The PC version of Tomb Raider, which can be pre-ordered at a 10% discount on Steam, has been developed between two teams – Crystal Dynamics and Nixxes. These two studios have worked with each other for over a dozen titles released on the Windows platform over the course of fifteen years. According to Square Enix and the development groups, Tomb Raider has been “extensively optimized” to take advantage of the PC platform. Many gamers prefer the PC to console systems because the beefier hardware typically equate into more robust graphics that can go above and beyond pedestrian 1080p resolution levels. According to the report, Tomb Raider will feature enhanced features on PC including full integration with Steamworks, increased detail tessellation, improved Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO) and post-filter effects. Also included will be high resolution textures, shadows and cloths.
The alliance between Square Enix and AMD flows into Tomb Raider via support for AMD’s HD3D and Eyefinity technologies which allow up to six simultaneous displays off a single graphics card to be used while playing games.
Other PC-specific features were announced including full integration with Steamworks to allow for cloud storage for saves, multiplayer matchmaking and achievements. The game will also support Steam Big Picture Mode and configurable mouse and keyboard support, along with support for PC-compatible gamepads. For those armed with high-end processors and video cards, the game will offer “very high resolution textures with up to 16x the amount of data” and higher quality shadows (presumably as compared to the console versions). In addition, there will be usage of tessellation algorithms used to smooth out geometry, along with high quality depth of field with near-blur effects.
At a minimum, gamers will be asked to have Windows XP with Service Pack 3 installed, although the game will be compatible with 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8. A DirectX 9 graphics card with 512MB of RAM will also be required. The game officially recommends (but not requires) an Intel Core i5-750 processor or an AMD Phenom II X2 565 processor, along with a DirectX 11 compliant video card.
Stay tuned to Gaming Illustrated for more information and details about Tomb Raider from Square Enix.