Rise of the Tomb Raider – Blood Ties VR Spoiler-Free Review

By on January 4, 2017 | No comments yet

As you may already be aware, 2016 was the year of Tomb Raider. Marking 20 years since the franchises birth, Crystal Dynamics celebrated 20 years of Tomb Raider by hosting several events — such as the Tomb Raider Suite that happened in December, and Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration edition that released on PlayStation 4. This edition of the game is jam packed with new content, as well as the award winning base game. The new content features a co-op version of Endurance mode, where people can play together to survive the wilderness. It also features new storyline DLC called Blood Ties – allowing us to explore Croft Manor first the first time in true HD and also in VR (Exclusively to PS4) – and that’s not all! In the special add on ‘Lara’s Nightmare’ we are be able to defend Croft Manor from Zombies in this new action packed adventure.

I was lucky enough to have a family member who owns PSVR and let me try out VR mode. PSVR is quite costly as many pieces of equipment are needed; the headset alone costs £349.99 in the UK ($399.99) and you also need a PlayStation camera for the headset to work which will set you back another £45.00 – so needless to say, I was extremely grateful to be given the opportunity to try this out without having to shell out a lot of cash.

The headset, when finally fitted is quite comfortable, there is a strap at the back for adjusting how tight it is. I was also pleasantly surprised that it’s possible to wear glasses with the PSVR and it will still work fine. The only issue I encountered with the headset is that the lenses can get a little fogged up depending on your surroundings and heated environment. Obviously when wearing the headset, you’re unable to see anything as the headset covers your eyes, for this reason it’s essential to make sure the area in which you are gaming is large enough and clear of obstacles.

I’ve read that it’s possible to use PlaySation Move controllers with the PSVR, however I didn’t have one so I used the DualShock 4 controller instead, and that worked just fine. It turns out there are two different ways of controlling Lara in VR mode; firstly, you can control her as normal, left analogue stick to move, right analogue stick for camera. Secondly you can use a strange “teleportation” mode where you use certain buttons on the controller to warp you to different areas. I found the latter quite confusing to figure out, so I went with the traditional style controls to move around Croft Manor.

It’s well known that using traditional controls whilst wearing the PSVR headset can make a lot of gamers dizzy and nauseous, but for me it wasn’t too bad, I noticed that they had slowed down the speed of which you can move greatly, possibly to counteract any dizziness or motion sickness.

This is where the reality (pun intended) of virtual reality kicks in.

I was standing in Lara’s study in Croft Manor, my view was first person, I could see the safe in front of me. If I turned to my right I could see down the hall, If I turned to the left I could see out of the window, this was insane. I made my way down to the main hallway and really took my time taking in the sights, looking up at the top right of the ‘screen’ I could see the beautiful architecture of the building, the stone balconies, rain pouring in from a hole in the roof, all like it was right there in real life. Wherever I turned my head, the camera would follow – hard to explain, but it was amazing to experience.

The only downsides I experienced with the PSVR were of course the lenses fogging up, which made it difficult to see, and also sometimes the camera wouldn’t track my movements properly and when I would load up the menu it would be at a very high portion of the screen, or an extremely low portion of the screen, although I think some of this may have had something to with the fact that I was using tradition controls to move Lara around, and using the right analogue stick messed the camera up.

Although I found the whole experience interesting, I still wouldn’t be tempted to shell out the £349.99 to be able to have this experience in my living room, however this is just my personal opinion. If you have the opportunity to try out Blood Ties VR mode, definitely try it out, but if not, the normal version is just as satisfying.

Be sure to check out the gallery below!

Rise of the Tomb Raider 20 Year Celebration Collectors Bundle Announced

By on September 26, 2016 | No comments yet

 

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Recently a special collectors bundle for Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration was announced, it will release on October 11th 2016 alongside the standard and limited edition versions. So far this bundle is only available from the Square Enix European Store, priced at £89.99 which is great value for everything that you get in the box:

Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration physical game

Replica of Lara’s diary

Replica of Lara’s necklace

Limited edition 20 Year Celebration art book

 12″ Lara Croft statue

Beautiful collectors box

 

As someone who owned this version of the game for XBox One, I would highly guarantee this as a purchase, it will include all DLC previously announced as well as the new Croft Manor/Blood Ties/Lara’s Nightmare and Co-Op Endurance mode, priced at £89.99 this version of the game is a steal! I can’t speak for the artbook, however the replicas are well made and the Lara Croft statue is huge and beautiful.

At the moment this edition is only available from Square Enix Europe, as soon as any news for other regions becomes available, we will let you know.

 

 

Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration Edition Pre-Order bonuses.

By on August 15, 2016 | No comments yet

Tomb Raider Playing Cards

If you are planning on pre-ordering the new 20 Year Celebration Edition of Rise of the Tomb Raider for PS4, and you live in Europe or the US, you may want to consider these great pre-order bonuses coming to stores near you.

GAME UK are offering an exclusive 20 Year Celebration limited edition Tomb Raider playing cards with pre-orders of the game, as you can see these are pretty cool, and likely to be quite rare.

Playstation are also offering a great deal if you pre-order the game through their digital store; when pre-ordering Rise, you will get Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition for free. This offer is valid in both Europe and the US only when buying directly from the Playstation store.

Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celeration edition comes to stores on October 11th 2016, it will include all previously released DLC, Endurance Mode, Baba Yaga and Cold Darkness Awakened, as well as new DLC including Blood Ties – where we will be able to explore Croft Manor in beautiful HD and defend it from zombies in ‘Lara’s Nightmare’ DLC. There will also be Co-op Endurance Mode, enabling us to play with friends. Exlusively to PS4, there will be VR capability to play Blood Ties, be sure to check it out.

Rise of the Tomb Raider Comes to Playstation 4

By on July 19, 2016 | No comments yet

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Crystal Dynamics has officially announced the PS4 release for Rise of the Tomb Raider! After a year of a timed exclusivity arrangement that secured the Tomb Raider sequel’s debut on the Xbox and PC platforms, fellow raiders and interested PS4 gamers can finally get their hands on the game and experience Croft’s newest globe-trotting endeavor beginning on October 11th!

For more info on the “20 Year Tomb Raider Celebration” release on PS4, head on over to the official Tomb Raider blog for the entire collection breakdown!

Be sure to check out a special “spoiler free” video I put together to help welcome Lara back home to Playstation.

Cheers.

Spotify Meets Playstation

By on March 30, 2015 | 1 comment

Spotify-Playstation-Featured-ImageGamers, rejoice! Playstation Music has officially launched on the Playstation 4 featuring Spotify! Now you can tear up the streets of Los Santos or slay Exo Zombies while turning up to your favorite music artists!

The music streaming service ties directly into your mobile app and acts as a second navigation, allowing for better multitasking while switching tracks and keeping focused on the reticle!

To those who aren’t familiar with Spotify’s streaming service, it’s essentially Netflix, but for music. Allowing you to stream almost any studio album or new hit single at your finger tips! No ads, unlimited skips, personalized playlists, a glorious music collection to choose from, and those featured in the top charts!

This is a partnership that’ve personally been eagerly waiting for since the new consoles dropped. Having played around with the app, I can say that it’s not only functional, but offers an incredibly idealistic gaming experience.

The platform brings Spotify to PS4, PS3, and Xperia mobile devices in 41 markets around the world.

You can join the party now, and sign up for Spotify’s premium service for only $9.99 and get your first month free! | Premium – Spotify

To get thing’s started, I highly recommend checking out Tomb Raider’s Original Soundtrack streaming on Spotify, composed by Jason Graves.

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Happy Gaming!

Keeley Hawes Interview — Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

By on March 19, 2015 | 512 comments

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Keeley Hawes opens up about reprising her role as classic Lara in Crystal Dynamics’ newest title release, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris! Available now for PS4, PC and Xbox One!

Playstation Network | Steam | Xbox Store

 

RELATED: “Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris” Gameplay

Open Letter to Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix in Regard to Rise of The Tomb Raider:

By on August 12, 2014 | 511 comments

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After hearing the appalling news that Rise of The Tomb Raider will be shipping exclusively to the Xbox One, we as fans are extremely outraged.

We all saw how chummy Crystal was with Microsoft during the reboot’s initial campaign. But to this extent, to go as far as making “ROTTR” an Xbox exclusive is over the top, ridiculous and will inevitably devastate the franchise. Timed exclusive or not, how can Square and Crystal be so blatantly disrespectful to the fans and slap us in the face like this? As if people weren’t already wary of Square Enix after the first game’s release. We all saw what people were saying about Square Enix in the comments on IGN on every Tomb Raider article. This just gave people more room to criticize the publisher, and rightfully so this time.

When Definitive Edition dropped, we all know that the release was demo’d and hyped on the Playstation 4, because the Xbox One is clearly inferior to the PS4. Definitive Edition was dumbed down in optimization just to perform adequately on the Xbox One.

This is not what we want. This is such a bold and an uncalled-for move for Square Enix to do this to the ones who support the game the most.

We’re talking about a company who plasters Xbox One ads on Chef Boyardee cans, McDonalds products, numerous TV and online commercial spots, and who bought out IGN during E3.

I’m sure Sony shrugged off Crystal Dynamics during the reboot’s campaign last year, but that doesn’t mean go running to the other competitor. Now that Crystal Dynamics has the money from Microsoft, the quality of the franchise is now irrelevant. The original team worked so hard for years to build and establish a solid foundation for the reboot, and to just have it ripped down for the sequel makes zero sense.

Your friends at Microsoft have seen huge potential in Tomb Raider and have always believed in Crystal’s vision for the franchise because their exclusive lineup is pitiful and if they can pay you off, they will.

Attempting to sugar coat the situation by saying Crystal isn’t walking away from the fans on other platforms and telling them to play Temple of Osiris or Definitive edition instead is so condescending. That’s like Don Mattrick saying stick with the Xbox 360 if you don’t have access to the online features of the Xbox One.

It’s been said that “Rise of the TR” will also be coming to the Xbox 360, alongside it’s release to the Xbox One. I don’t know who’s running the show, but you guys have managed to completely ruin the sequel. Crystal did a perfect job with the reboot the first time around, so what happened? I don’t think any of us in the community ever excepted the next game to be as big of a train wreck that you guys have made it out to be. Developing a next-gen game for last-gen’s hardware is not “ambitious” in way, period. Especially if the game is set to drop on the cusp of 2016.

Crystal has been trying to establish an exclusive deal with Microsoft since Tomb Raider: Underworld. And now that you guys have it, you guys are excited to flaunt it as if it’s a good thing when that’s really not something to be proud of. You guys have been persistent in doing this to us since 2008, and it’s become ridiculous at this point.

If Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix have binding contractual obligations to Microsoft for Rise of The Tomb Raider from here on out, I will boycott Rise of The Tomb Raider, and will urge my fellow friends in community to do the same.

As long time fans of a 20 year old franchise, we will not stand for this.

For the sake of the franchise, get it together.

Dre Anthony.

Multi-platform Petition | Tomb Raider’s Announcement | Xbox 360 Explanation | Reflecting

Rise of The Tomb Raider – Reveal Coverage

By on June 25, 2014 | No comments yet

ROTTR-E3-Featured-ThumbnailSquare Enix has finally revealed the announcement trailer for the next installment in the newly rebooted Tomb Raider franchise!

Check out the reveal trailer, concept art and the E3 coverage that surrounded the buzz for Rise of The Tomb Raider below!

RELATED: Open Letter to Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix in Regard to Rise of The Tomb Raider

Rise of The Tomb Raider Announcement Trailer

 

 

IGN Rewind:

IGN Reactions:

IGN News:

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition – New Screenshots!

By on January 7, 2014 | 954 comments

TRDE-PS4-Box-ArtHappy New Years, Raiders!

Time is getting closer to the launch of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition! Kicking off 2014 with a next-gen Tomb Raider game, Crystal has finally released some new screenshots of the remastered title!

VGX Recap: Tomb Raider Definitive Edition

 

We don’t have long to wait, pre-order now with select retailers to receive art book packaging featuring never before seen concept art!

TRDE One Sheet

VGX Recap: Tomb Raider Definitive Edition

By on December 30, 2013 | No comments yet

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Recently announced, Crystal Dynamics is bringing Tomb Raider to the next-gen consoles!

The Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition ships with all post-launch DLC, as well as a few bonus offerings that let you dive deeper into Tomb Raider’s development. Here’s what you can expect:

  • The fully rebuilt game for next-generation consoles
  • The Tomb of the Lost Adventurer
  • Eight DLC multiplayer maps
  • Six DLC multiplayer weapons
  • Four DLC multiplayer characters
  • Six alternate outfits for Lara
  • Dark Horse digital comic book “Tomb Raider: The Beginning”
  • Brady Games digital art book “Tomb Raider: The Art of Survival”
  • “The Final Hours of Tomb Raider” documentary series

Crystal Dynamics’ Community Manager, Meagan Marie has posted a Q&A, that’s listed below!

Who is developing Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition?

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition was developed as a multi-studio collaboration between Crystal Dynamics and two trusted partner studios: United Front Games (Vancouver) whom we know from their Sleeping Dogs work with Square; and our long-time partners at Nixxes whom we’ve worked with since the Legacy of Kain days. Both UFG and Nixxes worked closely with our internal Crystal core team to rebuild Tomb Raider from the ground up for next-gen consoles.

Are the graphical improvements really that great? What other “next-gen” features are
you including?

Yes, we think the graphical improvements are pretty great. The team didn’t just up-rez the game. They pulled it apart and rebuilt it with new technology, finally allowing us to reach the vision for Tomb Raider that we always wanted.

Will PC users be getting an update that allows them to play with the next-gen Lara
model?

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition was designed and rebuilt from the ground up for next generation consoles. At this time a PC update is not planned.

Can I get the art book packaging without purchasing the game? I’d like to buy it
separately.

The art book packaging is a pre-order exclusive, and will not be sold as a standalone retail offering.

How many FPS does Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition run at?

We are still optimizing the game for both platforms and will be doing so until we release to manufacturing so that we get the highest performance possible.

Is Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition just a port of the PC game?

No, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition is not a port of the PC game. Definitive Edition was rebuilt from the ground up for next-gen consoles. The X360, PS3, and PC editions were where we started from; and then we added an improved lighting and shadow caster system, more detailed storytelling visuals, massive amounts of more particle effects, a fully simulated physics world, and the new next-gen Lara.

Some key Definitive Edition improvements include:

  •  An all-new Lara model created to take advantage of the power of next-gen consoles.
  •  Gear on Lara (necklace, climbing axe, radio, arrows) now have realistic physics.
  • Lara’s head has been retopologized and increased in resolution for a higher fidelity appearance. Her head was rebuilt from scratch with an estimated 5x density improvement on features for eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks, etc. All of her textures are higher resolution as well. We’ve also smoothed over edges on elbows, shoulders, and legs to give more natural features.
  • Shaders and lighting have been reworked to showcase the raw physicality of Lara’s journey through sweat, mud, and blood materials and effects.
  •  The world has been dynamically brought to life using complex physical world simulation on trees, foliage, cloth. Additional enhancements have also been made to weather and lighting.
  •  All textures have been created at 4x resolution for maximum fidelity and detail.
  •  In-game characters, enemies, and destructibility have been enhanced for added realism.
  • Subsurface scattering technology has been implemented to capture the most physically accurate lighting simulation and deliver a great sense of believability on Lara.
  • Native 1080p gameplay gives outstanding visual fidelity and showcases the deadly beauty of Yamatai.


Why should I buy Definitive Edition if I already own Tomb Raider?

We call it “Definitive” for a reason! Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition showcases what next-generation consoles are capable of. You’ll notice all the improvements we made and feel even more immersed in Yamatai as a result.

If you’re an avid Tomb Raider fan or collector, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition includes new cover art and an exclusive pre-order art book packaging with never-before-seen concept art.

That said, we realize not everyone will need or want to purchase the game a second time. However if you have friends who haven’t played Tomb Raider and own next-gen consoles, be sure to let them know Definitive Edition is the version to get!

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition releases for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on January 28, 2014 in North America, and January 31st, 2014 in Europe.

Definitive Edition  will retail for $59.99 in North America. Check with your local retailer for price points across Europe!

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