‘Rise Of The Tomb Raider’ PC Steam Release Confirmed For January

The Rise of the Tomb Raider timed-exclusivity arrangement for the Xbox One is quickly coming to a close. The latest Lara Croft adventure game appeared on the Steam store Saturday with an updated release date that is just around the corner.

Steam lists the PC release of Rise of the Tomb Raider with a January 2016 date. That’s just two months after the Xbox One release of the game at best.

The Xbox One version of Rise of the Tomb Raider was released Tuesday, November 10, 2015, in what had to be one of the most unfortunate release slots possible. Bethesda Softworks released Fallout 4 the same day while Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 launched the Friday before. Additionally, Star Wars: Battlefront was released the following Tuesday. That’s the top three selling games for November 2015, according to the November 2015 NPD results, within 11 days of each other (via Venturebeat).

In other words, it’s not surprising Rise of the Tomb Raider did not burn up the sales charts at launch. Digital sales of the title have gotten stronger in the past week thanks to it being featured in the Xbox Countdown Sale at a price of $40. It currently sits as the best-selling retail title for the past week on the Xbox Store and the number four title overall. The Games with Gold titles Thief and The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing are ahead of it along with the latest early access Game Preview title, ARK: Survival Evolved.

Rise of the Tomb Raider would have probably been better served with a first quarter 2016 release for the Xbox One. However, the timed-exclusivity agreement between Microsoft and Square Enix likely didn’t allow for that kind of flexibility.

Square Enix has not announced any details for Rise of the Tomb Raider for the PC yet. An announcement will likely not come until the start of the new year. Things to keep an eye out for aside from the hardware requirements will be whether Square Enix will allow PC gamers to run the game at framerates higher than the 30fps that is locked on the Xbox One. It is not a steady 30fps on the console though as the game’s high quality character animations and graphical effects can cause the framerate to dip, as Digital Foundry‘s analysis bore out.

PC gamers will expect fine control over the different graphics options such as anti-aliasing, shadows, TressFX for hair, motion blur, and lighting. We’ll have to wait and see if developer Crystal Dynamics can provide enough of these options to receive a thumbs up.

The wait for PlayStation 4 owners will be even longer. Rise of the Tomb Raider is still slated for a Q4 2016 release on Sony’s console.

Here are a couple of reviews for Rise of the Tomb Raider on the Xbox One to get an early gauge on the game before it hits other platforms.

IGN: “Rise of the Tomb Raider raises the bar set by Lara’s last outing with a rollicking adventure story, strong villains, gorgeous vistas, and smart puzzles – go off the main path to find the best stuff in dastardly optional tombs. Though the mandatory combat doesn’t distinguish itself with challenging enemies unless you crank up the difficulty, Lara’s newfound versatility on the battlefield makes fighting a lot more fun.”

Shacknews: “While the 2013 reboot was growth for the sake of survival, Rise is more about growth on a more personal scale. Between a fantastic story that introduces some fascinating characters, its vast open world filled with hidden elements and wild game, and a greater emphasis on solving problems with brains as much as bullets, Rise of the Tomb Raider proves to be a remarkable follow-up to Lara’s origin tale.”

(Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Microsoft/AP Images)