This review was played on PS4
Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition is an updated version of the original 2013 re-boot of the popular Tomb Raider series released on PS4 & XBOX One. Tomb Raider is a 3rd person adventure just like the originals and you take on the lead character of Lara Croft. With this re-boot Crystal Dynamics are taking you to Lara’s first ever expedition aboard the ship named Endurance, but all hell breaks loose when your boat crashes on an isolated island from a violent storm, leaving you stranded and away from your crew.
After being taken captive by a stranger you eventually escape after some intense action and QTES. You then begin to explore the island and start to see strange markings, beginning to realize that you aren’t the only one on this island. You eventually find Sam, one of the Endurance Crew members who is also with a stranger named Mathias who also claims that he was shipwrecked. After falling asleep, they are gone and you eventually re-group with the other survivors and split up to find Sam and Roth who is also no where to be seen.
You split up with Whitman and you eventually get caught where Whitman surrenders and you escape by using stealth and no weapons [since your hands are tied] until you find a weapon and find out what you’re really capable of. From here the game throws you into horrible situations and more suspenful scenes one after the after; whether you’re QTEing out of a capture, rushing down through waterfalls, shooting enemies heads off or stabbing them through the neck with your arrow… whatever it is, it’s damn great.
Throughout the story you see the people you loved die while you find out more secrets about this mysterious island, a mysterious so great and levels that are so beautifully designed and intense that you won’t ever put your controller down. The story is superb with a great ending, especially after realizing the past 10 hours that Lara doesn’t catch a break and that she is a true survivor.
The graphics are beautiful, especially when running on 60FPS and since you’re on an island, you always tend to pause your exploring and move your camera around to take in the beautiful view. The blood and deaths are also done graphically nice and makes it look realistic, especially when you set enemies on fire with your bow. The level design is incredibly well done, if you’re raiding a tomb, climbing mountains, running through fire or just taking a tan at the beach it really is well done and makes you want to visit the island and become a survivor yourself. The music is also composed very well and gives even more of a suspenful feel to the intense levels; and a good thing about the music is that it stops after you’ve defeated all the enemies in an area so you know when it’s safe to explore again.
The game plays well and is very easy to control & learn, making your journey through the island even more enjoyable. With the DS4 controller for the PS4, the trigger fingers make it so much funner shooting a bow through enemies’ heads or blowing them to pieces with your shotgun, or pistol whipping while hanging upside down.
The shooting mechanics of the game is done great and feels realistic, giving you little trouble slaying down enemies. Although no grenades until very late on in the game is a bit frustrating since you have enemies throw dynamite at you constantly. The dodging/melee system is a awesome touch… especially if you want to be more lethal; you can walk up to enemies and start a melee fight with them where you can dodge them and stab them in the knee or through the neck or get them down to enough low health to finish them even more brutally with a shotgun to the neck, a full rifle clip into their chest or setting them on fire.
The QTE system works very well and responds well constantly especially since they could be life or death for you. They aren’t over done throughout the campaign making a good variety of slamming through QTES, using your weapons to mow enemies down or even using stealth to go mysteriously through enemies. The game only offers you 4 weapons; Bow, Shotgun, Rifle & Pistol which I think works well, not overdoing it with weapons for a game that doesn’t include maybe more then 300 enemies.
There are only 4 weapons but you can upgrade them all at basecamps, but most won’t be upgradable till later in the game, or until you find the parts to mod the weapons up. There is also a skill tree in the game you can use to make Lara even more badass and deadly. You gain skills by leveling up; you get xp for pretty much everything in the game. There are 3 skill trees which all give different variety, depending on what type of player you are, but you can upgrade each one after leveling up to the max if you’re a completionist. The game also includes 7 optional tombs to raid if you can find them which all include their own puzzles and treasure maps for collectibles that are scattered throughout the levels.
Unfortunately in a game that’s meant for a solo experience, the developers decided to add on a multiplayer to a Tomb Raider game and yes it does suck. It is slow paced even though the maps are tiny, and servers already dead not even a week after release showing how bad the multiplayer is. It does have some cool bits though, using different characters and skills, but apart from that it is boring and is basically a poor mans Uncharted multiplayer.
Although the campaign includes a great story, there is not much reason to replay it since it will be the same experience, but after you complete the campaign you can fast travel to locations of the island and clean up some collectibles, experience the view again or complete challenges. After you 100% the game there isn’t much to do apart from do the campaign again, and no one is coming back for the multiplayer.
The single player is fantastic and the story is great, exploring the island is addicting and you are constantly checking every corner for a collectible or for an animal to hunt. If you are a fan of adventure games then it is a must play and a fantastic experience making you want more. The multiplayer portion does bring the final score down from a perfect 10 score so let’s hope the next Tomb Raider doesn’t include a multiplayer.