Rise of the Tomb Raider was released as an Xbox exclusive last November, a decision that took some serious flak from gamers ever since it was announced. Microsoft was out looking for a new flagship game for its console, a game that could be as significant as PlayStation's Uncharted. So far it's proven to be a winning decision. Rise of the Tomb Raider has been widely praised for its gameplay and visuals and now that the PC version is out, we are taking it for a spin.

Developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix, the second installment in the Tomb Raider series reboot has been ported to PC by Dutch studio Nixxes, the same folks that ported Square Enix's Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Sleeping Dogs, and 2013's Tomb Raider. With those credentials, in addition to participation from Nvidia, Rise of the Tomb Raider fell into capable hands.

It has to be said the game already looked surprisingly good on the Xbox One. Powered by an updated version of Crystal Dynamics' in-house Foundation Engine, it boasts several next-gen visual features such as image-based lighting, physically-based materials system, deformable snow, enhanced hair simulation, tessellated terrain, and more.

With such a solid base to work with, Nixxes has been able to deliver a number of PC exclusive options that help to make an already beautiful game look truly spectacular. Rise of the Tomb Raider is arguably the best looking game to hit the PC yet, and without question the cut-scenes are the best I have seen.

Nvidia had a hand in the game's adaption to PC, too, though that might not be the best way to word it. Yes, Tomb Raider is now a GameWorks title and in spite of featuring Pure Hair which has its roots deeply embedded in AMD's TressFX, we can assume Nvidia has made every effort to optimize this and other visual features for its own hardware.

Given Nvidia's exclusivity and involvement, AMD had a hard time delivering a fully optimized Radeon driver in time for the game's release. However we are happy to report that after some preliminary testing, performance is still good on AMD cards. We've been told a hotfix driver with game-specific enhancements is in the works and should be delivered soon. We plan to update our benchmarks with those improvements when they become available.

Testing Notes

For testing Rise of the Tomb Raider we will be using the Acropolis Expedition stage of the game (score attack mode) which is about an hour into the main single player campaign. This test features a good blend of outdoor and indoor environments with a few in-game cutscenes, the test lasts 90 seconds. We have recorded a video for your reference:

Rise of the Tomb Raider was tested at three resolutions: 1920x1080, 2560x1440 and 3840x2160 using the Very High and High graphics quality presets. We also tested with Pure Hair disabled and as usual we've included a number of CPU tests to see how the game scales.

Test System Specs