Tomb Raider is a franchise that has a place in the hearts of many gamers, though in recent years the adventures of Lara Croft just weren’t connecting with people. That is until last year’s Tomb Raider reboot. It was a fantastic game, winning many Game of the Year Awards at multiple publications. Now the Definitive Edition is here with all the DLC, and an updated graphics engine for the new consoles. But is it worth sixty dollars for a better looking game and some extra content?
Well, the single player is still fantastic. It is an action-adventure game, based around third person shooting, exploration, and traversal, with big action set pieces. The shooting and traversal are straight out of Uncharted, though the aiming isn’t as floaty. While the exploration reminds me more of the recent Batman Arkham games, one thing I enjoyed is that, just like the Arkham games, you would get new weapons or gadgets frequently, and then master them. Finally right as you get bored of your new toy, they give you a new one to use. I didn’t really find anything wrong with the single player except on occasion I had trouble figuring out how to get where I needed to be to progress the story. Also while the game keeps its own tone, it can feel derivative of other games. That and the lack of new content beyond an updated graphics engine makes it so there is no point in picking this up if you own it on 360 or PS3.
As for the multiplayer it is mediocre at best, and awful at its worst. The shooting in the single player works really well, but it isn’t satisfying in the multiplayer because of the lack of aim assist. Then the network code is poor, causing lagging matches and as a whole it just isn’t fun. Though if you do end up enjoying it, there are plenty of modes and unlockables; it is also the main focus of the new content.
On the presentation front, one of the best got even better. Tomb Raider is gorgeous, with high resolution textures, great effects, and smooth animations. Everything about this game from a visual standpoint is immaculate. Everything has a very gritty real vibe to it, and it works well with the tone the game is trying to set. Sound is equally impressive; explosions rocked my 5.1 headset, gun shots had real power behind them, and most of the voice actors did a great job with a few exceptions. Tomb Raider from a presentation standpoint is just superb.
Now if the game falls short in one way it is the story. The concept is great, and I did enjoy watching Lara Croft turn into a total bad ass. That said, it feels like the change from grad student to survivor happens way too quickly. In the first hour she is scared for her life running from anything and everything, and then, suddenly, she is making quips when gunning down tons of dudes. The side characters don’t really help. With the exception of Roth, they all come off as cliché, archetypical characters in an adventure movie. Even with all these flaws, the main plot itself is entertaining, and it does set Lara up for some more adventures.
Tomb Raider was a great game when it came out in March 2013, and with an updated graphics engine, it is an even better game now. I am just not sure if it is worth sixty dollars if you already have gone through this adventure. I would say if you haven’t played it yet, absolutely get the Definitive Edition, you won’t be disappointed. If you have played it before, wait for this version to hit the bargain bin.
Final Score: 8.5/10