The Lara Croft / Tomb Raider mythos is certainly deep, engaging and fascinating. If you were to mix together Indiana Jones, an attractive model, and perhaps the power exhibited by a Marvel superhero, well, you’d be approaching Lara’s brilliance. The point is, this woman’s not just an heiress turned successful archeologist - she’s like a force of nature which swoops in to clean up history’s curses and supernatural mistakes. With the latest entry in the series, the entire franchise is given a much-needed reboot, this time incorporating an ultra-gritty feel. This epic Tomb Raider title will place you directly in the shoes of the legendary explorer and show you exactly how she became a badass.
Of course, this next-gen version, dubbed the “Definitive Edition” is a somewhat enhanced experience, deviating from its previous incarnation in a number of great ways. All in all, you’re treated to the same stunningly excellent gameplay, but with various graphical upgrades to sweeten the deal. In other words, expect even more content for both single as well as multiplayer, which includes new maps, weapons, character models as well as the ability to give voice commands. If you’re a Tomb Raider fan and have yet to play this masterpiece, the Definitive Edition on PS4 will likely blow your mind.
When you first load up the game, things start off innocently enough. You and your easy-going team are looking for the ruins of a rumored lost kingdom that suddenly disappeared without a trace. However, this idyllic premise is shattered into a thousand pieces rather quickly when Lara is seized, only to wake up bound and upside down, no less. After pulling off a clever escape and navigating a series of deathtraps, you eventually arrive near an overlook point. Here you are able to fully grasp the beauty of this intricately detailed world, perhaps contrasting it with the agonizing suffering found at the hands of the island’s many obstacles and enemies. One thing that sets the Definitive Edition apart from the previous incarnation (on 7th gen consoles) of course is that it is much more detailed. All of the character models have been improved with enhanced physics, lighting and more true-to-life movements. Likewise, the environment has been dramatically overhauled as well, perhaps even reaching an entirely new level of detail.
The gameplay is of course, brilliant. Survival horror fans will notice right away that this newly varnished Tomb Raider game shares some elements in common with titles like Resident Evil 4 in terms of perspective, feel and story pacing. Of course this game is light years beyond any such older title in more ways than one, its gameplay being infinitely more satisfying in a number of ways. For example, the balance between puzzle solving and action really hits the “sweet spot”, as they say. While some have complained that the game starts to lag in and around the middle, the truth is that it remains engaging throughout, always challenging you, but not in a way that generates frustration. Seasoned gamers should have no trouble navigating through the single player campaign, which comes off as a sort of roller coaster ride filled with architectural exploits, culminating in battle with ancient supernatural foes.
Anyone with a taste for great linear story-based campaigns will obviously love this game, but it’s also worth noting that “Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition” could also easily fit the label of a survival horror title. Naturally, TR fans are going to fall in love with every aspect of this game’s production, but there’s plenty of appeal for newcomers as well. If action, adventure and puzzle-solving are your thing, you’re definitely going to want to get this game.