Rise of the Tomb Raider is available for Xbox One, and 2016 will show the release for PS4 and PC versions. Since the reboot in 2013, Lara Croft has grown as a character, just as the developers have and this installment is putting the Tomb Raider back keeping the modern Lara Croft feel that has been so successful.
They have eliminated the horror movie like moments that Lara appeared weak in, and the snuff movie style deaths, thought there is still an occasional impaling. In this game, Lara has finally learned how to handle the pain and kill numerous enemies while commanding an arsenal of weaponry.
The storyline focuses on a tale of loss, mortality, betrayal and like previous Tomb Raiders, becomes slightly otherworldly. There are occasions when Rise of the Tomb Raider starts to feel as though it focuses to much on the storyline, but that is where having the ability to take a break from the story mode is handy. After the 2013 reboot received lots of complaints about being too linear, developers took that into account and now you have a more open world. You will have various side missions to complete, hunt and mini quests.
Rise of the Tomb Raider also sees a gradual increase in puzzles and challenges as the storyline unfolds, but they also have a Challenge Tombs option that really gets your blood going. In these tombs, you must use your skills and logic to survive. You cannot simply count on Lara’s Survival Sense. For the long-time fans, this provides an older Tomb Raider feel, but possibly less challenging.
As an incentive for finishing these tombs, you will unlock ancient powers that get added to the skill tree. All of the things you do will contribute to the experience points Lara gets, making her stronger and more capable as the story goes on, including her weapon skills.
If you played the reboot, you will notice that Lara’s signature weapon, the bow, is back again with numerous upgrades and even special arrows. Don’t worry though, she also gets various explosives, shotguns, pistols, even machine guns! Weapons are upgradeable to enhance their damage, impact radius and reload speed.
Her ability upgrades cover three sections: Survivor, Hunter and Brawler. New crafting system in Rise of the Tomb Raider allows for more intuitive hunting and scavenging. Lara must head to the Base Camps to begin crafting new equipment, arrows or other type of weapons using collected supplies. As she advances, she can create arrows on the go as well.
When it comes to collecting various items for crafting or missions, you will not have the animal carcasses and plants of the reboot, rather you will be obtaining these items from various sources. For example, you will get poison from certain mushrooms, feathers from bird nests, and wood from saplings.
Rise of the Tomb Raider has taken everything that was good from the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, including the re-imagined Lara and the stunning graphics and then has added to it. They have removed the linear feeling that the reboot provided, giving a more open world feel. It provides nostalgic moments for the long time fans and offers a good storyline that allows you to take breaks and do mini quests or games when you feel like going a little bit sideways from the main path. All in all, we recommend any Tomb Raider fan give this new game a try.