Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition Review 
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Darryn Bonthuys
February 7, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Ever since Crystal Dynamics got their hands on the Tomb Raider franchise back in the mid-2000s, they’ve been cranking out some solid games in that franchise. Solid, but hardly legendary. 2013 however, resulted in a total reboot of the series that got the formula down perfectly, creating a new foundation for the franchise that was enthusiastically welcomed and appreciated.

It was a far more human Lara Croft running around this time,a  young explorer who was fighting to stay alive in a gritty reboot that had no time for skimpy shorts or cheesy one-liners. It was a reboot that didn’t just recapture the spirit of the original games, it surpassed them.

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Enter Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition. It’s Lara Croft, re-realised in glorious HD visuals and platform specific bonuses that throws in some of that extra DLC for a complete package. Do you need to own this game? Well yes. And no.

The biggest draw of the Definitive Edition, will no doubt be the visual upgrade to the game. It’s more than just a simple port or upscale of those graphics. It’s a genuinely massive upgrade, with Lara and her pals looking better than ever.

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There is no hyperbole hidden here, as the game looks downright stunning. Playing on PlayStation 4, Lara sports dirt, wounds and scars as her journey unfolds. There’s still that uncanny valley hurdle to overcome, but dammit, these are some fine-looking in-game characters.

Are the little details are in there with these graphics. Skin that has texture and marks. Clothing where you can almost feel the fabric, Makeshift weapons that sport unique hand-me down touches. The island of Yamatai that Lara finds herself on, is equally beautiful, with lush vegetation and various ruins from the ancient and modern world helping to shape that arena.

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Tomb Raider may have had a ton of concept art behind the scenes that helped imagine this island, but the definitive edition is the version of the game that has made that vision a digital reality. And on the PlayStation 4, this game runs at a consistently high frame rate.

Rare are the frame drops in Tomb Raider, as the action unfolds smoothly and vividly. It truly is a beautiful game, and one that has now replaced Killzone Shadow Fall as my go-to title to show off the hardware power of the PlayStation 4.

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There are other features that have been added to this platform specific version of the game as well. Owners of the optional PlayStation 4 camera can issue voice commands to Lara, such as telling her to switch from a stealth weapon to a louder and more practical shotgun, while the controller is also taken full advantage of.

The Dual Shock lights up when you use a torch in the game, the touch pad makes for a handy map reader and hidden journals are broadcast through the controller speaker. All in all, a few nice touches of the hardware that is present.

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As for content, the retail release of the game nets you all those wonderful visual upgrades, new practical outfits for Lara to wear, a digital comic book, videos, multiplayer DLC and a new tomb to explore. But the thing is, with all those new flourishes and enhancements, this is still very much the same game that was released last year on Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation 3.

Tomb Raider’s biggest strength is in its impressive single-player campaign, a story that can only be told and completed so many times. If you’ve already completed that version of the game, it;s hard to recommend paying full price once again for this prettier and slightly more substantial version of the game.

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But if you’ve yet to dip into the new Tomb Raider, then this isn’t just the definitive edition of the game. It’s the definitive new-gen console game to have. It’s an ambitious reboot easily balances a fantastic story with solid controls and action, and it should be on the bucket list of every gamer. 

Conclusion

It’s one of the best Tomb Raider games ever made, and it’ll live up to the Definitive Edition moniker for those gamers who never set foot on Yamatai Island last year.
9.0

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition was reviewed by Darryn Bonthuys on a PlayStation 4

Because he's the writer that Lazygamer deserves, but not the one it actually needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can't take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a loud-mouthed journalist, a watchful procrastinator. A dork knight.

  • Admiral Chief in Vegas

    Hmmm, graphics look familiar, oh wait, saw that on PC a while ago :P

    Jokes aside, this game is brilliant! Fell in love with her all over again!

    Lara and Liara, sounds similar, both awesome!

    • eXpZA

      Boo PC comment. Boo. We’re over theeem.

      • http://www.lazygamer.net/ The D

        Boo-urns!

        • Hammersteyn

          Mr Burns?

      • Admiral Chief in Vegas

        pfffffff :P

  • RinceThis2014

    Yeah, I think this is a must buy when I finally get to my PS4.

    • Hammersteyn

      If only they would bring Last of Us to Ps4 as well, with all the updates as with Tomb Raider.

      • RinceThis2014

        Oh man, I think they would be stupid not to hey?

      • Rock789

        They may still… Maybe just waiting to release the SP DLC and then…? **fingers crossed**

      • SheHulkNigri

        But why? Seriously. Do you buy a new console to play old games? I think there are people that earn way too much money…

        • RinceThis2014

          Same as watching a brilliant movie, 20 years later!

          • SheHulkNigri

            Only thing is, I did not pay R600 for said movie only a few months ago. Think about what you are doing man! This gen is going to be bloody HD release heaven for devs. “Ah sod making a new game. Let’s give ‘em Aliens: Colonial Marines HD. Yeah. We can sucker a few gamers into parting with their cash, cause obviously, they want the pretty pictures…”

          • RinceThis2014

            What about the people who haven’t bought Lara before though?

          • SheHulkNigri

            That I have no problem with. But to pay full price for a game only to see the pretty graphics and maybe extra DLC seems a bit silly to me, really. Especially for a newish game such as Tomb Raider.

          • THOUGHTS

            People always Bring this up what about the times MK and Streetfighter did it!??

        • Hammersteyn

          It would for people who got a PS4 but never had a PS3

          • THOUGHTS

            I did …well still do have a PS3 and ,anthing Tombraider is for me .Im A rapid Lara fan sconce 1996 … well 2000 in my case

  • Umar Hyakutaro [S]

    Yo dawg I heard you like HD remakes. So we made an HD remake of an HD remake

    • Hammersteyn

      I promise you it’s a proper remake, so glad I didn’t buy it first time round.

      • Umar Hyakutaro [S]

        Yeah, it’s awesome for first time buyers though

        • Jonah Cash

          I am a second time buyer and enjoying it as much if not more than the first time!! The game is just pure class, I could be a Crystal Dynamics mouthpiece on this game!! They will only get positive feedback from me!!

  • http://www.mehpow.co.za/ Mark Vincer

    Can you get this on cell phones? JOKING

    • RinceThis2014

      Not yet ‘Microtransaction Lara!’

      • http://www.mehpow.co.za/ Mark Vincer

        Do you want to jump? Only $5

  • The_commenter_formerly_known_a

    I prefer the old Lara face…

    • Hendrik

      Agree 100%

  • Jonah Cash

    This game is better than the one from last year just because I could fall in love with Lara all over again!!! This game is way better than what any reviewer will be able to give it…. You like third person adventure games??? Then you will love this Lara!!!

    • GalacticLordCaptainAwesomeness

      I see that the GOTY edition on PC is only 30 Dollah… wondering if i should get it ..

  • Willem Swanepoel

    Glad that the console gamerzzz can experience sexy graphics. About time that they realise why the PC gamers complained when a game look crappy because of a console port with no HD graphics ;-)

    • Hammersteyn

      Hehe yeah it’s very pretty to behold. But obviously PC is advancing so quickly who knows how long the complaining stops.

  • Rock789

    Totally agree with the “this is the go-to title to display the PS4’s hardware capabilities”. It’s simply an amazing, stunningly realised game! And now one of my all-time favourites. In fact, I love it so much I have already completed it – couldn’t help myself… 100% as of Wednesday evening. It was totally worth it! And I wanna play through it again soon.

    Played some MP too and, although I’m in the court of “this is not necessary” when it comes to MP, Tomb Raider’s MP can actually be a lot of fun when it works.

    • Hammersteyn

      I’m on 85% :P Those bird eggs was a pain in my ass to find.

      • Rock789

        Oh tell me about it. For me, it was those darn mushrooms in the forest… Man, it took me a while to find the last 2 or 3 of those!

        • Hammersteyn

          100%!!! Even tried the MP last night. Meh.

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  • THOUGHTS

    Got it definately would getit agatn ,I love TOBRAIDER lool fwd to the next one.