Rise of the Tomb Raider is out now exclusively on the Xbox consoles and my hat is off to Crystal Dynamics for creating a gaming masterpiece. I have spent 28 hours and there’s definitely a couple more hours of adventure left. If you don’t want any spoilers, don’t read any more – it’s a great game and every Xbox owner really needs to play this.
I think Microsoft did well wetting our appetite with releasing Tomb Raider Definitive Edition on Games with Gold. It reminded me of what was good about the 2013 reboot. I was expecting Rise of the Tomb Raider to be “TR 2013 + more”. Boy was I wrong. It’s an evolved game, it feels different to the first game. In the first game, there was not much incentive to hunt animals and it was very combat focussed. RotTR focuses more on story and actual scavenging. I like how you can pick up discarded bottles/tins and use them as distractions or turn them into a deadly weapon. I do like the different weapons you can choose but I do stick to the more powerful weapons with the most ammo capacity. But there’s variety in that if I find I’m not drawing my bow quick enough against some of the animals that attack me, I can pick a bow with quicker draw speed.
Traversal in RotTR feels really good. There are tools I wasn’t expecting and I enjoyed experimenting getting to spaces that looked impossible to get to at first, but now, feels like I might be able to reach it. A lot of enjoyment came from revisiting previous areas but with a new gear so I can reach new points on the map.
Camilla Luddington does an amazing performance again, in fact, she really brings Lara to life this time around. Lara sounds that little bit more experienced and hardened from Yamatai and Camilla really sells the story and Lara as a character for me and I hope we’ll see more of Camilla’s performance as Lara in the future.
The last thing I want to bring up are the optional tombs. The puzzles were so much fun, they weren’t too hard but challenged me enough. Well done to Crystal Dynamics on tuning this to be just about right. I liked the size of the puzzles and the rewards are actually useful!
I can’t get enough of Rise of the Tomb Raider. I’m looking forward to completing the story and exploring the other hub areas. Game of the year material!