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Tomb Raider Definitive Edition Graphics Comparison

Eurogamer has a "Next-Gen Face-Off" for the recently released Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, which ups the ante for the action/adventure prequel on next-gen (current-gen?) consoles. While they focus on how the Definitive Edition looks on Xbox One versus the PlayStation 4, they also compare the PS4 version to the regular PC edition, which in spite of being non-definitive previously boasted the best visual depiction of the game. As they note, and demonstrate in this video, for the most part, the PC edition still sets the bar for the series. Here's the explanation:

A direct comparison with the PC version set to the ultimate quality preset reveals some large discrepancies between the Definitive Editions compared with the full-fat PC experience. Aspects such as tessellation are missing on the characters and environments, with some of these elements appearing more blocky on the PS4 and Xbox One as a result. Meanwhile, motion blur is used much more sparingly, while texture resolution is noticeably lower in some cases. On the flip side, all the Definitive Edition graphical extras - such as the dynamic foliage and the impressive sub-surface scattering - are absent from the PC, which represents another (albeit smaller) compromise.

The differences here are interesting, because they suggest that the developers of both PS4 and Xbox One versions of Tomb Raider have made some sacrifices to allow for the key range of upgrades on offer in the Definitive Edition. We feel that TressFX may be the main culprit here, given how much impact the older iteration of the tech has on the PC game, where frame-rate can be halved by its inclusion in certain scenarios. Looking at the cut-scene performance analysis on PS4, we can see frame-rates drop significantly when Lara is on-screen, particularly in close-up. Another indication that TressFX sucks up considerable console GPU time concerns the sub-native cut-scene resolution downgrade we occasionally see on Xbox One. Again, we suspect that it's the close-ups on the TressFX-enabled Lara that incur the hit.

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