Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition Review
Xbox One | PS4
Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition Box Art
System: Xbox One, PS4*
Dev: Crystal Dynamics
Pub: Square Enix
Release: January 28, 2014
Players: 1 (2-8 Online)
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, and Strong Language

The sounds of Tomb Raider are as wonderful as I remember them: an outstanding score, excellent voice-acting, and sound effects that immerse you fully in Lara’s world. However, there is one minor annoyance I feel I have to mention. As I began to play, I noticed that some sound would come through the DualShock 4 speaker. I thought this would be a cool addition to the gameplay, like when Lara would receive radio calls or pick up a journal, it would come through the controller. Unfortunately, there was no way to turn off those sounds coming through normal sound channels, so I was stuck with hearing them from both my television and my controller, which made for an annoying echo. Eventually I just turned the controller speaker off, wishing that I could have just heard radio chatter through my controller alone to add to the immersion of the game. It didn’t hurt the overall soundscape of the game, it’s just a feature I wanted to work properly that didn’t.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition Screenshot

There were other small oddities as well. For instance, In the opening scene when Lara is hanging upside-down in the cave, her hair seemingly defies gravity, waving around as if she was standing upright instead of hanging toward the floor as it should have. Also, and I’m not sure if it was this way in the previous version (if it was I didn’t notice it then), but it seems that the high-definition character models from the island timeline were used for the camera flashback sequences onboard the ship Endurance. Meaning, that in these flashbacks, Lara and other characters have the same dirt patterns on their faces as they do at points on the island, and I’m pretty sure they had a shower on the ship. Now, I know this is nit-picky, but when everything in a game is given this high level of detail, these little anomalies become apparent. Do they detract from the game as a whole? Nah. But it goes to show that in this age of ridiculously detailed visuals, developers are going to have to pay attention to tiny variables in order to continue suspension of disbelief, or at least to keep people like me at bay.

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Did Tomb Raider really need a Definitive Edition? No, it didn’t. Honestly, I would have been happy with a straight port, but it did allow the developers to bring an amazing game to consoles that are desperately starving for good content. At the end of the day, Tomb Raider looks better, plays better, and (for the most part, stupid controller echo) sounds better than it ever has before, and contains all the DLC that was released in one easy-to-buy package. I guess it is a Definitive Edition after all.

By
Joshua Bruce
Video Director
Date: January 31, 2014

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.8
Graphics
Definitely the best looking version of the Tomb Raider reboot. Even if there are a few minor graphical glitches.
4.5
Control
The controls are slightly tighter on the new console controllers.
4.6
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The Definitive Edition sounds just like the original – Excellent.
4.6
Play Value
The experience delivered in Tomb Raider was great the first time around, and with all DLC included in this release, there’s just that much more to do.
4.6
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

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