Rise of the Tomb Raider Review

  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Developer: Crystal Dynamics
  • MSRP: $59.99
  • Rated: M
  • Release Date: November 10th, 2015
  • Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox 360
  • Rating: ★★★★★

This is the way you do a sequel. Crystal Dynamics has stuck gold again with Tomb Raider. With a new adventure, skills, and a new treasure to hunt, Lara Croft’s latest adventure combines all of these elements for the perfect follow-up to 2013’s reboot of the franchise.

Rise of the Tomb Raider doesn’t just get you involved in the game, it throws it in your face.  As Lara, you are in the Siberian Mountains and quickly learn you are looking for the lost city of Kitzesh. Lara is searching for the lost city in a pursuit of answers for her experiences from the first game, things she cannot explain. This shows not just how much she has progressed as an explorer, but also shows throughout the game the mental scars she has endured from her obsession to find the truth. This is a highlight of the game for sure. The development of Lara Croft makes this experience well worth it.

It’s not hard to say that this features the most spectacular and amazing graphics I have seen on the Xbox One so far. From the snow-covered drifts, to the waterfall areas, and the ice caves, everything has been crafted in rich detail. Only one part is taken out of the main setting, as you explore an area of Syria to show some additional back story, but even it was created in a beautiful way.

Beyond the graphics, the locations and tombs are amazing. Tombs are the biggest highlight of the game this time. They are challenging and plentiful. I spent 16 hours on my first play through and the biggest reason of that was I kept finding more and more to do on the side. Completing tombs is not just a chore for completionists because it is even more rewarding than ever. When you finish a tomb, you are rewarded with new skills that you normally couldn’t unlock in your skill tree. There certainly are some challenging aspects of some of the tombs, but the payoff was well worth it.

In addition to the tombs, there are crypts, smaller passages of the dead in the mountains who have been laid to rest. These are rewarding as well because you can find ancient weaponry and more by exploring them. Even beyond the tombs and crypts, there are many different collectibles and scavenging opportunities that you can do as well on the main map.

These play a part towards the development of Lara as you increase her language skills. When you increase her language skills, you can unlock new maps, such as that are only accessible when Lara can speak better Russian, Greek, or another language required to find new collectibles. Some items are only unlocked by collecting coins which you find by upgrading your language skills. This can create even more hours of gameplay which I know I will certainly enjoy coming back to.

Among all of the big titles out this fall, and that they all come out at once, I highly recommend if you’re an Xbox owner, do not miss out on this. The first entry into this rebooted franchise was already fantastic, but this pushes the series even further.  You will not be disappointed to continue Lara Croft’s adventures as the legendary and iconic female video game protagonist we all know and love


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