The Xbox and Windows PC exclusivity for Rise of the Tomb Raider is coming to an end, so PlayStation and publisher Square Enix are ready to talk about the adventure game’s PS4 release. The two announced a release date for Lara Croft’s most recent bit of tomb raiding, along with some special features, such as limited PlayStation VR support.
Rise of the Tomb Raider will swing onto the PlayStation 4 on October 11, 2016. The game will come with all previously released DLC content. This includes the story campaign Baba Yaga: Temple of the Witch launched in January, plus the Cold Darkness Awakened add-on released at the end of March. Prior to that, developer Crystal Dynamics released an Endurance mode, which tasked players with hunting for food and surviving as long as possible while raiding tombs.
In addition to the existing DLC, the PlayStation 4 release will also add the new “Blood Ties” DLC chapter, which also comes with a zombie survival mode.
The new DLC “beckons players to explore Croft Manor in a new story mode; then defend it against a zombie invasion in ‘Lara’s Nightmare,'” per the Square Enix press release. “When Lara’s uncle contests ownership of the Manor, Lara must explore the estate to find proof that she is the rightful heir, or lose her birthright and father’s secrets for good. Players can then test their zombie-killing skills in the replayable ‘Lara’s Nightmare’ mode: a haunted Croft Manor where players have new challenges and must rid the Manor of an evil presence.”
This new DLC chapter will also offer the option for PS4 owners to play the chapter with the PlayStation VR headset. It is the only area of the Rise of the Tomb Raider that will be playable in virtual reality. This gave Crystal Dynamics the chance to explore virtual reality development and offers owners a chance to play in first-person through Lara’s eyes.
It should prove to be an interesting exercise as Rise of the Tomb Raider was developed to run at 1080p and 30 frames per second (fps). Meanwhile, PlayStation VR titles have to run at a minimum of 60 fps to be playable, while 90 fps is considered the ideal frame rate for virtual reality titles. This likely means a resolution reduction to make the “Blood Ties” playable on Sony’s VR headset.
Xbox One and PC owners will also receive the “Blood Ties” DLC when it is released. However, they will not receive the virtual reality option support.
The other content also coming with Rise of the Tomb Raider for PS4 that will also be available on the Xbox One and PC is a co-op version of Endurance mode. Players will be able to team up with a friend to raid tombs and/or battle to see who can stay alive the longest.
Crystal Dynamics is also adding an “Extreme Survivor” difficulty setting. This is several times more difficult than the current “Survivor” difficulty level starting as all checkpoints are removed from the game. Players will be forced to forage for enough resources to light campfires in order to save their progress.
On the lighter side, Rise of the Tomb Raider owners will also be able to play through the game using classic Lara Croft models. A special classic Lara card pack comes with five character models from previous releases, including the 1996 original low-poly model bumped up to current high-resolution standards. It can be a bit jarring though as the screenshot below demonstrates.
“The studio is celebrating with all Tomb Raider® fans, thanking them for being on Lara’s 20 year journey with us,” said Scot Amos, co-Head of Studio at Crystal Dynamics. “The team has packed in surprises, new story, and the top-requested special features into this 20 Year Celebration edition.”
As a reminder, all new Rise of the Tomb Raider content will be available for the Xbox One and PC Season Pass owners. PS4 owners will not need to purchase a Season Pass as it will all be included in the release of the game to the platform.
What do you think of the Rise of the Tomb Raider release announcement for the PS4 and PlayStation VR? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image via Square Enix]