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: Definitive 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. 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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  • I’m sorry but having to pay another £40-50 again even after I got the Collectors Edition on the PS3 back at launch is very pathetic…
    Just offer an £10 upgrade!

  • I’d buy that for £5 if you make an update for the PC version. Not interested in playing this with a controller.

  • Tomb Raider for me was the surprise game of last year. I had high hopes for that game ever since it was announced, and I was very happy to see that you guys really delivered!
    This Definitive Edition sounds (and looks!) to be everything a true Tomb Raider fan could dream of, so I will definitely get is somewhere this year.
    Will there be any discount option for those that already have the PS3 version? Will the PS3 savegame work on PS4 too? (not that I will need it, as I will play the game from scratch anyway)
    Thank you for taking the time to bring Lara to the Next (or rather: Current) Gen!

  • I have the digital version on ps3 and like most of my games I sampled it but never finished it, I’d like to play it on ps4 and it would be great if we could get some sort of a discount on the ps4 version as previous owners like many other games have managed like, rocket birds,rainbow moon and pinball arcade to name but a few.
    Or could this be the ps4s first 39.99 rrp game which could lead to deicent prices online.
    Anyway hope the games successful and if it is a full price title with no discounts I’ll just be renting it instead of buying it :)

  • This is something rather ridiculous.
    I will never pay another 60 USD for the same game even though it was glamorously upgraded. Is that the demonstration of Sony’s policy for PS3 games on new console? It was promised to support them, but not charge!
    It could be – at least – offered to purchase an upgrade for PSPlus users.

  • The writing style of this article made me laugh, it I was 13 perhaps I’d be fooled !
    TR without the marketing…
    Good game but not anything more than that, Lara has turned psycho and now has finishing moves, axe to the head swing etc
    Tombs or Raiding are a tiny, tiny part of the game. Think a third person perspective version of Far Cry 3. Lots of shooting with bits of climbing.
    The DLC is appalling, it was a couple of pound recently on Steam for all of it.
    I like butter on my toast and my games 60fps with no butter, cheers.

  • Full price meh. If they would have priced the RRP €39.99 instead of 59.99 I would have.bought it.but now it will be bargain bin instead.
    No plans for PS3-PS4 Upgrade?

  • So you ported the PC version to PS4 and expect people to pay you another 60€ for it? Cynic and lazy.

  • I wish I nevef played the PS3 version now and waited for this. The PS3 version was incredible, so this should look sweeter than ever.

  • The original was stunning but yeah gotta agree, unless you haven’t played it there’s very little point in picking this up again.
    I own it on two platforms, whilst the TressFX effects and visuals on the PC version are immersive the reality is they don’t add a heap more to what’s available in the PS3 version.
    What I’d also say is the netcode and servers on this were shockingly bad, floating players and invulnerable players in abundance on the PS3 version – if you’re going to provide multiplayer at least support it adequately.

  • So we get a PC port, high resolution textures, added lighting effects and higher count character/content wireframe, etc. and you try to sell it at a premium to PS4 consumers as if you put a ton of work in it.
    If you would have added some humour (like the Last of Us) and a better story I would consider but there are so many, exclusively made for PS4, games arriving that this is not something I will consider. But if owners of the game can play it for free (like Zen Pinball, Sound Shapes, Flow, Flower, etc, then I will consider.

  • I really couldn’t put myself through the awful online multiplayer again, it truly was abysmal & unnecessary. As others have stated here too, I also think the price should reflect the fact that this is effectively a visual upgrade only no matter what way Crystal Dynamics likes to spin it. An upgrade price would be nice if you’ve already purchased the game, but that would be too much to ask wouldn’t it?

  • I think I’ll wait until the hinted at sequel comes out, then pick this up at the same time, play them both in one go.
    I own TR on PS3 and PC and played them too recently to even see this as a game to revisit yet.

  • Pretty much what everyone else has said… No one can justify the 40 to £45 retail price.
    Expect this to be a PS+ game later on this year

  • Yeah have to agree with everyone else, no way i’m paying full price for this, doesn’t matter how much work u guys put into it, the fact of the matter is, for the people actually playing the game, it’s still gonna be the exact same game just with better visuals and better visuals alone are definitely not worth full price, and with no upgrade plan, i’ll be passing on this one.

  • I plan to get this but not until the Summer. You should release a comparison video showing all the differences.reading them are not the same.

  • Can’t believe other companies who hadn’t even made any revenue on there ps3/ps4 games at the time, were offering a full upgrade path for an extra tenner before the game came out. Yet they had to do just as much work with two versions on the go. You made money of the last gen installment already and can’t even release the game even at a discounted price to increase the player base for the next tombraider. Good luck with that.

  • Never played it before, so have ordered it – and in the UK the pre-order price at one outlet for release day delivery is cheaper than other PS4 games so far at: £36.85.

  • Just completed it on the PS3 and would love to play again on the PS4 but would only buy if there was a PS3->PS4 cheaper upgrade option available. Surely the established fanbase of this game can be offered this option? Better to make an extra $10 from those who already love the game rather than just relying on new buyers?

  • This game had the worst multiplayer so i can only assume your including the DLC in this edition because no-one in their right mind who played it would want to pay extra for some under-populated maps.
    The one part of the game i did like was the actual Tomb Raiding, if you made some more tombs i would be very interested in those as they were the one part of the game that raised it above the generic, any chance?

  • I skipped the PS3 version. I just wasn’t hooked in enough. (never been a big TR fan. I only played TR Underworld through it being free on PS+), plus there were other games around that time I wanted more. (Like Sly Cooper). But I’m rather tempted by this version. I need more games for my PS4. I currently only have Knack and NFS Rivals. (plus Flower, Resogun and Contrast, but all those were free and short)

  • only those who haven’t played this game would get it for next-gen consoles.
    i played this on my laptop though i still haven’t finished it.
    no big reason to get this edition unless you’re playing it for the first time.

  • Did Batman:Arkham City Armoured Edition on WiiU attract this much negativity about it’s release??
    Seriously… no difference..

  • If you’ve already bought the ps3 version, you’d be an idiot to buy this ? I’ll certainly upgrade if given the chance, otherwise no deal.

  • @kiwiatlarge Because back then and even still now, nobody has a Wii U, even the people trying to defend it.
    If “buttery” framerate doesn’t mean 60fps, I will never be picking this up for PS4.

  • Clearly aimed at those who may not have picked this up during 2013, I do feel as though the pricing has been milked somewhat. It is really nothing more then a GOTY version, and whilst the game is one of the best in 2013 by far, it is basically a much prettier version and as others have said, a simple upgrade version for those who already have the game digitally would have been a better idea.
    If you already own the game I really don’t see what this new gen version really offers, I can see why this Definitive GOTY version is being released but not sure you can market it as a completely new experience for a year old game.

  • lol, a full price re-release? Square Enix got some balls

  • Any chance of a proper stereoscopic 3D mode ? then I would by it again.

  • I’m glad I never really fancied this on the PS3 as I’m more likely to get it for PS4 since there are fewer games and now i get the awesome version :-) Also I’ve seen this for about £45 which is cheaper than other new PS4 games so i think the price is right.

  • Am I missing something, there is no price indicated and no mention of whether there will be an available upgrade or not, yet that’s the only thing you muppets can complain about!
    Even if it is a full price PS4 game, there’s nothing forcing you to buy it if you’ve already played the PS3 version. Remember that many people have never had that or any other version so may well be interested in buying it for the PS4.
    If you don’t want or like it, the answer is simple, ignore it and imagine your surprise when NOTHING HAPPENS to you or your parent’s purse strings.

  • Define “buttery framerate”

  • I didn’t play this TR and I’m more than happy to play this and other games one my brand new PS4.
    I understand players who have PS3 and would like to play this edition but don’t want to pay again for same game. Sony should give them option for upgrade. This will increse sale of this game and people will be happier. Your move Sony!

  • Surely if you have the PS3 version you can upgrade for £10?
    They aren’t seriously expecting people to spend another £50 just because it’s slightly prettier?
    Surely they don’t think we’re that daft

  • Prices varying a lot in UK:
    game £44.99
    simplygames £36.85
    Zavvi – £49.99

  • this is a joke.they want us to pay full price for a game we already played on ps3,has pretty much zero replay value with the mediocre multiplayer and its still inferior to the version of a good pc.the only reason that will give them a few sales is the lack of next gen games atm.shame on SE.

  • Out of curiosity, will trophies from the PS3 version transfer to the PS4 version or are they both separate and therefore challenges have to be unlocked from scratch?

  • The TR reboot was a work of absolute genius. Loved every second of it. Actually with all of this talk, I will start a second playthrough soon I think. The chance of me paying for a second copy of this game to play on my PS4 though is ZERO. My PS3 and PS3 copy still work just fine. If it was a £10 upgrade, I’d probably go for it though.

  • lol persone(s) who make rip of price = u fal to match on you head ?
    to al new consumers of the game = not buy
    wait untile 25 € then u have great game buth if you can not wait buy on ps3.
    when the game bisnes gone learn
    1- later out to eni reason = same price like al others on the moment
    2- bring out games 50% cheaper = on psn bring out sp modus – mp modus
    trophies 100% sp – 100%mp / 2 x 100% = unic game trophie
    lots of games i never play online buth need to pay = why ?
    give corect prices on psn = new max60€ to sp+mp( both are placing on psn )
    dlc pas max 20€ sp content -max 50€ sp/mp + give some tings also free to tank you consumers ( witout use you have no job )
    great sp game like ac – uncharted …..+ lots others buth not want you mp .

  • Great game, but like most others here I already finished it on PS3 quite recently.
    The only way I would play it again is if it came to PSPLUS!

  • Im sorry for the Devs… Game is awesome, indeed, but the price tag is hilarious.
    Especially where the cost of a PS4 game is rediculously high in Poland i do not see the value of a re-release of an old, but good, game for a 100% price tag.

  • I felt as soon as i finished this game on PS3 that i didn’t want to ever play it again – not that it was a bad game,it certainly wasn’t. It’s just i see it as setting up the Tomb Raider series reboot and i’m more interested in seeing where you go with the next game in the series, hopefully with some proper tomb raiding next time.

  • I loved the game on PC and i do plan to play it at some point AND the ps4 is desperately starved of new games right now (as expected for a new console) but this just isn’t appealing. Especially at that price.
    There aren’t even any new levels or gameplay elements.
    Who cares about the multiplayer and getting all the DLC for free.
    No one plays the multiplayer anyway and i see far less people owning this new version, so multiplayer is virtually useless here.
    So if this had included some more tombs to explore, or a new chapter of gameplay then for sure – at that price i would have bitten, but as it stands forget about it.

  • #29
    ”Even if it is a full price PS4 game, there’s nothing forcing you to buy it if you’ve already played the PS3 version.”
    Are you that lacking in reading comprehension so that you conclude people complain about this mediocre visual upgrade of a game at a full price because they are ”forced to buy it”?
    … You would not want to see how i respond if i’m –really– forced to ”buy” something –or do anything against my will, for that matter. So, please, stop with this childish argument.

  • #29
    ”Am I missing something, there is no price indicated and no mention of whether there will be an available upgrade or not, yet that’s the only thing you muppets can complain about!”
    Hey, since we are at it, some homework is never bad:
    ”“Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition is not participating in an upgrade program. The game will retail for $59.99 in North America.” ”
    also here:
    …and pretty much everywhere else…

  • I like to play the games the best way possible, that said, 60€?
    You know what I will play 60€ on? Thief, Infamous: Second Son, Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes…
    Oh wait! The last on is not even 60…
    Maybe in the Summer, IF there’s a sale and I haven’t nothing else better to play.

  • I bought the survival edition on PS3 and it was a wonderful experience. Not that long ago I bought my first gaming PC and I got Tomb Raider on sale which included ALL Tomb Raider games for $13, it’s not difficult to feel a bit hard done by when yet another improved version is on it’s way, priced at a new full game point.
    All I can say is I hope there is an upgrade pathway put in place for PC users somehow, like a small asking price to upgrade to the definitive edition. I will pay full price for another instalment ofcourse but not the equivalent of what CD Projekt Red released for free as a patch.

  • ps: both my posts were aimed at @MikLSP, #31…

  • Hmm may have to pick this up having missed it on PS3. Currently enjoying another go at the very first one on my Vita :-D

  • @ Alphaembryo
    Oh I’m so sorry, now I am truly petrified at the prospect of your uber macho actions that would present themselves under duress, you really are the alpha…and for that matter the omega.
    On topic, there is no reason to complain, you simply don’t buy it and there’s no harm done. Are you all complaining that the vast majority of launch titles are cross generation and hence represent little more than mild cosmetic updates on a previous generation game? Or is that OK as long as they come out relatively close to one another.
    The developers have produced something to cater for a certain market, i.e. PS4 owners who have not played the original version of the game. If you don’t fall into this category, just ignore it, exactly what great wrongdoing has been inflicted upon your holy eminence if a version of a game that you don’t buy comes into existence?

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