As a PS4 owner I was originally perturbed that Rise of the Tomb Raider was being released as a timed exclusive for Windows 10 and Xbox One. Tomb Raider, after all, is a game we all remember playing on PlayStation, right? I don’t care about brand loyalty necessarily, and I’m not a Sony devotee. I love all consoles equally, but I just so happen to be gaming on a PS4 this generation, and Rise of the Tomb Raider looked like something very special to me. If I had the chance, I would have gladly picked that up over Fallout 4, and that’s saying something.
Time passed and I forgot my anger. Every now and then I’d hear about the game when some new DLC was on the way and I had to write about it, or else I’d see it was being used to test out the latest and greatest graphics card; this is still a heavy-hitter, graphically. When I heard that RotTR would be headed to PS4 on October 11 I was initially indifferent. “Great,” I thought with an inward sigh, “Square Enix is finally letting me play this thing almost a year after it launched. I bet they’ll even ask me to pay full-price for it, those greedy suits.”
It turns out that we will actually be paying full-price to play Rise of the Tomb Raider, but we didn’t get screwed over. No, Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics are taking care of their PS4 fans, and now I feel ashamed for having doubted them. October 11 won’t simply see a re-release of the same old game; this will be the definitive experience, the 20 Year Celebration, and well worth checking out for a few reasons.
A Comprehensive Edition
Like any great definitive edition or GOTY edition, Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration on PS4 will come with all previously released DLC. If you haven’t been keeping up, that’s actually a ton of extra stuff. You have the three hour story addition Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch, Cold Darkness Awakened, 12 DLC outfits, 7 DLC weapons, and over 25 Expedition Cards. The amount of content you get right out of the box is almost overwhelming.
A New Story Chapter…
A brand new story chapter called Blood Ties is included. Lara has a sleazy uncle (we all have that one relative) who contests ownership of Croft Manor, and it’s up to the player to explore Lara’s childhood home and find proof that she’s the rightful heir to the estate. One of the coolest parts of the second Tomb Raider on PlayStation was farting around in Croft Manor, and I can’t wait to explore the mansion in all of its HD glory. An additional side mission called Lara’s Nightmare will let players defend Croft Manor from a zombie invasion because every game deserves a zombie mode.
…Playable in PSVR
Did I mention that Blood Ties will be fully playable in PSVR? Players will be able to explore Croft Manor in first person, which should be a real treat. I’m sure there will be a few jumps and surprises along the way. The fact that this story chapter is playable in PSVR really makes me feel better about this delayed release – like Crystal Dynamics really went the extra mile and spent some serious time making sure PS4 players had something unique to look forward to.
We’ve got extras and Easter eggs out the wazoo. In addition to Lara’s Nightmare, you can also look forward to a new online co-op expansion to Endurance mode that lets players fight for survival in the wilderness together. There will be a lot here for long-time Tomb Raider fans to enjoy as well, including costumes and weapons from past games. You can even play through the story with the original, polygonal Lara Croft character model from 1996 (pictured above), which is hilarious.
So what say you? Are you sold on Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration? This turned out to be way more than a second outstretched hand one year later, and I couldn’t be more pleased with Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics’ efforts here. DLC, extra story content, additional modes, Easter eggs, and VR. Id say that’s worth 60 bucks. How about you?