Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition; review

Tomb Raider (2013) is an action adventure video game developed by Crystal Dynamics and released by Square Enix in 2013 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.

This entry in the Tomb Raider series sold over one million copies less than 48 hours after its release, only in the United Kingdom. It even topped the charts in countries such as France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, and the United States.

In the year 2018, the world would get a remastered version in the form of Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This article will focus on this re-release.


Lara Croft is an icon. Her image immediately evokes the idea of video games and few characters share that claim to fame. She earned this status by blazing trails in 3D action adventure games as an example of a strong and compelling female lead.

She had such a long career in gaming, that developers from Crystal Dynamics felt there was time to re-introduce Lara Croft and her mythos to a new generation of gamers.

Tomb Raider (2013) did more than rebooting the franchise. It reinvented Lara Croft’s character, improved the gameplay style, and dramatically shifted the tone Tomb Raider’s game used to have.

The game gives special focus to Lara’s survival tactics, reintroduced stealth to the Tomb Raider series, has more realistic combats, and features dark and brutal aesthetics (hence the M-rating).

The most significant change comes from this game’s retelling of Lara’s initial transformation into the awesome and hyper-competent treasure hunter that many gamers know and love.

The remastered version boasts all the DLC included in the disc, native 1080p resolution, and improved visuals.

If there’s a word to describe Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition that would be “cinematic.” This game feels like an adrenaline-fueled action movie. It offers thrilling action set pieces and focuses on impressive visual spectacles.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition runs on almost every action trope you can imagine, while still facilitating the gameplay.

The story starts with a young Lara Croft, who’s tired of her life as an ordinary person with no excitement. So, she goes on an expedition in search of the lost Japanese kingdom Yamatai.

Things go south when a storm shipwrecks Lara and her crew on a suspicious island. Before she can process what’s going on, she gets chained by a mysterious figure.

After barely escaping with her life, Lara finds out she got separated from the rest of her party. Now she has to survive an extremely hostile environment. Along the way she’ll discover that not everything in this island is what it seems.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition offers a premise that sets up all the action and adventure players would expect. However, the weak spot in the plot would be the lack of character development.

Once this game starts it doesn’t stop. It constantly pushes Lara and players forward the next event.

The most disturbing aspect of the game is the brutal death sequences. They feel unnecessarily gruesome, like they’re only there to get a shocking reaction out of players.

Still, the game grounds itself in reality to help players to get immerse in this journey. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition will make you question if you’re playing a game, or watching a movie.

The environments are extremely detailed, the different places around the island are often breathtaking, and the characters look visually appealing when not covered in dirt.

While the voice acting is very good, dialogue sometimes will come up as very cheesy.

The game offers a strong statement about what Tomb Raider games can become. And the despite the lack of growth in Lara’s character, the visuals and the pacing make up for it.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition offers a bit of everything so it has something for everybody.

When it comes to the gameplay elements, some of them are decent, others are excellent, but a few of them are awful.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition sends players to cross Yamatai so they can experience the three action game’s pillars: exploration, puzzle solving, and combat.

This game has clear delineations between these three pillars, and due to the pacing, players will constantly get bounced back and forth between each of these elements, which keeps things relatively fresh.

However, the backbone of this journey is the huge action pieces. Lara Croft has the moves players expect from platformer heroes such as scrambling on walls and moving across ledges.

This kind of moves is typical to adventure games. Still, this Tomb Raider game manages to make it feel like the stakes are higher, partly because of the dreaded and horribly realistic death sequences.

Lara’s combat abilities depend on the weapons she wields during the course of the game.

She can use makeshift melee weapons for close encounters or stealth kills. Lara also has access to several firearms. And she can upgrade and customize her gear and skills.

Players can choose between survival skills, hunter skills, and brawler skills.

Survival allows you to collect items at a fast rate. Hunting skills lead to a preference for long-range attacks. Brawler skills are all about melee combat.

There’s also “salvage,” which consists of gathering the raw materials Lara gets from all over the place. It’s the currency needed to upgrade weapons. The game has a pretty robust progression system.

Despite its unneeded brutality, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition’s an enjoyable action adventure game with nice pacing, impressive graphical fidelity, and satisfying gameplay.