Hey everyone! It’s good to be back. That being said, with the upcoming release of Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition later this month and the recent controversy regarding the FPS (Frames Per Second) difference between the Xbox One and PS4 versions of the game, it seemed like a good time to hop back in the saddle and dish about what was my Game of the Year for 2013.
But first things first, let’s talk about the “console war”. I myself have been a longtime owner of the Xbox 360 and have racked up quite a sizable amount of achievements over the past few years. That being said, while I was initially hesitant to switch to the PS4, I was eventually convinced to do so because of their announced support of the PS Vita (a system I own solely to play Persona on it seems). I was more than willing to simply wait on the matter, and let my opinion be swayed after a year or so went by and I got a chance to see what kind of game catalogs both systems had. But when Crystal Dynamic stepped forward and announced the new “Definitive Edition” of Tomb Raider, I just had to get my hands on it. Which is why our household now has a PS4 and not an Xbox One.
As you might imagine, I’m rather found of the new Tomb Raider game. Fun fact about me, the first modern computer games I ever played were Unreal Tournament, Tomb Raider and Starcraft; all of which came on a little demo CD in a MacWorld magazine my mother bought ages ago after we got our first “real” computer (an iMac). I’d played Math Blaster, Wolfenstein 3d and a few other games prior to this, but these were my first real glimpses of what computer video games could offer. While Tomb Raider didn’t capture my imagination or attention span the way Unreal Tournament and Starcraft did, Lara Croft was forever embedded into my collective video gaming memory from that point forward.
I’m something of a “collector” when it comes to series though, and really dislike playing a game if I haven’t played all previous titles in the series; and since I lacked a PS1 to play any of the original Tomb Raiders, I never really had a chance to jump into the series. So when Tomb Raider got rebooted last year, I was all in. The game was everything I could have hoped for, great characters, great music, great gameplay… Was it perfect? No. But it was close enough for me; and by the close of 2013 I’d purchased both the Xbox 360 version of the game as well as the PC version of it (in what turned out to be a stunning summer sale on Steam).
Some might consider me a little crazy for buying the same game three times, but I’d argue that the Definitive Edition isn’t the same game. Oh sure the story and gameplay are all the same, but there is no arguing that this new version is a HUGE graphical step forward; PC fanboys be damned.
I’ll just let these videos do all the explaining…
If you haven’t had a chance to play the new Tomb Raider, the upcoming Definitive Edition is the perfect way to jump into the rebooted franchise. If you don’t own a PS4 or Xbox One, don’t sweat it. Pick up the non-definitive edition and enjoy the game all the same.
The game serves, in my opinion, as a perfect example of all the right directions games should be headed towards. With added emphasis on well-written characters and a turn away from the 1990’s era of boobs and guns galore. Lara Croft was never awesome because she could do flips and had a huge rack, she’s awesome because she’s the Indiana Jones of the video game world (eat your heart out Nathan Drake). She’s as intelligent as she is deadly and she’s one tough cookie to boot. She’s certainly changed over the years, but such is life.
So why am I buying Tomb Raider for a third time and excited to play through it a fourth? Because Lara’s story is one I can’t wait to experience once again. Like a good book, I just don’t want to put it down; and the Definitive Edition is exactly the reason I needed to crack open those pages once more. Only these pages are going to be read in stunning native 1080p resolution and at 60fps on a 50 inch television, or alternatively on my PS Vita via the magic to streaming technology. I mean, what more could you ask for?