Anyone who’s had the chance to play Rise of the Tomb Raider on the Xbox One will no doubt be familiar with the game’s hauntingly beautiful, atmospheric tombs and its scenic sprawling hubs, not to mention its stunning heroine. Countless hours could be spent exploring every nook and cranny and marvelling at the crumbling ruins of a once-glorious city.

And if this wasn’t enough, Crystal Dynamics and the Utrecht-based Nixxes Software teamed up with Nvidia to push the PC version to its limits and use ground-breaking techniques to create the most immersive and realistic-looking Tomb Raider game to date.

Shortly before the game’s PC release, Crystal Dynamics released this tech-centric video to showcase some of the new technical features that were used to improve upon an already visually-impressive game.

Not being a PC gamer myself, I’ll admit that a great deal of this went straight over my head (I wouldn’t know “tessellation” if it smacked me on the forehead), but here’s the video for the more tech-minded among us. 😉



In the critically-acclaimed Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lara Croft sets off on a race against a ruthless organisation known as Trinity to find the secret of immortality in the mountains of Siberia.

Throughout her expedition, she must conquer a world protecting its secrets, endure perilous conditions with unstable landscapes, use guerilla combat tactics to survive, and explore awe-inspiring (yet deadly) tombs, whose ancient spaces are filled with deadly traps and environmental puzzles.

Lara’s epic journey becomes even more immersive on the PC version of Rise of the Tomb Raider as Crystal Dynamics and Nixxes introduce several new technical features to the game that push the boundaries of next-gen visuals.

Welcome to the PC Tech feature for Rise of the Tomb Raider!

Ambient Occlusion – HBAO+ – By partnering with Nvidia, Rise of the Tomb Raider is able to offer a very high-end ambient occlusion technique called HBAO+,which reduces artifacts and produces a richer and more detailed ambient lighting. When compared to previous techniques, HBAO+ is a faster, more efficient, and significantly more effective rendering technique.

Anisotropic 16X – The PC hardware allows Rise of the Tomb Raider to use anisotropic filtering across all surfaces so, when viewed from an angle, the quality of the textures in the distance is greatly enriched.

Hardware Tessellation – Hardware tessellation greatly enhances the detail of uneven surfaces in the ground, rocks, and bricks. Silhouettes and surface features are geometrically represented when viewed up close, making the surfaces feel even more tangible and realistic.

Level of Detail – With the increased geometry processing power available on PCs, we’re able to enhance the geometry in objects like buildings so that they are significantly more visible, even when viewed at a distance. As a result, hub spaces feel even larger now and aid the player’s exploration.

Dynamic Foliage – The beautiful, yet hostile, environments come to life as previously static foliage now reacts dynamically to Lara’s movements as well as weather effects.

Screenshots by Kelly M

Thank you for watching the Rise of the Tomb Raider PC Tech feature.

Crystal Dynamics and Nixxes worked tirelessly to push the PC version to new heights, giving players unprecedented visual fidelity and the most realistic-looking Tomb Raider adventure to date.

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