hell,” considering the staggering number of upgrades to Tomb Raider, both large and small. From extra strips of tattered cloth blowing in the wind, to an entire ocean of water improved just for the heck of it, almost nothing was left untouched.

“Definitive” might be the absolute best word to describe this edition of Tomb Raider, which launches for PS4 on January 28th. For those of you that missed out on the PS3 version, your tardiness may just have been a blessing in disguise.

//Add Your Own

138 Comments   5 Replies

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101

+ wwwdotjames on January 7th, 2014 at 6:04 am said:

The price is a bit high… However I will wait til my October birthday for my PS4. By then there will be plenty of games to make it worth the purchase! Until then, I have my PS3 to keep me warm with my favorite games Batman(all 3) and Walking Dead(PSN version)!


102

+ Elementalstorm23 on January 7th, 2014 at 6:27 am said:

I am looking very forward to this. I never got a chance to play it on the last gen consoles except at PAX East and I was loving it. Also this is a big bonus considering my birthday is three days before release so yeah day one buy for me!


103

+ jorgecool1999 on January 7th, 2014 at 6:28 am said:

I have never played any of the tomb raider series, and i heard amazing comments about it that it is starting to drag me inside this daily game that gamers play. Im giving it a shot on my ps4, and hope for no regret.


104

+ herbalsticky on January 7th, 2014 at 7:02 am said:

+ 1 – Will NOT pay $60 for this


105

+ yazter on January 7th, 2014 at 7:06 am said:

Online trophies = no buy.


106

+ KySky1965 on January 7th, 2014 at 8:36 am said:

I’d like to know how long the single player campaign is.


107

+ trustter on January 7th, 2014 at 8:42 am said:

I must to say that I really the new TB but I’m not a huge fan of the price. Too high for a game that I already finished and lots of people will feel the same.

I guess you guys must to be targeting the people that haven’t play it yet.


108

+ Abrosseau on January 7th, 2014 at 8:48 am said:

I will give this a try, i always find it funny when people say “oh no it’s 60$ i won’t buy it”

This game cost millions and millions to makes, and you guys go waste 20$ at mcdonalds at 2am….

I will support you guys, the games looks amazing !


109

+ vamperoX13 on January 7th, 2014 at 9:10 am said:

I would have bought if was $39.99, $60 for a old game NO WAY ! I don’t care if they give you gold to take home !


110

+ Welmosca on January 7th, 2014 at 10:00 am said:

A cash-grabber game like this Only for free…..will pay for the PS3 version though which I still dont have.


111

+ VanilaGorila-x- on January 7th, 2014 at 10:06 am said:

I also plan on re-buying the PS4 version. TR was easily one of the best games I played last year on the PS3.

Peace,
VG


112

+ HeySoos-MX on January 7th, 2014 at 10:27 am said:

I will also use their motto, I have been working hard and I will buy it just to play it again this great game improved this way… why not?!… what the hell!!!


113

+ JustinRockz468 on January 7th, 2014 at 12:08 pm said:

cant wait till i get a ps4 for this and TO 1886


114

+ JustinRockz468 on January 7th, 2014 at 12:13 pm said:

this and ni no kuni were overrated they deserve at least a 90 metascore


115

+ IcedDice777 on January 7th, 2014 at 12:36 pm said:

I enjoyed the campaign and looking forward to Lara’s next adventure! But i can’t justify plucking another $60 for the same game with just higher resolution. Consider the $10 upgrade for ps3 owners then maybe will talk. Not dime more.

Looking forward to The Next Thief on PS4. Please don’t ruin it. My .02

Thank you


116

+ Solidmgsnake on January 7th, 2014 at 2:46 pm said:

If it runs at up to 60fps, I’ll get it.


117

+ saab01 on January 7th, 2014 at 3:53 pm said:

Looks cool hopefully I can get my hands on this game this time around.


118

+ tusunami on January 7th, 2014 at 4:57 pm said:

I’m still not sold on this game, I like more originality to my games & well the multiplayer is basically a UC3 clone.


119

+ ChainClutch on January 7th, 2014 at 8:10 pm said:

I brought the PS3 version on day one. Beat it, loved it to death!. I plan on buying the PS4 version on day one as well! so cannot freaking wait! i enjoyed this game more then the Uncharted series and a drop more then the last of us, i literally did not want the game to end when i was playing the PS3 version, i was like GEMME MORE! .. too bad they never released any single player DLC :(


120

+ F1at8mot0 on January 7th, 2014 at 10:26 pm said:

This is one of my top five games of the generation. I will gladly pick it up to play it again for PS4!


121

+ AizawaYuuichi on January 7th, 2014 at 11:37 pm said:

@ GamerzLimited: Yeah, if it were any other game, the people saying that would bother me too. But chances are, most of the ones saying “$60? No way.” are people that already bought and played it. And yes, it is similar to a GotY release as it has all the DLC, but ALL of the DLC is multiplayer related, again circling back to the fact most Tomb Raider fans had no interest in it. So while technically $60 is a great price for the content available in this package, it’s really only a good price for someone who hasn’t already played it. On the other hand, if someone is a huge fan of the game and it’s worth it to them to pay $60 to get the visual upgrade, then more power to them. They’re in for an awesome ride.

@ KySky1965: From what I remember of my playthrough, where I tried to do everything, it took me about 12-14 hours to play through the game. If you do a straight run through the main story, you could probably finish it in about 8 hours. My second run for cleanup, once I knew where to go and such, took me about 6 hours just speeding through it. So, it’s a pretty decent campaign, with a fair amount of side content.


122

+ lummond on January 8th, 2014 at 11:30 am said:

Has there been an official word if some sort of digital upgrade is available? There hasn’t been a conclusive yes or no. Heck, even a $10-$15 discount over the regular purchase price would be good.


123

+ Luecifer on January 8th, 2014 at 3:24 pm said:

The wait is killing me! I need this game NOW.
I wish TLOU and Bioshock also got this treatment.
Thank you CD, for doing this!


124

+ LogDon2 on January 8th, 2014 at 3:43 pm said:

I bought this first time round and will do so again. I think its a classic game and its poor sale figures still annoy me. I realise 4 million is a decent number but for a game of this quality being launched on multiple platforms and the franchise history that’s not good.

I intend to support the developer and purchase this again. Games of this quality should be rewarded with strong sales and not just glowing reviews.


125

+ zombie9 on January 8th, 2014 at 4:05 pm said:

Crystal Dynamics made this WOW they have moved up but I’m old school so sorry….


126

+ jedi_webslinger on January 8th, 2014 at 8:08 pm said:

If there is a program to make it cheaper. I’ll consider this. If not I’ll pass and wait until a price drop


127

+ july161986 on January 8th, 2014 at 10:12 pm said:

With everything thats been added i am constantly tempted in getting this game but then a huge wall hits me. At the end of the day it is still the same game with no additional story, at least naruto ultimate storm included a small story addition. I would love to get this game but because there is no additional story, a demo might just satisfy me unless the price gets dropped for those who owns the game already, like a ps3 upgrade.


128

+ Kchow23 on January 9th, 2014 at 2:19 am said:

So was this the game that you were checking out when you were called in the show for PS Blogcast?


129

+ GioLucca85 on January 9th, 2014 at 3:37 am said:

Where are the gameplay vídeos??????
Before the game launch they spoiled everyting they could with new vídeos every week, and now that everyone knows the game and just want an upgrade, there’s NO gameplay vídeos!! I’m little afraid that this version is not so impressive that they are talking about…I love the game and I played the PC version. I want to know how far better this version is before buy it, so please, release some gameplay footage!


130

+ Elvick_ on January 9th, 2014 at 5:46 am said:

Are the online trophies gone? I’d like to platinum it, but not gonna happen with those b/s trophies.


131

+ WolfenMcGunz on January 9th, 2014 at 8:52 am said:

I really would love to play this game as I hear its very good, however I’m not willing to pay $60 on a short game, especially if there’s no added content.


132

+ Dirty_Pencil_Box on January 9th, 2014 at 5:11 pm said:

Does anyone know if this is coming to the PS store?


133

+ RinoRichardCroft on January 11th, 2014 at 8:05 am said:

Anything Tomb Raider to me is an instant buy now/pre-order, since the very first game. Lara Croft never disappoints!


134

+ danestin_ on January 12th, 2014 at 11:38 pm said:

Just rent it for few money or buy used copy
Don’t buy it first day, wait months till it becomes cheap


135

+ batgrl1970 on January 13th, 2014 at 2:29 pm said:

The write up on this gave me goosebumps! I can’t wait to try it on the PS4.


136

+ Dondada on January 23rd, 2014 at 8:11 pm said:

Where are the PS4 demos??


137

+ J4-JOKER on January 25th, 2014 at 5:04 pm said:

OK! Now that we have Tomb Raider Definitive Edition out now and it’s running on 60 fps on PS4 WoW! just WoW! Just the whole new concept of the game it’s amazing. For Me as a Tomb Raider fan, it was worth paying the $60 dollars again. That’s the reason we buy a new gaming console, to see if its got that potential, for its graphics and game play and let Me tell you, the PS4 delivers its potential with the new redesign Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, Thank You SONY for a great console.


138

+ BryGuy_420 on January 28th, 2014 at 9:54 am said:

Is this going to be on the digital store???


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