Rise of the Tomb Raider Review
Almost a month ago on my birthday, I purchased a game I was waiting for: Rise of the Tomb Raider. After playing the reboot from 2013, I desperately wanted to play the next adventure of Lara Croft. I had never been a Tomb Raider fan before, and my only experience with Tomb Raider was Tomb Raider 3 (I think) where you could play at Lara’s Mansion and explore and practice gameplay stuff… and shoot the living shit out of Jeeves the butler. The reboot, however, was really interesting to me when I saw the trailers and previews for it. It looked like an intense game, and that is exactly what it was. Rise of the Tomb Raider, looked like a pretty cool game from the trailers, but does it live up to its predecessor?
Rise of the Tomb Raider takes a look at Lara Croft after her nightmare come to life on Yamatai. As we saw previously, she was a young woman who was not prepared for what she had to endure, but grew as the game progressed. Lara is that stronger woman to start Rise of the Tomb Raider. The game has Lara searching for an ancient relic that her father had been looking for and never found, but had come close to discovering it. Lara decides that she will go out and find it. She finds herself becoming obsessed with completing the work of her father in order to restore her father’s reputation, and to prove that what happened at Yamatai actually occurred. The game centers around finding a relic that is said to have the power of immortality.
The progression of the story is pretty clean, and has flashbacks to fill in the gaps to explain what’s going on in the present time. While the story is solid, it does lack a lot of suspense and doesn’t really deliver any kind of twist. What made the story disappointing to me is that it lacked the depth and mysteriousness that the reboot had. I never really had an “aha!” moment or a moment where I would say, “Holy shit!” From what I have heard from others, they liked this game better because it had that classic Tomb Raider nostalgia that was missing in the reboot (supposedly). I think that’s why I loved the reboot more because I never experienced the original Tomb Raiders.
Pretty similar to the reboot where you don the same weapons, essentially. All the basics of the reboot are here, so you won’t find yourself needing to learn a bunch of new things. There are some new things and changes to the previous game. Previously, salvage was needed to make any weapon enhancement. Now the crafting system is more complex in that you need to collect a variety of resources (wood, animal fur/skin, etc) to create weapon enhancements or to make new clothes.
And speaking of clothes, Lara can wear different types of clothes that can either simply give her a new look, or give her some bonuses. I liked to change the outfit a good bit just to keep some variety. Some outfits are given to you, others you have to make with resources. You are also introduced into making different types of explosives using resources that you collect. You also have the ability to heal yourself quickly in battle with the use of resources, so you don’t necessarily have to hide out and wait until you recover.
Also the tomb raiding from the reboot is back in this game, but there are more of them (I think). Like before, they are puzzle based and are increasingly difficult the further you get into the game, and the more tools you need to enter them. The tombs reward you with little credits that allow you get in-game cards (not steam cards) that work kind of like the skulls in the Halo series (give you boosts, make the game harder, or just change how Lara looks).
The graphics are very impressive. I enjoyed them very much. The are much improved from the original reboot and, I think, the “definitive” edition for the Xbox One and the PS4. Lara looks like her actress, Camilla Luddington, which causes her to look different from the original reboot. I found this a welcome change because a lot of time they model Lara after a certain person, and the reboot seemed to lack that (which was fine). I did find it strange that Jonah’s look was changed. In the reboot he looked more Polynesian, but in Rise, he looks more black. Nothing wrong with racial diversity, I just found the inconsistency a bit strange. Another thing I liked was that they still didn’t make Lara super sexy and busty like she had been prior to the 2013 reboot. The environments looked very good as well, showing that video game developers are doing a better job at creating worlds that look realistic. Also, this game runs much smoother on high settings than its predecessor, so with the proper settings, you will be getting 60 fps pretty much the entire game.
Despite the fact that I was left underwhelmed by the plot of the game, Rise of the Tomb Raider was still a really enjoyable experience. If you don’t explore much, the game is kind of short. If you do take the time to explore some, it can take about 15 hours to beat. Not a long game, but it’s definitely good if you don’t have tons of time to dedicate to games. This is a good part of what will most likely be a reboot trilogy, and I highly recommend you get this game if you like action/adventure type of games, or if you want to try something new. If you have reservations because of the old Tomb Raider games, this nothing like those except in the feel of the story.