XXL‘s Game Corner: Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition Review

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Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Publisher: Square Enix
Released: Out now

 

The new consoles barely had time to sit on shelves before Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition was announced, clawing together what little extra content there was. While there’s no doubting that last year’s Tomb Raider reboot was truly a great game complete with a gripping story that told the origins of Lara Croft, Definitive Edition on the PS4 and Xbox One doesn’t offer much more other than a nice graphical upgrade.

Definitive Edition is certainly prettier, with particular attention played to Lara’s character model, while the epic set pieces look resplendent on the new machines. Its love for sweeping vistas and dense island scenery are done more justice by the newer systems and running as it does at 60 frames per second makes a difference as the visuals look smoother compared to the prior console release.  The new model for Lara Croft, complete with all the waving hair that so impressed on the PC version and those TressFX differences can be observed, scenery is more populated, while lighting and textures all pop more noticeably. Other additions – just about all of the downloadable content from the 2013 release is now located right on the disc and there are a host of new multiplayer maps to gun down your friends and a handful of new characters to play as. Crystal Dynamics has also introduced voice control using each console’s camera peripheral, allowing you to call up the map and switch weapons by yelling out commands.  While I appreciate the effort here to spice things up a little, the voice control really doesn’t add a great deal to the playing experience.

As you would expect, playing Definitive Edition on the PlayStation 4/Xbox One is the same adventure for Lara Croft that came as such a pleasant surprise last year. The core story remains as she’s a young adventurer and scientist who sets off on a dangerous expedition. The expedition becomes a moot point, however, as the team becomes stranded on a mysterious island. This is where things start to spiral out of control for the fresh-faced “tomb raider;” she has to learn how to survive on her own in a hostile environment, which means honing her newly discovered skills. Something strange is happening on the island, too, and Lara is faced with obstacle after obstacle. If you’ve already played last year’s version, you’ll experience nothing new here from what I already covered in a previous Tomb Raider review.

 

The XXL Endgame

Tomb Raider was already a great game that didn’t need any massaging but Definitive Edition stacks up well against games in its respective genre as Crystal Dynamics did a nice job visually tricking out their heroine. For newcomers to the game this is one you need to have in your library. But if you’re wondering whether this version is an enough of an improved experience to warrant a second purchase for fans that have already plundered these crypts, the answer is probably not. – Written by DJRhude (@DJRhude)

 

XXL Rating: XL