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Great game.. a bit pricey for an "upgraded port" though
on January 28, 2014
The PS4/XBox One version of Tomb Raider has caused a bit of drama. Tomb Raider was originally released on the PS3/Xbox 360 a little under a year ago -- when they announced the PS4 port so quick to the actual release date (announced Dec 7th, released late January), combined with the fact that it would retail at full price, it caused a bit of negative press.
Right off the bat, this is for the most part a port of the current version. There have been upgrades to it along the way (lighting, textures, hair effects) but the game was not re-made from scratch for the next-gen versions. The original game did already look really good on the PS3/360, but there is a noticeable difference still. If you're looking for "new stuff" in this version, it's unfortunately not there.
I own the PS3 and PS4 versions and have put about 12-16 hours into the PS4 version as of this review (game completed with 67%).
The PS4 version runs at 1080p, 60fps (it may dip below that a bit, particularly in the very wide-open environments but I don't have any way of confirming the framerate. For me, it seemed to run fine, just not quite as smooth as some of the smaller locations).
The PS4 version also includes all of the DLC from the original release (different costumes, multiplayer extras, etc..) -- this was nice to have included with it (as it would surely upset people if it hadnt been), but the content is still pretty basic.
The PS4 version does make use of the new controller -- you can swipe up on the touchpad to light the torch, down to put it out.. you can use voice controls to bring up map, switch weapons, etc.. The controller LED also seems to change colors at points in the game (unfortunately, playing the game you rarely ever see the LED colors on the front of the controller, so I don't know how useful this feature is :) ). Lastly, some audio does seem to come out of the controllers' speaker (such as radio dialog during cutscenes). My verdict on these: I used the touchpad, didn't use voice controls and didn't really notice the controller speaker as much (unless the TV was on mute). It seems much more noticeable when used in other games such as Resogun. I didn't pay attention to the LED, but did see it changing colors from time to time.
The gameplay itself is great. Probably one of my favorite (single player -- I didn't try Multiplayer) games in years. The story keeps you entertained, the upgrades along the way work very nicely (keeps it from being the same throughout - you actually want to upgrade weapons and find new weapons), the story/gameplay is fairly linear.. hard to get lost (even in wide open areas). There are some things you can do along the way: Hunting to build up experience, optional tombs to explore. My favorite part of the game is that it was constantly moving between types of gameplay.. exploring.. hunting.. puzzles.. shootouts.. quicktime events.. it never felt like I was stuck running around for 2 hours from location to location, the variety always mixed things up and kept the game fresh.
The game itself is worth fullprice to me.
For someone who has already played/owned the PS3/360 versions, this is simply a visual upgrade for the most part. The visual upgrade is VERY NICE, but it's hard to justify buying it again when it could have easily been a "HD VERSION" like we saw last gen. While some stuff is obviously upgraded, other aspects seem to look the same. Lara's model seems to be given the biggest upgrade (obviously), but other characters seem to be mostly the same. I never played the PC version, but imagine this is closer to what that looked like.
So is it worth it?
If you do not own it on another console, Yes. I would buy the PS4 version even though the PS3 version can be had for less than half the price.
If you do own it on another console, it's hard to justify at full price. I bought it because I loved the game and was happy to play through it again and see the changes.. but that's hard to suggest others do when its merely an upgraded version and not a full remake.
Note: The PS4 version is offered in 2 options.. Standard case or Artbook. The Artbook version is the one I bought, and included a DVD-Sized artbook with slipcover and a slot in the back of the artbook to hold the game disc. This is a bit disappointing as the case is oversized and doesn't match PS4 cases. The artbook is nice with some cool concept art though.