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Feral Interactive have teamed up with Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix once again to bring a top title to Linux, this time we have Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Disclosure: My key was provided by Feral Interactive ahead of release.

It’s no secret that the Linux port of the previous Tomb Raider had some performance problems, some of which were improved with a patch after release. I’m pleased to say that with Rise of the Tomb Raider, Feral Interactive have done an incredible job overall.

Even though the Linux release is coming in a good while after the Windows release, we do get the 20 Year Celebration edition which includes all the DLC. So we have the complete edition right away along with all the polish that was put into it since release.

Benchmarks

First up, let's see how well it runs with the settings on the absolute maximum, with the different AA options that are possible. Do note, that the game itself warns you that SSAA is very heavy and will reduce performance a lot. Also, Pure Hair is turned on by default for all options above the Low preset. The different presets, even the highest preset actually leaves a few options lower than the maximum, so I manually put them up for these tests. Another note about this: the Very High textures option in use for these first tests, does require a GPU on Linux to have 6GB VRAM (I've seen it practically hit the limit):

As you can see, FXAA and SMAA actually give quite reasonable performance, especially considering all other settings are cranked up to their absolute highest. Even SSAA x2 didn't do too badly with it hitting just over 60FPS average overall. To be clear though, the above results and settings are something very few people will be able to use.

Here's some additional benchmarks for settings people are actually likely to use, from the Very High preset to the Lowest, all with FXAA turned on apart from Lowest which I manually turned off (trying to simulate what people might do):


Note: In the Linux version, the Very High preset leaves textures on High, whereas on Windows it sets it to Very High.

As a bonus, here's a comparison with Windows 10. Do note, that the Windows version has two additional modes of Ambient Occlusion not included in the Linux build, so these tests are simply done with it set to "On" in both versions to compare properly. Also, to keep it to the point we're only using the "Overall Score" given here:

As expected, there's a performance gap, although it's actually less than I expected. Given that these are some insanely high settings with everything manually put up higher than the presets go, the Linux version holds up reasonably well overall. Especially considering the high VRAM use in the Linux version with my 6GB 980ti at it's limits.

Here's how the Linux version holds up on more reasonable graphical settings:

Not bad, not bad at all.

Thoughts

We could run benchmarks until we're red in the face, however, what the benchmarks actually show is quite limited of course and is nothing in comparison to a first-hand playthrough. I started off playing it on the "High" preset, but honestly, I set it to "Very High" quite quickly since it was so damn smooth and it remained smooth even then. I did keep textures down to the default of High, due to the VRAM use. I have to say, I'm personally extremely happy about how smoothly Rise of the Tomb Raider has been running on Linux.

If you thought the first Tomb Raider was action-packed, you’re in for a whole new world of crazy here. Rise of the Tomb Raider certainly isn’t gentle with thrusting you into daunting situations right off the bat. It's also quite the emotional roller-coaster of a game, one that at times blurs the lines between game and movie in the way it's presented.

Not only are you thrown in at the deep end with Rise, you’re also shown how incredibly good-looking this game is right away. Seriously, it's easily one of the best looking games available on Linux right now, some truly gorgeous scenes can be found throughout the game. I've found myself often just stopping to have a look around.

Those pictures are on the standard “High” preset with no other adjustments, yet it looks absolutely gorgeous. It's not just the graphical fidelity, but the actual style to the game is fantastic too, all the little details have made me really appreciate it.

In the first game, Lara was forced into survival against her will. Things are a bit different this time around, as Lara has gained confidence and a sense of self and is literally seeking out the danger of her own free will. You’re on the hunt for some sort of artifact to grant eternal life, Lara is sure it exists and decides to follow her father’s path. Not the most original of story basics, but it’s exciting to actually play through given what Crystal Dynamics have done with it.

The voice actor for Lara, Camilla Luddington, reprises her role for Rise of the Tomb Raider and does just as incredible a job as before. She's really believable, you really feel the intensity of everything thanks to her excellent work here.

While Rise has ample amounts of serious action, requiring some fine aim and reflexes, there's also a healthy dose of puzzles and challenges to overcome as well. As you progress, you will find certain relics that requires Lara to have a certain level of understanding in specific languages.

This makes the exploration side of it a little more fun and varied too and at times, this will give you a reason to fast-travel back to another area, once you learn enough to translate something previously left behind. This brings me to another point, there's so many camps spread across the quite large map, that actually switching between locations is incredibly easy.

Great, but what about actual Tombs to raid? Well there's optional tombs in there too, like the first one you find which is essentially a huge wooden ship buried in the ice:

While they're optional, they're certainly worth doing for the extras that they give you.

To me, it feels like they took all the good bits from the first game and expanded upon them giving you more options everywhere. There's more skills to learn for example, with the previous game having around 24 split across three classes, with Rise given you a whopping 50 skills! It's not just that there's more of them, they're much more interesting to actually unlock too. Some quite menacing in fact, like the ability to put a trap on an enemy corpse.

In addition to all the exploration, the scavenging, translating, region challenges and tomb raiding there's also completely optional missions you can do. Given out by various people you can find spread throughout the game. It's quite a nice way to take a break from the main story, while still giving you some extras to help you along your way, it makes the game a lot more varied that's for sure.

I think one of the great things about Rise of the Tomb Raider, is that it gives that open-world feeling with you being able to travel between areas and do things you miss, while not being overwhelming. It's a good mix of styles bundled together, to allow you to really push through when you want to, and take a break doing some of the smaller (but still fun) aspects of the game whenever you want.

There's a lot I haven't touched on here, partly because I don't want to spoil literally everything and also because it's such a big and varied game, if you spend a little time with it and don't rush through. Sometimes it's the little things, like talking to a character and a rabbit suddenly hops into view, looks right at the screen and then hops away…

As a reminder, to get the most performance out of the Linux version, you will likely want your CPU in Performance mode. You can do this using Feral's GameMode tool, by using this GNOME Shell extension or by doing it manually in terminal:

echo performance | sudo tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu*/cpufreq/scaling_governor

Replace "performance" with whatever mode you wish to revert it back

The Final Verdict

I haven’t been this engrossed in a game since—well—ever? I’m not being hyperbolic here either, it has such a fantastic mix of gameplay elements all wrapped up in lush detailed graphics. From the moment I first loaded it I just couldn’t put it down. Feral did a really sweet job on the port as well.

I don't want to get ahead of myself here, but given what a great job they did, this gives me high hopes for Shadow of the Tomb Raider (the next title) to be on Linux and run well.

You can find Rise of the Tomb Raider on Humble StoreFeral Store and Steam. Fantastic to have another AAA title on Linux.

We will have a livestream of it tonight and tomorrow with Sin taking the helm, keep an eye on our Twitch channel!

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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229 comments
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ageres 25 April 2018 at 3:13 am UTC
Comandante ÑoñardoWhile I recognize that it is time for me for to upgrade from my trusty Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS to Ubuntu 16.04.5 LTS.. But I will Never upgrade to a non LTS... I will try 18.04 months later, when it became mature; Every new LTS Ubuntu has some problems.

I have afraid to brake something in the upgrade process...
I installed beta version of 18.04 in March on 10 computers at my work, everything works fine. Ubuntu is stable enough now.
You have only 8 GB of RAM, and the game (at least on my computer) eats 9. Maybe that's the reason of your segfaults?
DanglingPointer 25 April 2018 at 3:39 am UTC
Comandante ÑoñardoOk, You convinced me.. Im gonna upgrade.. But if after the reboot one of my programs (like Crossover) refuses to work or If I have to reinstall anything, Im gonna be veeery mad with the Linux world...
I'm gonna be very upset if I have to login to all my social stuff again or if I lost all my Firefox tabs..

By the way. There are THREE user accounts on this machine and I don't want to lost anything.

For Firefox, export your tabs and email it to yourself so it is backed-up on the internet(like gmail).

If you're adamant on not going to Ubuntu 16.04.4, then just upgrade the linux kernel on your Ubuntu 14.04.
I never tried Ukuu with 14.04 but theoretically it should work. You can then get the latest stable mainline kernel pre-compiled by Canonical.
If you have boot problems, try a cold restart (shutdown computer, wait 60secs, then restart). If it still doesn't work, Grub will appear and let you choose a previous version of kernel. Just remember not to delete the previous version of kernel.
I've got 3 versions always. Whenever I get the next stable mainline, I delete the oldest one.


Last edited by DanglingPointer at 25 April 2018 at 3:47 am UTC
mahagr 25 April 2018 at 7:18 am UTC
Hey, does anyone know if the game supports VR in Linux?

I've also played the game a bit more and testing different settings -- on i7-7700K + GTX 1080 I was saying that game runs >30 FPS all the time on 4K all maxed out, but that doesn't seem to be true in all locations. I had to either lower the resolution to 3200x1800 (seems to be upscaled by GPU) or lower the settings to very high in order to keep the game playable in some places, including Syria when you find the lost city.

I can see why people are complaining about the render quality as I did try to play the game in 1080p and it looked both blurry and pixelated. In 1440p it was better and in 4K the game just looks beautiful.
Brisse 25 April 2018 at 9:01 am UTC
Comandante Ñoñardo
BrissePlease take my advice and upgrade to the Bionic Beaver as soon as possible, and no later than 18.04.1. By using outdated software you are actually causing yourself more headaches than any potential upgrade issue would cause you. The issues you describe in your recent posts are evidence enough of that.

DanglingPointerThe game isn't broken, I haven't had a single crash or error and I'm using a GCNv1.1 card on Mesa using 16.04.4!

If they aren't production servers and you're playing "games" on them, improve your life and upgrade to the next Ubuntu LTS.
Then install Ukuu and install the latest Canonical compiled stable mainline kernel. See the word "stable" in there? Its stable for desktop use for 90% of everyone.
Get the latest Padoka Stable PPA to get the latest Mesa.
Then your life is improved and say good-bye to all your segmentation cr@p.

You should be afraid of your setup now with errors and crashes, not upgrading which gets rid of all of them.

Ok, You convinced me.. Im gonna upgrade.. But if after the reboot one of my programs (like Crossover) refuses to work or If I have to reinstall anything, Im gonna be veeery mad with the Linux world...
I'm gonna be very upset if I have to login to all my social stuff again or if I lost all my Firefox tabs..

By the way. There are THREE user accounts on this machine and I don't want to lost anything.

Keeping a backup of everything is also a good idea. Ideally, always have a recent backup, but if you don't then it's especially important before diving into a full system upgrade.
g000h 25 April 2018 at 9:42 am UTC
Comandante ÑoñardoOk, You convinced me.. Im gonna upgrade.. But if after the reboot one of my programs (like Crossover) refuses to work or If I have to reinstall anything, Im gonna be veeery mad with the Linux world...
I'm gonna be very upset if I have to login to all my social stuff again or if I lost all my Firefox tabs..

By the way. There are THREE user accounts on this machine and I don't want to lost anything.

Off Topic:

One thing I have been doing and intending to do more of, in the future - When installing the Linux distro, I use LVM to chop the file-system up into separate volumes, and I set up the home directory on its own volume, and I also leave free space in the Volume Group, for adding more Logical Volumes later.

By doing this, I can add multiple distros onto the same machine, with each one potentially using the same Swap volume and Home directory volume. This has the advantage that I can potentially install a fresh Linux, without touching the Home directory full of important files. And if my primary Linux breaks down, I can boot up another one, without fiddling around with usb sticks, bootable dvds, or pressing function keys when I boot up.

Various advantages:
- A game works on one distro but not on another one
- Backup your not-in-use distro, from the one you are using
- Some software might not be available on one distro, versus another one, (e.g. ffmpeg)
- Having a stable distro (for most things) and a testing/unstable one (for gaming, testing new stuff out)
- Developing your Linux skills - LVM2, Grub2, etc.


Last edited by g000h at 25 April 2018 at 9:47 am UTC
Eike 25 April 2018 at 9:54 am UTC
g000hOff Topic:

One thing I have been doing and intending to do more of, in the future - When installing the Linux distro, I use LVM to chop the file-system up into separate volumes, and I set up the home directory on its own volume, and I also leave free space in the Volume Group, for adding more Logical Volumes later.

By doing this, I can add multiple distros onto the same machine, with each one potentially using the same Swap volume and Home directory volume.

I'm not sure this is a good plan. Lots of appliction configurations lie in the home directory somewhere. While applications should be able to cope when you're changing to a newer version, accessing them from a distro with an older version may lead to trouble.
Brisse 25 April 2018 at 9:58 am UTC
Eike
g000hOff Topic:

One thing I have been doing and intending to do more of, in the future - When installing the Linux distro, I use LVM to chop the file-system up into separate volumes, and I set up the home directory on its own volume, and I also leave free space in the Volume Group, for adding more Logical Volumes later.

By doing this, I can add multiple distros onto the same machine, with each one potentially using the same Swap volume and Home directory volume.

I'm not sure this is a good plan. Lots of appliction configurations lie in the home directory somewhere. While applications should be able to cope when you're changing to a newer version, accessing them from a distro with an older version may lead to trouble.

Yep. I've run into trouble before when copying my home folder between different computers running different distros. Solved it by removing all configuration files in the home folder, but that might not always be desirable.
ageres 25 April 2018 at 10:53 am UTC
I prefer just boot from a USB drive and select "upgrade".
g000h 25 April 2018 at 11:08 am UTC
Brisse
Eike
g000hOff Topic:

One thing I have been doing and intending to do more of, in the future - When installing the Linux distro, I use LVM to chop the file-system up into separate volumes, and I set up the home directory on its own volume, and I also leave free space in the Volume Group, for adding more Logical Volumes later.

By doing this, I can add multiple distros onto the same machine, with each one potentially using the same Swap volume and Home directory volume.

I'm not sure this is a good plan. Lots of appliction configurations lie in the home directory somewhere. While applications should be able to cope when you're changing to a newer version, accessing them from a distro with an older version may lead to trouble.

Yep. I've run into trouble before when copying my home folder between different computers running different distros. Solved it by removing all configuration files in the home folder, but that might not always be desirable.

Off Topic:

You've got good points. Need to look into this further. Of course, when you first set up a new bootable instance, you can put in a separate Logical Volume for that install, and swap around mount points / test things out / snapshot the volume / revert the volume

e.g. /dev/sda

sda1 = ext4 bootable partition

sda2 = partition for LVM, VG = vg1

Debian 10
vg1-d10root
vg1-d10home
vg1-swap

Ubuntu 18
vg1-u18root
vg1-u18home
(share the swap)

Debian 9
vg1-d9root
vg1-d9home
(share the swap)

plus free space, e.g. space for making copies of volumes, trying stuff out, snapshotting, reverting

You could certainly make two Debian 10 installs on the same machine, and share the Home volume between them. And have the advantage that if one install gets trashed, you can fire up the other one.
ageres 25 April 2018 at 11:26 am UTC
g000hYou could certainly make two Debian 10 installs on the same machine, and share the Home volume between them. And have the advantage that if one install gets trashed, you can fire up the other one.
What do you do with your computer so you need several Debians and break them periodically?
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