Rise of the Tomb Raider is an action-adventure puzzle game developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix. It is available on PC, Xbox One and eventually PS4 on Steam.
Happy Easter Monday! For those who are looking to buy the upcoming DLC “Cold Darkness Awakened” for the game it will be released on March 29, 2016.
This is a sequel to the 2013 Tomb Raider and is a reboot (read: money-grab) of the franchise and while one does not simply reboot a beloved franchise without running into a few kinks, the game was an eye-orgasmic, action-packed galore! True to the Tomb Raider series, the story was a melting pot of history, fantasy and power hungry humans. The amount of detail put into world design and combat was a pleasure to see.
A heart-wrenching story of a daughter chasing after his father’s dreams, Lara Croft fights tooth and nail to find the prophet who supposedly has the power of immortality. In her adventures she comes across bodies at various stages of decay, deceptively simple puzzles that lead to literal treasures and evil Russians who can’t aim for .
There is an extremely well designed crafting system that is in harmony with the hunting system in the Rise of the Tomb Raider. The crafting system allows you to upgrade your weapons and ammunition and even lets you craft a new outfit that would adapt to the environment Lara is in.
During various stages of the story, Lara is able to walk around a pretty large area to hunt, gather, craft or do challenge quests/tombs. Semi-open world if you will. The sheer amount of challenge quests you can do is a very nice treat for those who like to spend inordinate amount of time on 100% completions.
The various tombs are well designed and some require a bit of thinking but often, the puzzles are deceptively easy. I confess I forget to think from a different point of view that would have made solving complicated things quite easy. For those who are savvy with Zelda puzzles, these should be a piece of cake.
The combat system is a little clunky and takes some time getting used to. Shooting with a gun or bow and arrow is smooth and satisfying… the close combat, not so much. This is especially true when you have to fight off wolves. Too often I find myself panicking and lose my cool that results in wasted ammo and sometimes the “You died” screen. Fortunately, unlike real life, you can try, try again.
The graphics will give you an eye orgasm and you’ll judge every new game with Rise of the Tomb Raider as the new standard. Obviously, there are games out there that are pretty and use the same engine BUT they lack the gameplay. The gameplay and graphics go hand in hand and it doesn’t matter how pretty your game is if no one plays it.
To give an example, in a winter mountain environment, I felt cold on Lara’s behalf. The facial expressions and body language were so realistic that I made her go on a hunting spree in order to craft a winter coat. Sometimes, I feel my empathy is a bit misplaced.
Overall, the game is an awesome mix of immersive gameplay, mouth watering graphics and an intriguing story. I would definitely recommend this game to both new and old fans of Tomb Raider and Lara Croft.