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On Saturday night at the Spike TV VGX Awards ceremony, it was confirmed that recent rumours about a possible next-generation port of the survival-thriller Tomb Raider were true. Developers present at the ceremony also showcased a brand new trailer for the Definitive Edition.
The popular Tomb Raider franchise was rebooted by the studio back in March and went on to gain worldwide critical acclaim for its compelling story, immersive environments and emotional performances. The game was nominated for five awards at the recent Spike TV VGX Awards including Game of the Year and Best Voice Actress for Camilla Luddington, the new voice for protagonist Lara Croft. Despite the game selling a recorded 4 million copies worldwide, publisher Square Enix labeled the game a financial failure but praised it for its gameplay.
Executive Producer for Crystal Dynamics, Scot Amos, went into detail on the PlayStation Blog about some of the new features coming alongside the Definitive Edition on January 28th in North American and January 31st in Europe.
He said: “Recreating our franchise for PS4 was a true labor of love for the team. The critically acclaimed story and action adventure remain solidly intact and as riveting as ever. However, we took the opportunity to use the increased horsepower of the hardware to create the Tomb Raider we always envisioned.”
Speaking of teaming up with Sleeping Dogs developer United Front Games for the Definitive Edition, Amos said that the two studios had been working painstakingly to enhance “visual fidelity, realism, and a new immersive richness to the world”.
“Getting our gameplay up to native 1080p meant increasing all of our texture resolutions by over 4x so the details and nuances can be seen in their full glory,” Amos continued. “However, it’s subtleties like our subsurface scattering technology — how we manage realistic lighting effects through solid/semi-solid matter — that we’re so proud of, which bring a new glow to Lara’s skin. All of these elements working in conjunction drive a much more realistic world than we’ve ever had.
“The entire game world — the perilous island of Yamatai — is alive as well. Foliage bends as Lara pushes through it; trees whip in the wind; even cloth moves courtesy of new, more sophisticated physics modeling. Weather effects lash the island with unprecedented levels of venom, and rain particles are dynamically lit as they slice through piercing searchlights. The in-game cast has also enjoyed an upgrade — characters and enemies alike have been enhanced visually, while in-game destructibility has been given additional refinement to increase the sense that you are leaving a mark on this world.”
Amos said that Lara Croft’s personal features have also been enhanced. Lara’s hair will be independently simulated and interact with environment effects, react to her movement to help create a lifelike motion. Further detailing her, he wrote: “We also drastically improved shader and lighting effects, adding dynamic sweat, mud, and even blood for a new level of visual acuity that reacts on Lara in different situations. Objects on Lara’s person like her climbing axe or arrows now independently react to her movements and sway or jostle with an obsessive eye for detail, further adding that nothing was too small for us to tackle.”
Along with all the details above, the game will also have all the DLC content that has been released since the game launched in March. Concluding, Amos said that Crystal Dynamics were proud of the work by themselves and United Front Games and promised that the game will be a “compelling beginning” to their first PS4 game.
A sequel to Tomb Raider is currently in production.