Lara at her finest!
As an avid PS1 and PS2 Tomb Raider player I was ecstatic to see the Xbox 360 reboot and even happier when I played this rendition of one of my favourite IP's
Much loot to be plundered!
Rise of the Tomb Raider has many faces. It’s a third-person shooter, online leaderboard chaser, Ubisoft-esque collectible hunter, vintage environmental puzzler, 3D platformer, MGS5-rivalling stealth game, and a squirrel murdering simulator, all delivered with the visual flair of a Hollywood blockbuster. You’re spoiled rotten at every turn and it’s remarkable how well the combined whole holds together. Many games try to be everything at once and few succeed. But this comes very, very close.
The plot sees Lara tracking down an ancient artefact, which is closely linked to a legendary prophet, all the while fending off a shady organisation named Trinity who are after it too. With a few neatly-executed surprises along the way and strong performances – particularly vocally – the story scenes that pepper the action are engaging, if not quite riveting.
However, I couldn’t help but notice this narrative happens to take you on a very similar arc to the last game, often making it feel like a retread. Or even a tribute album. But if this is very definitely ‘more of the same’, let’s not forget just how good the Tomb Raider reboot was and still is. Bigger, broader and even more beautiful is fine by me.
The new crafting system is largely pointless unless you tackle the game on its hardest difficulty. Ready-made ammo boxes and quivers of arrows lie around, meaning you’ll always be able to find ammo when you need it. It also isn’t long before you can fashion ammunition in an instant, literally able to craft, nock, and fire explosives in two seconds, all the while scampering around being chased by a wildcat. The idea is great but, just like last time round, the idea of hunting and foraging is carefully set up, only to be almost completely abandoned, at least on normal difficulties.
While Rise of the Tomb Raider is a comparatively safe sequel in that it changes very little of an existing, winning formula, this is an adventure game that takes full advantage of new-gen technology… and it’s magnificent. Intelligent, beautiful, varied and huge, this is a very classy video game, and one that’s surprisingly malleable. Just watch out for all the stuff on the floor.