Tomb Raider is arguably the best game of its genre. After its first incarnation as a video game in 1996 it was reworked and released by Crystal Dynamic last year and was hailed by gamers and critics as one of the best releases of the year. So with such a successful version still fresh on the market, is there really the potential for another edition?
Well in short, yes, Tomb Raider fans are unlikely to snub another version of the cult status game, but what do fans get for their money? Well, the Definitive Edition available on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, we have to admit, is the most polished and well-structured version of the game to be released so far, and so it should be, the clue is in the title.
The main enhancements are all visual and it should be noted that there are slight differences depending on console. The PlayStation version runs at 60 frames per second and the Xbox One version runs at 30 frames per second. Differences aside, the Definitive Edition is undeniably great looking and this edition matches the incredible PC version of the game.
When playing Tomb Raider the Definitive Edition there are two really noticeable effects on the player. The first is that you are forced to take notice of the stunning surroundings. If you hadn’t noticed the details before, the chances are you will now. The island comes to life via realistic visuals that simply demand attention. The other effect is a built on something altogether different, the allure of Lara Croft. Maybe it was just me, but the Definitive Edition saw me reconnect with Lara Croft as a character. It is of course Lara and the power of her story that carries the game forward as we see her transform from castaway to survivor to action heroine. There is an emotional dimension to the game that does not seem present in previous versions, and this emotional connection is particularly apparent as we witness the heroine’s first kill.
In terms of features there are few new additions. The multiplayer option works in pretty much the same way as it did on the previous version and the only notable single player DLC comes in the shape of an extra secret tomb. The Definitive addition does introduce voice and gesture control on Xbox One and PS4 (if you have a camera add on) but these hardly add anything ground-breaking to the game.
To summarise, there is no question that this graphically improved next generation game has something to offer. It has a cinematic depth that has been further developed since last year’s reboot and there are deliberate steps away from the more linear action games on the market. However, beyond the mind blowing visuals the Definitive Edition fails to stand out from last year’s excellent release. Yes it is impressive, but perhaps not impressive enough to warrant shelling out for another edition quite so soon after the 2013 release.