Steam Posits January 2016 Launch For Rise of the Tomb Raider
Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider (2013), the first person action/adventure title which served as the first installment of a rebooted franchise, was one of my personal favourite games of that year. As a result the announcement that its sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider, would be exclusive to XBOX One was a big disappointment; more extreme reactions portrayed it as a betrayal of the platform that strongly supported the reboot whilst the console gamers overlooked it. Thankfully it transpires that the the exclusivity deal Square Enix (the publishers) came to with Microsoft was for a limited duration, and a brand new listing on Steam indicates that the game could with with PC users slightly sooner than expected.
A January launch puts it in the traditionally rather empty game release window as the industry recovers from its Christmas-induced hangover. An exact launch date hasn't been revealed but, with CES dominating PC news in the first fortnight, we'd expect it towards the tail end of the month.
Despite excellent reviews almost across the board, Rise of the Tomb Raider has suffered from launching in the same window as hype juggernaut Fallout 4. The title could only garner 63,000 sales in the UK within the first 24 hours, despite its predecessor shifting more than 180,000 units in the same launch period. Nonetheless, perhaps due to its lacklustre launch, RotTR topped the XBOX One digital download charts during Christmas week.
Rise of the Tom Raider's predecessor was overall a great version on PC, especially after initial teething problems on NVIDIA hardware when TressFX was enabled; with some hard work and a little bit of luck the latest installment will be just as good. Minimum and recommended system specifications, as well as a firm launch date, are likely to arrive in short order.
Despite the good news for PC gamers users of the Sony Playstation 4 will be disappointed to hear that Microsoft's console exclusive deal for RotTR appears to still be in effect, pushing its PS4 release deep into 2016.