Review - Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition


Review - Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
Tomb Raider makes a next-gen return and it's prettier than ever, but does it represent value for money for those who've already had their fill of the last-gen release?
Square Enix
Nixxes Software
Release Date:
Age Rating:

Last year's Tomb Raider reboot was a masterclass in action adventure gameplay. It may not have broken any moulds along the way, but it sure as hell provided players with a peerless example of how best to tackle the more linear side of the genre. Developer Crystal Dynamics decided to take the stagnating franchise and reimagine it from the ground up, establishing an origins story for Lara and allowing players to step into her shoes as her first foray into the world of tomb raiding began in the most unfortunate of circumstances.

For this Definitive Edition, Nixxes Software has stepped up to the plate to handle the port to next generation systems. Essentially, it's the exact same game as last time round, but the visuals have seen an increased layer of polish, while all the downloadable content made available after the launch of the original makes it into the package. Rather than being a cut-priced title given its lineage, Square Enix has instead opted to release it at full cost, which raises the question as to whether or not it's actually worth your while picking it up if you bought it first time around.

To save you some reading time if you find yourself in this position, the answer is a resounding "probably not". If you've already played the original through from start to finish, discovering each of the hidden tombs, unlocking all the secrets and completing the DLC then there's really nothing here that's worth your money beyond the ability to tackle the multiplayer on your new console. It certainly looks a lot better, but aesthetics alone aren't enough for us to recommend the game to owners of the original.

With that in mind, if you didn't buy it first time around, or traded it in before you'd discovered everything it has to offer, then the Definitive Edition should definitely be on your radar. Whether you've got a PS4 or Xbox One, the visuals are hugely improved and running at 1080p for maximum sexiness (although the PS4 version does run at an average framerate of 53.36fps compared to the 30fps locked framerate of the of Xbox One), and the additional content should make it a bit easier to hand over your cash.

The gameplay remains unchanged, which is definitely a good thing. There's a real sense of wonder in exploring the mysterious island Lara and her crewmates have found themselves stranded upon, and while it might be a little on the linear side for true adventurers, this ensures that the game's hefty story ploughs along at a solid pace, rarely leaving pause for breath and encouraging the "just another few minutes" mentality.

The multiplayer continues to divide with some enjoying the 4v4 gameplay and others finding it little more than an unnecessary distraction from what is a blistering single player experience. It's definitely worth a look if you pick the game up, but it lacks the sparkle and polish of other similar online titles. It'll potentially add some hours to your play, but if you're considering picking it up purely for multiplayer, it's probably not worth it.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition is a relatively unique proposition. On the one hand, those who had their fill of the original release have little to entice them, but those with unfinished (or unstarted) business are in for a real treat thanks to a phenomenal campaign, a wealth of content and some jaw-dropping visuals.

8 Stars
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