Tomb Raider Definitive Edition Interview: PS4/Xbox One Frame Rate Difference & Next Gen Development

Executive Producer Scot Amos gives us the low down on next gen development of Tomb Raider.

Gamers were optimistic when Square Enix and Eidos Montreal decided to bring last year’s critical hit Tomb Raider on the PS4 and Xbox One. But much to their surprise, the game turned out to be as good if not better than last year’s version.

In order to know more about the Definitive Edition we caught up with Scot Amos, Executive Producer of the title. We were able to talk about next gen development, the frame rate difference between the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions and the challenges they faced while porting the game to the new consoles.

Pramath Parijat: First of all congratulations on a great launch. The game has received AAA scores from several publications, including a superb 9/10 from us. Were you expecting a positive response for a game that is essentially a makeover?

Scot Amos: Thank you very much! We always aim to deliver the highest quality experience, and we’re absolutely thrilled at the positive reception. With the original release, we felt that we accomplished what we set out to do with respect to Lara’s narrative and the gameplay, and didn’t want to break that flow. The power of the next-gen hardware was an opportunity to push ourselves for the highest fidelity version of Lara, her world, and her origin story. In essence we were enabled to finally put on screen the vision from the team’s heads!

Pramath Parijat: The new facial model of Lara has been met with mixed response from fans. What prompted you to tweak Lara’s face for the next-gen version? Did it actually benefit in creating more believable facial expressions?

Scot Amos: We love the passion of our fans and always want to hear their thoughts, as it’s their franchise as much as it’s ours. From the team’s perspective, it was always about pushing ourselves, our tech, and wanting to create an unprecedented level of detail as our first steps towards a next-gen Lara. With her new sub-surface scattering, light diffuses realistically under her skin adding that soft glow and highlighting the higher resolution materials. Dynamic materials mean the blood, sweat, and mud will appear as a reaction to the world around her. This is the most realistic looking Lara to date, and also the most emotive. We can see and feel the impact of the harsh adventure she is struggling to overcome.

tomb-raider-definitive-edition

The combination of the art team’s incredible diligence and passion balanced and tempered with the engineering team’s skill makes for great output. Certainly we had an incredible starting point from the previous game’s look and the experience gained on the 2013 PC version.

Pramath Parijat: How did you go about porting the game to next-gen consoles? What kind of challenges did you face while bringing the game over to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One?

Scot Amos: There are always challenges when working with a new platform, but it’s fun to push ourselves to see how much we can get out of the new tech. Tomb Raider Definitive Edition was a great way to become familiar with the hardware, and it’s our first step of delivering a next-gen Lara. It’s exciting to think about where we go from here. We also got to learn about things not to do… such as putting in too many reactive bushes and plants with a super-strong dynamic wind, as the players during our user-tests thought that there were wolves around every corner! But knowing we could push those limits was a great thing to uncover.

Pramath Parijat: I am very pleased to report that the PS4 and Xbox One versions, both of them actually look better than the PC version, at least aesthetically. That is quite a feat given that last year’s PC version was quite a state of art. How did you tackle the slower core speed of the CPU of next-gen consoles to essentially develop the most optimized version of Tomb Raider?

Scot Amos: Thanks for that! The combination of the art team’s incredible diligence and passion balanced and tempered with the engineering team’s skill makes for great output. Certainly we had an incredible starting point from the previous game’s look and the experience gained on the 2013 PC version. While processor power is all good and well, it’s mostly about how the team gets the engine to run its best within whatever software or hardware architecture is at hand and then balancing the content to match the performance. For example, there are clever ways the rendering and particle teams make use of the GPUs and ways to structure the code so operations are performed in a specific order to optimize any platform’s differences. Raw power is always great, but we need our discipline experts partnering together to get the most out of any box.

Tomb Raider Definitive Edition

Delivering the core Tomb Raider gameplay at native 1080p and running at 30fps was always our primary goal given the type of experience Tomb Raider is and the exploration we want players to do. Anything beyond 30fps for this version is gravy.

Pramath Parijat: Going into next gen consoles, the PS4 version runs at an unlocked 30fps [average 50-60fps] whereas the Xbox One version runs at a locked 30fps. Would you say that’s essentially two different versions of the game?

Square Enix: Both platforms offer the same outstanding Tomb Raider experience. Delivering the core Tomb Raider gameplay at native 1080p and running at 30fps was always our primary goal given the type of experience Tomb Raider is and the exploration we want players to do. Anything beyond 30fps for this version is gravy.

Pramath Parijat: Given the recent job listings and teasers, I am sure the next entry in Tomb Raider is under development. I am obviously not going to ask you about the details but what can you tell us about the future of Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider franchise?

Scot Amos: Hahaha, but you asked anyway in a broader perspective… good try! Yes, as you guessed we’ve only announced that we are working on the next Tomb Raider but don’t have any more information to share just yet. We’re itching to share more details with you, so stay tuned.

Pramath Parijat: Thank you for your time.

Scot Amos: Our pleasure, thank you.


  • kevin

    Blah blah frame rate, blah blah resolution I got me the Xbox one version. Having a great time.

    • Cerny

      Higher frame rate and resolution makes you 50% richer and immortal….

      /s

    • digitaldevil0

      Yes Lord Cerny, your console is truly the console of Pantheon.

      *kneels down

    • Mikesims Sims

      Keep rationalizing that purchase to the internet, we care.

    • kevin

      Not rationalizing , I just don’t give two shts about this FR and RS crap . I buy games for story and gameplay ,that other crap is just extra .

    • Kaden101

      Kevin – I agree when it comes to games like Tomb Raider, anything above 30fps is gravy, & resolution isn’t the be all & end all either. I think frame rate will matter more in FPS shooters or driving games, in which case I think if I had to lose something it would be resolution first. I was perfectly happy gaming at 720p on my PS3 so anything above that is a bonus. I’m more bothered about the contents of a game & how much fun I’m going to have. The core experience of most multiplatform games is pretty much the same even if there are graphical differences.

      Part of me wants to buy TRDE for my PS4, but as I’ve already played it through on PS3 it seems frivolous until the price comes down. It’d just be me spending money for the sake of saying “oooh, look at all the pretty”. I think I’ll go buy Orange Box for my PS3 today, I know it’s the crap version, but it’s cheap as chips & I haven’t played Portal in ages. I love Portal.

    • Justin McDermott

      I have a sneaking feeling it will be out for PS + in a year. It just seems like the game that would be perfect for PS4 PS +

    • John D

      I have a PS4 and I am extremely butt hurt I will not be experiencing Titanfall. That game just looks amazing. Hope for a sequel on PS4.

      Titanfall literally saved XB1 from complete failure on its own in my opinion. If Titanfall would have come to PS4 I think the console war would have been over a long time ago.

  • Dakan45

    “Pramath Parijat: I am very pleased to report that the PS4 and
    Xbox One versions, both of them actually look better than the PC
    version, at least aesthetically.”

    NOPPEEE

    “even with the “Definitive Edition” changes, the next gen consoles version fail to trump the PC version”

    this is what Digital Foundary says

    “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.”

    “Running with the ultimate preset enabled and the original TressFX in action, it’s clear that the Definitive Edition delivers an upgrade in select areas, but fails to trump the PC game in all respects. Certainly, when it comes to running at 1080p60 – or with even higher resolutions and frame-rate – no other platform can truly offer a PC-beating experience.”

    SORRY KIDS THE PC VERSION BEATS THE CONSOLE VERSION, NO ARTISTIC VISION OR SUCH EXCUSES BOTH VERSIONS WERE MADE BY DIFFIRENT STUDIOS, CRYSTAL DYNAMICS DIDNT MAKE EITHER OF THEM.

    • Guest

      This is completely irrelevant to Xbox one vs ps4.

      Butthurt much?

    • Psionicinversion

      Not really because there comparing the console versions to the PC, all the extra effects could be applied to the PC but is kinda pointless as people have bought and played it and on to other games

    • Gamez Rule

      “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.

      CONTINUES TO STATE =

      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”

      As well as pointing out “Despite some odd pouting moments and a frequent haunting look from Lara’s new eyes, her face arguably looks more human, and the optimised TressFX 2.0 implementation creates fewer bizarre physics incidents than the PC original.”

      So although PC will offer more bells n whistles than consoles ( if having a GPU to do so ), the PS4 * Xbone are still holding a game with features that PC just don’t have. so all in all you can’t go wrong with either versions IMO/

    • Dakan45

      I cant agree with the new lara, she is not cute anymore nor has any believable expressions, if thats how she will look at the next game, i wont like her.

    • Gamez Rule

      Well I like the new shape of her face more, as well as the eyebrows, nose & jaw, and to be honest the new model has the more natural skin tone leaving the older PC version looking anemic.

      What I don’t like is the lack of expression in her new
      face, and that PS4 is missing tessellation for some unknown reason. But TR:DE version is an entire game rebuild when looking at the PC version, and thanks to the dynamic foliage it adds more to the games especially when the foliage is interactive as it bends and springs back as Lara runs through it as an example, so I’m more than happy how the console versions have played out. I mean you even have new dynamic sweat, mud, and blood effects that PC hasn’t got. So all in all it’s a good version.

    • Dakan45

      Meh the skin still looks plastic.

      As for blood? The scene that she bathes in blood is exactly like the movie descent, so they way they changed it is actually bad.

      Overall both pc and ps4 versions have their up and downs. Neither is the best.

    • John D

      A positive non trolling comment by you. I just died of shock.

    • Dakan45

      what possitive comment you dumb troll? I say it like it is.

    • John D

      If you think any of your comments has any merit or truth you are in dreamy land. All you talk about is garbage. Actually you always sound depressed and butt hurt. It is not my fault you got a PC.

    • Psionicinversion

      There absent from the PC because theres not much point in adding them also would take time from whatever the PC’s developer for it was (crystal dynamics) out from the next project there working on which could i think is the next tomb raider. Seeing as that one will be available to PC and consoles at release it will be better to compare those versions.

      Btw if they did add all the extra details that are in the definitive edition to PC im sure instead of getting 55fps on ultimate detail it may dip to 54fps… it would be a serious blow to me but i think i could handle it!!!

      the fact it cant handle tesselation properly is a big factor cus thats a big performance eater in DX11 and aids in alot of realism for stuff like the spray off crashing waves and if thats not important to ya you shouldnt care about level of detail and immersion at all

    • John D

      The point of them making the definitive version is to maybe make the game feel more alive. I have got it for PS4 and I played it on Xbox 360 and the difference is actually shocking. They did an insane job on making it feel new and fresh.

      The next Tomb Raider will be the one to watch as far as face offs go.

    • John D

      Actually I think some face off comparisons are wrong as I have been playing the game and rain and water splashes on Laras face on PS4 and it drips off. Also the same with blood and the Tressx hair effects.

    • John D

      Like Digital Foundry is the god of gaming sites. Dumbass. There is tons of sites who indeed think that the pS4 version is better looking. It has got effects the pC version does not got. But believe what you want. Butthurt child.

    • Dakan45

      digital foundry is the god of comaprisons and framerate analysis you braindamaged bufoon.

      Ps4 version DOESNT look better

      “even with the “Definitive Edition” changes, the next gen consoles version fail to trump the PC version”

      this is what Digital Foundary says

      “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.”

      “Running with the ultimate preset enabled and the original TressFX in action, it’s clear that the Definitive Edition delivers an upgrade in select areas, but fails to trump the PC game in all respects. Certainly, when it comes to running at 1080p60 – or with even higher resolutions and frame-rate – no other platform can truly offer a PC-beating experience.””

      CRY KID CRYYY

    • John D

      I love your copy and pasting skills. You are so dumb you have no thoughts on your own. How sad. Maybe you should do some research because the PS4 version trumps the PC version except for frame rate.

    • Dakan45

      hahahhah your thoughts are clueless bullcrap, i proved you wrong on EVERY single argument and you continue to troll and type bullcrap.

      So you say the ps4 version trumps the pc version when in a message before you admited the pc version has superior lighting and the diffirence is vey small.

      my god you are pathetic, i will copy and paste it again, hopefuly you read this time
      “A direct comparison with the PC version set to the ultimate quality
      preset reveals some large discrepancies between the Definitive Editions”

      MEANING THE DIFFIRENCE IS NOT BARELLY NOTICEABLE AS YOU CLAIM.

      “fails to trump the PC game in all respects.”

      MEANIGN PC HAS THE BEST GRAPHICS.

      Yes consoletard i kno you can “copy and paste” stuff but atleat i cam capable of READING THEM before i post them.

      I sill laugh at how you copy and pasted that article claiming a 400$ pc cannot be on par with ps4, yet the article stated in the end that it CAN.. BUAHAHHAH

      My god you are a pathetic troll, seriously kid, you are pathetic and laughable, is that the brain capacity all the sonytards have? You are the biggest consoletard i haver ever seen, a true braindamaged consoletarded kid

  • GameonAll

    Square Enix said what all the fanturds can’t undertstand anything more than 30 fps for a tomb raider game is gravy. Ergo, does not effect the experience. So whichever system you own enjoy it.

    As for me, already have this from a bargain bin on 360, yet to finish it so not a buy for me.

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