Graphics and Audio
If one thing is for sure about Tomb Raider it is that it has some of the most brilliant graphics I have seen this year. I actually played the game with two different video cards and two different settings. With the GTX 460 and the game on mostly medium graphics the game looked good, and ran fine, but it certainly wasn’t anything to write home about. The game also still looked fine on low graphics, but many of the things that made the game great were being missed out on.
With the GTX 660 and the settings all on ultra the game looked amazing. The biggest difference I noticed was with the minor details and oddly enough the hair particles. NVIDIA and Crystal Dynamics put a lot of work into the TressFX system that really takes Lara’s hair to that next level of realism. It does take quite a bit of processing power to turn TressFX on however, so if your video card isn’t the best and you are experiencing framerate lag I would suggest turning this off.
The one complaint I do have with the game is that the scenery always seems to be the same. I get it, its Tomb Raider, and she is out raiding tombs, but please give me a little bit of variability. I can only look at the same trees, rocks, and corpses for so long before I crave something more. This is probably me just being picky at this point, but I did find the scenery to get a bit dull after a long session.
The audio in the game is surprisingly pleasing. The voice acting is all very good and even though the cast isn’t very well known I was pleasantly surprised. Normally there is a weak link or two that really stands out to me when playing a game with a lot of dialogue, but I have no complaints in this particular game. Even the journal entries, which I kind of expected to get less love, were of awesome quality. The ambient noise was also acceptable, but would probably get a bit stale after a while if it was all you heard. Luckily there was plenty of dialogue and not a stale moment for me. The guns did sound a big generic, but in a game where all other audio did well, I found myself not hearing the gunfire as much.