I recently picked up and beat Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition for PS4. Having never played the original game I’m not entirely sure about the differences. Supposedly the graphics are much nicer and there are new skin lighting and hair physics or something like that. I don’t know the exact extent of all that was done but apparently it was enough to make it the “definitive” version of the game and it runs at 1080p and 60FPS. I don’t care so much about the 1080p part since my TV is only 720p but I guess the 60FPS is nice. Still, I find high frame rates to be a bit unnerving at times. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to playing PC games on my crappy computer and only getting like 15-20 FPS. I’ve never really been a frame snob like Keen.
So I figured I break down some of my favorite and least favorite aspects of the game.
+ The game play was actually pretty darn fun. It’s a third person shooter/action game that features a lot of environment traversal via jumping, climbing, rope sliding, and so on. The gun play felt nice and tight and I don’t have any real complaints in this regard.
+ You get a bow! Bows are cool! Every game should have a bow. Plus you can shoot rope arrows! Rope! On arrows! You’ll just have to trust in my enthusiasm. If you knew me then you might understand.
+ You can earn exp and purchase new abilities. Well, mostly passive abilities but still. You can get things that increase the salvage and exp you get or unlock abilities that make you a better killer. There are three different sections to choose from. Something like: Survival, Hunting, and… I’m blanking out. I think it’s weapon related. They aren’t really skill trees and you can pretty much choose anything you want to purchase aside from a few abilities which are linked, requiring a previous kill, and some abilities only unlock once you have purchased a certain number of skills.
+ Salvage can be used to upgrade your weapons, which is pretty awesome. You can increase stuff like damage, handling, and even add some new abilities to some like silencers, exploding arrows, fire shells, etc. Who doesn’t enjoy upgrading stuff? I wouldn’t care to know them!
+ The weapons are pretty cool. Aside from the bow you get an assault rifle, a pistol, and a shotgun. As you upgrade them more and more you eventually get better versions of each. You also get a swanky climbing ax used for, well, climbing but you can also bury it into enemy skulls all sneaky like.
+ There are some optional tombs that you can raid (Oh, now I get it) which feature some pretty cool puzzles. I like puzzles and think all games should feature them. Why not, right? Keeps ya sharp!
+ There’s a lot of stuff to collect but fortunately it is made easier by some special glowy survival vision deal plus you can just find a map that shows the location of everything.
+ Fancy PS4 visuals plus it supposedly runs at 1080p 60FPS, if that’s your thing.
Now for the negatives…
- Some of the side collecting stuff is a bit ridiculous. In some areas there are side objectives that for some reason want you to shoot little hanging things from trees or torch posters on walls. Why? I have no idea. The frustrating part is trying to find some of these things. They seem to be the only things not located on the map. Plus your special survival vision dealy isn’t exactly great at spotting them. I can think of three separate instances that really irked me. 1, there was some poster I needed to light on fire that was WAY out of the way and about 100 feet up in the air attached to the side of some rusted old crane. 2, trying to find mines floating out in the ocean was ridiculous. 3, there was one instance where I spent 30 minutes looking for this stupid hanging sun icon that I needed to shoot. At one point I just got frustrated and aimed at a hanging dead body that was barely visible through a crack in the wall. I shot at it and for some reason I hit the sun target. I must have gotten extremely lucky because it was not visible at all and I have no idea why anybody would be looking through that crack in the first place.
- Not a lot of weapon variety. It would have been nice to maybe have two or three additional options.
- While the tombs were pretty cool they were also pretty short. Like, really short. Usually just a single room with a puzzle in it and that’s it. Also there wasn’t a whole lot of them.
- For some reason beyond my comprehension some doofus decided it was a smart idea to have the giant glowing controller light SPAZ out and rapidly shift between yellow and red any time you held a torch. This stupid light is already annoying but they somehow took it to a new level. Oh, and you hold a torch for like 80% of the game, so you have that to look forward to on PS4.
- The violence in this game bordered on the excessive. I don’t usually have a problem with violence but they seemed to really go out of their way creating elaborate death scenes and various ways to beat the life out of this character. It’s like they kept trying to top themselves.
Anywho, I did really enjoy playing the game and it was a nice break from my usual board game antics of late.