“Sacrifice is a choice you make. Loss is a choice made for.” the best quote and real backbone of the chaos that is the Tomb Raider reboot. Often when a next-gen system arrives, a few last-gen games are given a port so that early adopters have more to play. This is often frustrating sometimes because the updates applied are minimalistic and really non-apparent. Luckily Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition is not a simple port. Below are some of the enhancements that I noticed that made me feel like I was playing the true edition of Tomb Raider.
My first playthrough of TR was on the Xbox 360 and it was a great experience at that. Launching the game on the PS4 and arriving in the start menu allows you to already see a vast improvement in loading time, and frame rate. As soon as the opening cut-scene launches it’s like you’re playing a whole new game, or the game that it was intended to be played all along but last-gen couldn’t cut it. The DTS audio track on the game seems to have gotten a boost, which helps with indulging you into the game. Another very noticeable upgrade instantly w that Lara’s hair has been extremely upgraded This was one of the many things I read prior to the def. edition release and didn’t think to much of it until I actually saw it. The hair on Lara not only looks great but gives you an even more realistic and immersive experience while playing. Her hair moves so organically, it’s truly a sight to see. Crystal Dynamic has set a new level for hair in gaming.
One of the many great things about the awesome overhaul to this game was the attention to detail and how much easier it is to pick up on these little details. For instance, as I was walking to find a campsite I noticed one of the totems that are scattered throughout the game, blowing in the wind so naturally. It is a small detail and something that I never had picked up on before and wish I had because if you shoot them you unlock XP. The variety of fog scattered on the ground, the shimmery effect of plants has never been so noticeable. If you look at one of the many torch lights throughout the game for more than one second you’d think it was a real flame.
Something I didn’t notice right away but is another small but very cool enhancement is when you have a torch lit that the DualShock 4 pulsates yellow and red to give you the feeling that the DS4 is the wooden torch. Also, when you shoot your gun, the controller flashes white, giving you a bullet effect. Another cool upgrade or feature is the ability to pull up your map by just saying “show map”, TR now utilizes the DualShock 4 for it’s speaker and voice commands which brings a nice subtle enhancement to the game.
The story hasn’t changed which is a good thing because Crystal Dynamics did a really good job with it. One person let alone a group of people should never have to go through what Lara and her group did. By the end of the game you really root for the different crew members to pull through and get off the island, while thinking they probably won’t. I even get creeped out when you enter the ceremony and all the soldiers are marching.
Overall Crystal Dynamics really did a fantastic job on the TR Def. Edition. It is not an average port. The studio seemed to put a lot of effort in utilizing the next gen hardware. I even might go out on a limb and say it is the first true next gen game for the PS4, Killzone is beautiful but lacks story where TR has both. What do you guys think? Sound off in the comments below.