Hands-on with Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition on PS4

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Hands-on with Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition on PS4

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.

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5 Author Replies

  • I hear it’s $60 bucks! PASS!

  • Hmm, will their be any additions to the main story? I don’t have this on my PS3 and I’ve never played it. But I might choose this version once I get my PS4.

  • I’m excited to replay this even if they are raping the price. Too bad they didn’t listen to the community and remove the horrible MP trophies if not MP completely on this release.

  • It’s an excellent game with very believable voice acting, some of the best i have ever heard. I plan on buying this again for $60.


  • I have this on the PS3, but the more I hear about this, it sounds very enticing. We will see if I can get it! I would like to see more footage of Lara in game to see it for myself!

  • Can’t wait to play it again I had fun with it when it came out earlier.

  • 60$?!
    why. just why…

  • @ossiecastro5 there is no story addition, the SP dlc is primarily all outfits and 1 extra tomb (side puzzle) Most the DLC was for MP. Definitively get this edition for your PS4. Single player is fun and the game controls are prefect and satisfying.

  • I own the Original PS3 game.

    It was fun/good, but I’ve already played it/currently own it.

    This looks pretty good for newcomers, but unless there’s a discount for current owners (I have Digital so you can tell I own it), there is absolutely no reason for me to spend another 60 on it, even with the PS4’s limited library.

    If I see this game for 30 or 40 I’d consider buying it again, otherwise I’m happy with the original.

    Hope anyone who has a PS4 and hasn’t played the PS3 version takes a good look at this game though, it looks like a solid PS4 game.

  • my tardiness was a blessing in disguise.

  • Too bad about the price and multiplayer trophies. Welp, thats twice ill be passing on this game.

  • @nelsonskennedy i never make post but lol, you made my day.

  • Buttery framerate? Does that mean 60FPS??

  • I think I’ll just skip this. I’ll download it when it becomes part of the Instant Game Collection for PS+ ;)

  • I think I will probably pick this up when it drops in price and I mean 20 or below. Most likely when the sequel is released!

  • getting it on ps3 for 15$

  • Played it on PS3 and Xbox 360, absolutely loved it, day 1 I will be buying both PS3 and PS4 versions on the store.

  • How about the controls, can I now shoot with L2 or is it still L1.

    Please confirm.

  • I liked it on the PS3, but won’t bother purchasing the PS4 version for $60. Maybe once it is half price.
    Though I can’t deny it’s a great pick for anyone who skipped this game last generation.

  • Will there be a upgrade option for people that brought the PS3 tomb raider version? I don’t want to spend $60 on a game that I already own just for prettier graphics.

  • I bought this for my 360 at a sale price and played it a bit. I loved what I saw. The fact the Crystal Dynamics went the extra mile to revamp the game for the PS4 says a lot about their commitment to the game and the platform. Personally, I *will* be buying this on day one for the $60 asking price. I think this kind of effort has to be rewarded and encouraged by other developers & publishers. My belief is that if this does well on the PS4, other publishers will take notice.

    As for the “I’m not paying $60” crowd, I get it, but I personally think it’s important to support the teams that deliver a top-notch experience on the PS4…at least in these early days of the PS4! :-)

  • I hope the PS3 version makes it to Playstation Plus

  • This was a fantastic game on the PS3! One of my favorites of last year. I would love to have a game to add to my PS4 roster, but at $60, I just can’t justify buying the same game again…

    For those of you that haven’t played it yet, this is a must buy for you!

  • I’m one of the customers who bought a launch-day copy and really enjoyed this game. I would definitely pay a modest upgrade fee for the high definition version, but to buy it again at full price is simply too much. To anyone who missed the game the first time, you shouldn’t hesitate to pick it up at $60. I’d like to play the game again on the PS4, but I’ll save my $60 for some other upcoming game.

  • My disguise was a blessing in tardiness.

  • No specifics on frame rate yet?

    Doesn’t this come out in a few weeks? Shouldn’t the game be finished?

    Or were you just not informed about it?

  • Bought this title on sale for $20, although SP was enjoyable… Multiplayer on the other side was complete garbage

  • I will not pay $60 again for a game that I bought digitally for $60 on PSN less than 1-year ago. Offer a digital upgrade or you will not receive a cent from me.

  • $60? That’s a bit expensive for a port don’t you think? I really want to see what Tressfx 2.0 looks like on next gen hardware but not enough to pay $60.

  • @22 you make a good point.

    If I wasn’t saving up for the coming RPG explosion of releases (across several platforms) in the next few months, I would consider the 60$ tag to support good game makers.

    If I have to choose who to support, it will always be RPG makers and the smaller companies that do localization.

    Since I’ve already bought the ps3 version, both physical copy (for the steelbook and comic/the beginning via Futureshop) and the Digital copy so I didn’t have to keep swapping discs, I can’t really justify buying it a 3rd time at full price.

    I do hope this sells well, they seem to have done a good job on the revamp.

  • I will be getting this even though I already beat it on current gen. One of my favorite games of last year. Now if I can only find a PS4 for purchase…

  • Well is it considered last gen now?

  • Ryan, any chance a preorder for this will be up on PS Store soon?

  • any chance of a discount if i already own digital on ps3?

  • I know this isn’t Tomb Raider related, but it does relate to Square Enix’s highly anticipated Final Fantasy X and X-2 HD, will the PSN versions have a pre order and midnight downloading availability, can u make a note of it if possible. It be much appreciated.

  • Got it on PS3 and excited to get it on PS4. When you read sites stating “better than PC” you just know it’s going to be outstanding.

    Sure I’ve finished it and need only 4ish more trophies (MP only) but the overall game, coupled with the enhancements, will make for an unbelievably realistic gaming experience. Roll on Jan 28th :)

  • Still waiting for Lara to come to PSAS:BR..

  • I have the PS3 version and I got it at the midnight release. I don’t see me picking up the PS4 version until it gets a price cut or something because it’s just a PC port and if it doesn’t do 60 FPS then it’s less than the PC version and you can get that for $20 or so? If anything this is more like a GOTY Edition and the multiplayer DLC isn’t worth it because the multiplayer is absolutely terrible.

  • I’d buy this to support anything except FPS game producers but the problem I find is: I don’t like exaggerated gore. I found this game to be made as disturbing as possible, which resorts to the morbidity of people to sell and it is also kind of a shooting game anyway so…

  • whoever will pay 60$ for this must be shot.

  • I rented an played the ps3 version (im not sure if stupid xbone has it) it was fun but i got the best game in the world AKA gta5-online, im hopine gta online comes to ps4

  • Loved this game on PS3, but I’m not paying $60 for this. This should have been a budget title at $40.

  • i wished crystal dynamics would reboot the Soul Reaver games :( as fasr as buying this for $60 on my ps4 i pass i got it for ps3 im not going to pay $60 twice for the same game with upgraded graphics .

  • Yes! This is the first PS4 game in 2014 that i’m getting.

    Havent played the original version, so its great for me. But I understand those people complaining about the price.


  • one of the games i skipped last year to get ready for the next gen – definitely looking forward to picking this up when it comes out. debating digital version or disc copy but either way can’t wait to check it out. been a while since i was excited about a Tomb Raider game.

  • Any words on upgrading the PS3 version?

  • I have the ps4 version on my gamefly rental queue. Would have bought it had it been reasonably priced, but i’m not spending a full $60 for the same game again.

  • Any chance of getting a PS3->PS4 Upgrade offer like with CoD: Ghosts, AC4, BF4? I really enjoyed getting the chance to (re)play those PS3 games I purchased on PS4 for a reasonable price. As an owner of a digital edition of Tomb Raider I would definitely pay a small fee for the PS4 edition. I hope those of us early adopters are rewarded for our loyalty.

  • Mr Clements,

    Any word on if out current XP/Rank for PS3 MP rank will transfer to PS4? It be much appreciated if you can say, or at least pass on the idea to CD.

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