Preview: Tomb Raider – Definitive Edition
It may seem a odd to see a HD makeover less than a year on. Tomb Raider’s Definitive Edition is more than just a cash grabbing endeavour. From what I’ve seen, a massive effort has gone into the next-gen upgrade of this reboot. Let’s take a look at how it’s shaping up.
What has the development team been tweaking?
You may have heard Tomb Raider is going through a resolution upgrade. This menas it is now going to be running in full 1080p with a silky smooth frame rate, which instantly improves the game’s immersion a great deal. All of the expected settings PC fans have already been enjoying are now going to be dazzling the minds of PS4 and Xbox One users. You can expect more detail in lighting, textures and effects. Smoke now billows and flows more realistically. Fire is more dramatic and casts significantly more light and shadows. Water flows naturally, rippling around objects and reacting realistically as Lara moves through it.
Lara herself has had a decent visual overhaul (as you can see below). Her equipment now has its own physics, shifting naturally with her movement. Her facial animations have had some major reworking. Her cheeks, eyes and mouth look much more life-like and her skin now catches the light better than ever giving off more warmth to her appearance. The game also features TRESS FX technology allowing Lara’s hair to move freely, right down to the individual strands. The added detail not only makes the visuals that much more impressive, but also makes Camilla Luddington’s performance more effective.
So it’s just a visual upgrade?
Well, yes and no. Just like a remastered album it has all the content it did before. The Definitive Edition includes additional aesthetic changes to scenes which Crystal Dynamics felt needed more debris or effects, but in reality this version is more for the true fans or for new console owners who may have missed it the first time around. So before people jump on the hate bandwagon, remember not only is it being released at a reduced price of AU$69.99, but it also features the same single player gameplay as the current release so you can relax about missing out on exclusive content or extra story.
Past the glorious visual candy, it does feature a decent amount multiplayer content. Eight new maps and six new weapons are available out of the box and fans will be happy to know the Definitive Edition includes both the art book and the Dark Horse comic (also available on the disk if you so desire them). A few cool next-gen features have also been included as well. Lara’s radio chatter will now come out of your controller in the PS4 version (which takes a while to get used to) and there are apparently voice commands as well (though I see that becoming a nightmare).
As a rabid fan of the Tomb Raider reboot, the Definitive Edition is shaping up to be a seriously awesome investment. It takes an already amazing experience and makes it even better. PC gamers or those who have finished the story before may struggle to find enough in this to make the upgrade worthwhile but as stated previously, this is more of a remastered CD than an HD remake. The changes really do bring it in-line with next gen titles, both visually and in terms of features and I think it’s going to be worth every dollar.
Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition will be released on 31/01/2014.