Crystal Dynamics’ excellent Rise of the Tomb Raider is available on PC today – bringing one of the very best games released last year to the world’s largest gaming platform. When a game is ported to PC, there’s usually some rightful cause for concern; the port is either broken, poorly done, or lacking the sorts of tweaks and options a PC gamer might like to mess around with.
Apparently, that’s not the case with Rise of the Tomb Raider, and the perpetually excellent port-factory Nixxes has knocked it out of the par again.
The port brings with it a wealth of post-processing options either not seen, or far superior to what’s in the Xbox One original – like tessellation, Ambient occlusion, and better digital hair. And the best thing? You can change ll of these settings “on the fly” watching them change in real-time.
“One hallmark of a great PC port pertains to the number of settings available and how quickly they can be modified. In the case of Tomb Raider, we were satisfied to discover that all settings are dynamically adjustable in-game, meaning no lengthy reloads as you tweak. You can see changes happening behind the menu in real-time giving you immediately feedback and enabling easy resource monitoring. This makes adjusting the experience an absolute breeze, encouraging experimentation on the part of the users”
So if you love tinkering, trying to eke out the best performance, this is the game for you.
One of the most important factors in the PC port though, is a marked improvement in input lag. On the Xbox One, there is a very slight delay in Lara’s movement that’s not enough to hamper enjoyment, but is sometimes noticeable. That lag is missing on the PC.
Digital Foundry does note that the game is pretty resource intensive though – and you’re going to need a pretty powerful system to make the most of Rise of the Tomb Raider.
“Ultimately, the PC version of Rise of the Tomb Raider is a great product – albeit one with higher system requirements than one might expect. It’s a beautiful game with plenty of built-in flexibility, but those planning to max out settings on anything other than the latest generation hardware are likely to run into performance issuess. The Xbox One version of the game was clearly optimised to operate at its best on a closed platform and as such, it’s not actually possible to fuly (sic) duplicate console settings here. The closest match requires a meaty system to get the job done – an i5 quad with something along the lines of a GTX 960 to hit 1080p30 on high settings.
When running on faster hardware, the results are certainly more in line with expectations and it becomes possible to produce visuals that greatly exceed the already beautiful Xbox One version of the game. That’s not to say there aren’t still issues here – for instance, the icy tree branches used throughout the game suffer from shimmering that has proven almost impossible to eliminate, but it still feels like a solid port.
Overall, Rise of the Tomb Raider is an excellent game with a greater focus on exploration punctuated with well-designed battles – battles which play even better on the PC due to faster input response and higher frame-rates. Nixxes has produced a solid version of the game that takes great advantage of the PC platform – just make sure your hardware is ready to be pushed.”
Here’s a comparison video betwixt the two versions. The PC version of Rise of the Tomb Raider is out today. It’ll hit the PS4 in November this year.
It’s an amazing game. Play it.
Last Updated: January 28, 2016