We already know that Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition will boast a number of updated features on the PlayStation 4, but one thing that developer Crystal Dynamics has kept under wraps is the fact that the title will actually support voice controls on Sony’s next generation hardware. Speaking as part of a Question and Answer session on publisher Square Enix’s official forums, executive producer Scot Amos revealed the tidbit, along with a few other tasty morsels regarding Lara Croft’s return to Yamatai.
“There are custom differences as you know for each – meaning that the PS4′s controller has a touch-pad on it, [and] the lit front that we do interact with in-game,” the developer explained when asked to illustrate the variations between the re-release on Sony and Microsoft’s respective machines. “Xbox One has Kinect which we make use of, [but] both support voice commands.” You’ll be able to use the updated PlayStation Camera to employ the functionality on the Japanese giant’s hot new hardware, or alternatively you’ll have the option to connect a microphone to the DualShock 4.
These voice commands will allow you to switch between weapons on the fly, as well quickly navigate through menus and status screens. It’s not the only upgrade, though, as Amos insists that the studio has worked hard to draw every last drop of juice out of the Japanese giant’s new console. “A few of our engineers were dedicated to improving physics both on Lara and in the world,” he continued. “The climbing axe, her radio, her bow and arrows – all of these now have subtle but simulated physics on them so as she runs, jumps, falls, [and] stumbles, they react accordingly giving her more grounding in the world.”
In addition, the developer’s expanded these overhauled physics to the objects within the adventure's various environments, meaning that the trees and plants will now respond to each other as the wind pushes and pulls them about. And, of course, the protagonist’s pony-tail will drift in the direction of the gusts, too. “All-in-all it adds a great additional depth and realism to the world,” Amos explained, furthering that the release will achieve all of this in glorious 1080p.
The big question is: are all of these admittedly tantalising upgrades enough to justify selling the title at full-price again? “We’re releasing it on a new system, with a lot of development work put in to custom craft it for the new hardware,” the studio spokesperson concluded. “With the new aesthetic additions, and the updated physics, particles, and lighting, I absolutely stand by our decision to offer up Definitive Edition the way that we are.” But are you going to buy it when it washes up on store shelves at the end of January? Moan and groan in the comments section below.