Looking Good, Lara

Looking Good, Lara

The latest batch of HD PC shots up at Dead End Thrills focus on Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider reboot, and are looking mighty fine.

Now that I’ve played the intro of this game a bunch of times, I’m starting to think that moss on the tree trunk is the most visually impressive thing in the entire game. Oh, how the moss waggles in the wind! I want a gif of that next-gen moss waggle.

Many more great shots over at Dead End Thrills.


  • Am I weird for thinking Tomb Raider didn’t look as great as everyone makes out? It looks average IMO (Thats not to say I didn’t appreciate it, I think it looks very nice, just not ‘WOW’ nice).

    Then again I am used to PC and mods on top of that, but still. Oh well, each to their own and it makes me happy people appreciate it none the less.

    • Nope, I agree. It looks nice and… competent. Not amazing.

      Finally playing Bioshock Infinite right now and it looks wayyyyyyyyyyyy better than Tomb Raider.

      • I guess sometimes ‘art’ beats visual power. I have to agree completely. Bioshock Infinite, while not being IMHO as good game wise as the first game and not having the texture resolutions, polygon count and effects of Crysis 3 the ‘LOOK’ still made me ‘wow’ around every corner, a true visual treat. For me any way.

        • No, I agree.

          I actually think the combat in Infinite is quite poor, but that’s ok when every time you walk into a room you say, “holy crap that looks unbelievable!”

          That aside I do think it is techically quite good as well as having insane art though – with the textures cranked up to ultra the detail is pretty nuts. Not Crysis levels, but not far off.

          • Yeah definitely. Bioshock’s art direction was its strongest asset. I still remember being floored by the first time you step into the actual streets of Columbia. Its combat was a chore, a massive step down from the first game. And the story was only amazing until you played The Last Of Us, a few months later, and the storytelling bar was dragged into the stratosphere.

            It’s such a shame that you can’t be a triple A title with the necessary funding to achieve amazing 3D experiences without bloody combat shoehorned into every crevice. Somehow the brutality of The Last Of Us worked though.

            God that was a perfect game.

    • Definitely agree. It looked fine, but not amazing. So many reviews made a point of calling out the graphics as gorgeous as well.

      • And the animations, which I also thought were on the good side of average, but not you know, GTAIV, Uncharted or TLoU. But yeah, still a fun game, just hope theres you know, more ‘TOMB’ raiding in the sequel, and I’m sure there will be one 🙂

    • Depends what you’re comparing it to. Also it’s not just that it does things really well, it’s also the consistency and quality of the animation and art direction. There’s games on par with it but not much that’s really leaps and bounds ahead.

      • About Tomb Raider I’m not sure about the not much thats better part but I can definitely agree that the game is very consistent. All the areas are polished and well, consistent which was very nice indeed now that you mention it. Except the fire sprites. But they do make a cool effect on low cave roofs which IMO makes up for it, even if it is a little low res (It’s either low res or has very few frames in it’s animation, I can’t remember right now but I recall one of those.).

        Edited some spelling and clarity, it still sucks most likely lol.

        • Let me amend that: there’s not much that looks miles better that was released before March 2013.

          Also the examples of better looking games of similar vintages often played a hell of a lot worse, so as a whole package I’d take Tomb Raider any day.

          • It does play nicely. Felt kinda ‘snappy’ in the way God of War does when you climb, at least that’s what it reminded me of.

            I think the trouble with it graphically (not that it really was a ‘trouble’ as the game looked good) is that it didn’t really use too much of ‘creative’ licence when portraying real life things. While it didn’t look Uncanny Vally I personally find games that don’t have a bit of a visual twist do age faster than games that do. Hence I think later on in this generation more games adopted that ever so slight stylisation like Uncharted, Gears of War or FarCry3 and to a greater extent Bioshock.

            While I do like a very realistic take on things too from time to time I do quite enjoy the later as well, and it does hold up a little longer, for me at least.

            On a side note I also found it to look a little flat from time to time, but that’s just me being picky because like I say it doesn’t look bad at all, just well, competent which is GREAT considering, as far as I know it performs well and looks good on all platforms which is FAR better than smacking the visuals up and having it run bad or look worse than other games on the respective consoles because they have to dial down effects or resolution (Although I did play it on PC and only shortly on PS3 when it came to PSplus so I’m no expert.)

            Thats my 2c anyways 🙂

    • I find there’s nothing super special about any given screen shot, but the game manages to pull off good visuals in motion and aside from the sections that are on tracks (parachuting, the rapids) it didn’t feel like anything was reused.
      The areas are all fairly similar in theory, it’s basically just a jungle level, a snow level and an ancient temple level, but they managed to make everything feel somewhat visually unique. You go over a hill and even though it’s full of the same basic trees, grass, rocks, etc it manages to look different.

      Oddly enough I was pretty underwhelmed with BioShock Infinite’s visuals, although I think that’s simply a case of me not being that interested in the setting. Rapture sort of felt like I could reach out and touch it, but Columbia felt like it was all happening in the distance.

      Full disclosure, I’ve only played the XBOX One version of Tomb Raider. I don’t think the game really showed off what the next generation hardware could do but weather was a big part of the atmosphere visually and I’m assuming the weather effects were much better on XBOX One.

  • Looks better than the supposed ‘ultra’ PC screenshots Kotaku US tried to compare to the Definitive Edition.

    EDIT: And realised that the poster of those images were none other than Kirk, who wrote this article

  • I thought the graphics were great! Good, fun, female Uncharted basically. It was even longer than I expected.. just wish some of the puzzles were harder. But to say the graphics were underrated is a bit harsh. (I’m talking ultra on pc, max everything) it seemed pretty well optimized too. 60fps on my ageing 6990.

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