Preview: Tomb Raider Definitive Edition

Last year saw an unexpected game of the year contender land on the PS3 and Xbox 360 in the shape of the Tomb Raider reboot. In just over a week Crystal Dynamics are releasing an updated and so called definitive version of this game on the new and vastly more powerful PS4 and Xbox One consoles. Is this a cleverly timed re-release to cash in on people’s excitement of a new console combined with a lack of new releases, or is this a true update of an already very good game?

The news that Tomb Raider was going to be optimised and released on the new consoles came as a surprise, especially considering it was only released last March. In ten months the game has been critically praised and as a result has sold around 4 million copies to date. In the first 24 hours alone it sold 1 million.

The game itself is a complete reboot of the series, exploring the origins of Lara Croft and how she becomes the talented explorer we all know and love. The setting is on a mysterious Island (aren’t they all?) off the coast of Japan where Lara must first learn how to survive and then use all of her skills to save her friends after being shipwrecked whilst searching for the lost kingdom of Yamatai.

It has been confirmed by executive producer Scot Amos that the new version will be running at full 1080p and 30fps. This is of course higher then on the older consoles. As such the game will look considerably better with a far more detailed world than what we experienced on the previous generation. Perhaps the biggest change in the game is the look of Lara, she has been completely remodelled to look more like her voice actor Camilla Luddington. The graphical updates have been highlighted in videos on YouTube and there is no denying that it looks a far better game.

IGN's comparison footage goes a long way to show the visual improvement in Lara's face...
IGN’s comparison footage goes a long way to show the visual improvement in Lara’s face…

As for the gameplay it appears as though nothing has changed in this regard, this is both a positive and a negative in my opinion. The positive is that it was great fun to play, with the climbing and action mechanics both superb examples of how to make this type of game fun to play. The negative though is that this will mean that it will play exactly like the previous version with nothing new added; it appears all of the efforts have gone solely into overhauling the visuals.

This version is labelled as the definitive version, so what is it that makes it definitive? Well it seems that there is going to be no extra gameplay added, so no extra tombs to explore or story lines added. All of the DLC that was released is included in the box with this version but these are mainly multiplayer maps and frankly the weakest part of the game is the multiplayer, so I can’t see this being a huge pull for people looking for incentives.

The game will be released on the 31st of January and I would honestly say that if you haven’t played the original release then do look at picking this up, as it is one of the best games from 2013 and it is available for around £35, a fair amount lower than most of the launch titles. If you have already played through this game then I would say wait through the new gen drought for a few more months until there are some truly next gen games released for the consoles, this to me appears to only be a graphical update.


  1. Still doesnt come close to what high end pcs can do, i play Half life 2 with cinematic mod 12 and it looks better than any game on the market by miles.

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