Rise Of The Tomb Raider

Back in 1996 an adventurous lady named Lara Croft made her debut in the game Tomb Raider, and it made quite the impact. Whilst Lara didn’t help the Sega Saturn much, Tomb Raider is recognised as one of the major games that help Sony go on to sell over 100 million PlayStation consoles. She’s come a long way since her debut, and despite being mesmerised by her stunningly rendered self, I suspect I’d be scratching my head wondering what I ever saw in the game if I went back to play the original today.

Lara has come a long way, and she’s now being looked after by Crystal Dynamics who launched a major reboot, Tomb Raider on the last generation of consoles, and re-released it on the current gen. Now it’s time for the continuation of the re-boot with Rise Of The Tomb Raider.

Rise begins shortly after the events of Tomb Raider, and introduces us to Lara’s dad and her relationship to him through flashbacks. Whilst the storyline is simple (shadowy organisation calling itself Trinity is racing her to find the key to immortality) it’s also engaging enough to drive the game.

If you’ve played Crystal Dynamics Tomb Raider you pretty much know what you’re in for. It’s much of the same, only refined, and with a heck of a lot more stuff to find, and a nicer emphasis on crafting. Lara is of course looking as stunning as ever. Infact she’s never looked better. And the environments that we get to play with Lara in go from stunning to breathtaking at times.

Rise has so much to do, it’s easy to miss out on a lot of the interesting stuff. An awful lot of the actual tomb raiding is done in side missions and through exploring rather than completing the main mission. So in other words, don’t rush through Rise. Explore, explore, explore. This is the heart of Rise. And it’s what makes games like this stand out from the crowd. Whilst it’s not as open word as true open world games, it’s refreshing to play a game that doesn’t rush you along a per-defined path as quickly as possible, wanting nothing more that to catapult you to the multiplayer as quickly as humanly possible.

In fact with Rise, Crystal Dynamics have made the wise choice to forego multiplayer in order to focus on the immersive single player experience. How you play the game is up to you, stealthily sneaking around the place, or homicidal maniac bent on destroying all life forms, the choice is up to you.

Slow and steady is how I would recommend things, taking time to enjoy the experience. Crafting is better than ever, and you’ll want to explore and gather as much as possible so you can craft on the go, creating everything from poison arrows to medi kits on the fly.

Of course, experience points will have to be used carefully to created your version of Lara Croft giving her the capabilities that she will need to ultimately complete the game. How you do this is up to you and your style of gameplay.

Back in 2006 Lara Croft wowed us with a new type of game and a very capable female character. Now in 2015 Lara once again blows our minds with the best Tomb Raider game yet.

Reviewed on: XBox One

Rating: R16 Violence and offensive language.

Reviewed by: Jonathan



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