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- Published on Amazon.com
If you never had a chance to experience the fantastic Tomb Raider reboot on Xbox 360, PS3, or PC, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition on PS4 is well worth your time. If you did, the enhanced graphics may not be enough to warrant a second purchase. Still, Tomb Raider is one of the best games on PS4, and at $20 as of this writing, a great value.
Tomb Raider games have always had silly stories involving mythology and magic deep in an ancient tomb, and although this Tomb Raider reboot tries to have a more dramatic and serious story, the magic is still present, which depending on your view may be a blessing or a curse. Lara Croft is green in this story, and we get to witness the birth of a survivor, taking her from curious teen to a lethal tomb raider. This origin story is well told if not a little cheesy, but the actors involved do their best to give a good performance. Overall I enjoyed the story, but the game telegraphs the plot twists, so nothing really came as a surprise.
The gameplay is the real star here. The controls are tight and responsive, and there is so much to do and see, there's never a dull moment. As is par for Tomb Raider, there are puzzles to solve, but they are usually fairly short and easy this time around. A couple had me scratching my head for a few minutes, but nothing I had to resort to using a guide over. It's no secret that Uncharted borrowed a lot of ideas from Tomb Raider, and now it seems Tomb Raider has borrowed a lot from Uncharted. The gunplay is more visceral, controlling Lara is more intuitive, and level progression has a "Metroid" style of locked off areas that can only be accessed once a specific weapon or tool has been acquired. There are moments where the entire level will be collapsing all around you, and you'll have to run, jump, climb, swing, and fight for your survival, and these moments are brilliant. I was shaking after a few of these moments because they were so intense and fun.
The graphics are also noteworthy. Having played Tomb Raider on the Xbox 360, the upgraded graphics in The Definitive Edition on PS4 are truly a next-gen leap in quality. The PS3/360 versions were no slouch, but the jump in fidelity, from character models and high-rez textures to lighting and particle effects, is impressive. I've played a fair share of PS4 games, and Tomb Raider Definitive Edition is one of the best looking games I've seen yet. The fact that it's a PS3 port is incredibly amazing. I actually found that the 1080p/60fps not only made the game look better, but also made gameplay easier, as 60 frames per second makes gameplay smoother and more responsive, and the 1080p resolution allowed me to spot enemies, loot, and climable areas easier. Playing Tomb Raider on PS4 was like playing a brand new game.
The Definitive Edition includes the DLC that came out, which included some new costumes, one new tomb, and a few new multiplayer maps. None of which really excited me, to be honest. The costumes are neat, but kind of on the boring side. The multiplayer in Tomb Raider is not really great, so new maps don't mean much to me, and I never found the new tomb, but judging by the tombs already in the game, probably takes 10 minutes to complete.
Tomb Raider has received tons of critical acclaim, and it truly deserves it. If you haven't played Tomb Raider yet, you owe it to yourself to play this excellent game. The Definitive Edition is the best version to play, and even thought the included DLC isn't all that interesting, the core game itself is fantastic. If you did already play Tomb Raider on last-gen consoles, deciding to buy it depends on how much upgraded graphics mean to you. Just know that if you do decided to buy it, you won't be disappointed, as this PS4 upgrade is extremely well done and the new graphics are sure to impress.