GAME: Tomb Raider Definitive Edition
Developer: Square Enix
Release date: 28th January 2014
No spoilers Included in this review
Tomb Raider story follows the early years of Lara Croft with a more realistic spin on the Tomb Raider series creates more emotion and a darker side never before seen in Tomb Raider to bring a more modern role to the franchise.
Lara Croft struggles to survive from the dangers that await after the ship Lara and the crew where on gets shipwrecked and Lara must survive by all means, even resorting to killing to survive as she tries to rescue her sister and other survivors and escape the island.
Control feel: 7 / 10
Not much has changed with Lara’s movement, she retains here repertoire from the Xbox 360 version. Good use of the entire pad is required to perform Lara’s spectacular death-defying climbs and leaps but now with an improved frame rate from 30fps to 60 fps the overall feel and control of Lara within the game is vastly superior.
In game combat is similar to the Xbox 360 with the analogue sticks to control movement and with the help of the Left trigger to aim and the Right trigger to fire gives more accuracy when shooting or you can go all out shooting blindfire style and end up missing everyone, it’s your choice.
In addition you can adjust your stance so the camera angle looks over either your left or right shoulder this provides you with different angles to eliminate enemies, however if all else fails and you can’t get a shot off due to heavy fire, the help of the B button allows for some quick dodges and with the gradual upgrades that you get through the game can allow you to pull of some impressive if quite violent counter moves at close range.
The integration of Kinect adds something new such as head tracking so when the green binocular icon appears you can tilt the camera angle with your head even though at times this seemed more of a hinderus than helpful.
Graphics: 8.5 / 10
After playing the Xbox 360 version the games graphics were phenomenal which squeezed every pixel out of the hardware and resulted in our review score of 9 out of 10 for graphics which made it hard to beat, so has the Xbox One version of Tomb Raider made improvements, the simple answer is yes.
These subtle changes that may not be obvious at first glance however the graphics have that sharper look and more detailed precision than its Xbox 360 counterpart. Slight improvement on facial features and skin surfaces such as mud and blood seem to be more defined which shows of the power of what the Xbox One can do and its only in its infancy.
Most noticeable is the attention that has gone into rebuilding Lara, detail such as her hair, for once it’s not just static, but natural movement, during and following Lara’s movements until a still stance is taken and then when the wind blows it sways, possibly the most realistic movement in any character to date. It’s the small things that seem to make Lara look more realistic, with wrinkles in her outfits during her movement or the way mud and blood drips off her, either way a very impressive effort from Square Enix to take Lara into the Next Gen
If only they put that much attention into the rest of the games characters it would have made the game a little easier on the eyes.
So it comes down to that there are graphical improvements with the games textures running on full high-definition with lighting effects from sun glare to spray from water to name a couple, also the particle effects such as smoke building up within a burning building to burning embers from fires bring a more solid experience within the environments over the original on the Xbox 360.
This gives Tomb Raider a higher standard than before which made the tomb raider remake so successful last year but compared to the graphics on other Xbox One Titles such as Battlefield the Overall Graphics seem to be below the standard expected for a Next Gen platform title.
Sound: 8.5 / 10
Sound is outstanding with clear in game sound as Lara climbs ledges, you can hear her grunting as she struggles to climb. When firing weapons, you can hear the ricochet as a bullet skims a metal surface, its elements like this that make this Tomb Raider feel more realistic than previous versions.
Music is sparse at times only coming in with a mellow sound to add some atmosphere to the story, aside from that don’t expect music to be playing constantly. This gives Tomb Raider a raw sensation other games cannot copy.
The sounds of weapon fire in the game is loud and clear with defined sounds for each type of weapon such as the strain on the bow as you pull back to fire is satisfying or firing of a few rounds with the shotgun can be so loud that you have to turn your TV volume down so not to wake up the neighbors although that could just be the supersized woofer.
Gameplay: 9 / 10
At first glance there seems to be no change in the gameplay. The Campaign still brings a wonderful adventure experience until a new icon appears on the screen which then allows you to use voice commands to bring up a map or change weapons. This provides a fresh aspect on playing the game, a simple command and you go from firing your arrows to pulling out a hand pistol which is ideal when facing multiple enemies on-screen.
Tomb Raider makes good use of the Kinect whether it is for voice commands to change weapons or different types of ammo, but it can also be used for examining relics that you collect throughout the game.
Also when you arrive at the camp site checkpoints a new feature is to change Lara’s outfits which seems to give Lara an alternative makeover to her original gear.
Multiplayer is vastly improved with more richly textured characters and lovely designed levels which provide a more satisfying experience than before with over eight levels to play through on modes such as team deathmatch or Cry for Help mode.
You have a wide choice of characters to choose from on either side at your disposal, these faction are split into two sides the survivors and the islanders each with extensive weapon customisation should keep any Tomb Raider fan happy.
Comparing to Tomb Raider on the Xbox 360 the definitive edition includes a digital art book, and the digital comic called “Tomb Raider: The Beginning” which can be accessed from the extras option in the menu plus you will also get downloadable content such as the Tomb of the Lost Adventurer and six outfits for Lara, and additional multiplayer maps and four unique characters and two new weapon upgrades as well as six weapons from the Hitman Absolution game plus three new skill upgrades to complete the Tomb Raider experience.
Tomb Raider was a great game when it was out on the Xbox 360 and it was always going to be hard to improve on what was already a fantastic adventure game, however their seems to be very little in improvements for the Xbox One version of the game until you look that little closer to see what’s going on and you notice small changes which make the game look sharper with some improved graphical features and some additional content compared to the Xbox 360 standard version, but for what you get in the Xbox One version of the game does not justify the price point of the game.
If you have played Tomb Raider before you might be a little apprehensive whether to revisit for a second time, but if you have never played Tomb Raider on the Xbox 360 you may appreciate the Xbox One Version a little more with all the extras built into the game but it will come down to whether you want to pay £45 for a game that you could enjoy as mush for a third of that price on the Xbox 360..
Xbox.com link to download demo/arcade game:
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