I’ve scrapped so many drafts for this review, but I really want to give Rise of the Tomb Raider the justice it deserves. It’s a spectacular game. It has a well-written story played by outstanding actors set in an open world that isn’t needlessly filled with pointless sidequests. There are a few side quests, but since you’re not inundated with them, you enjoy them.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is the sequel to the critically acclaimed Tomb Raider and is just as good as, if not better, than its predecessor. Following her traumatic experience in the first game, Lara Croft finds comfort in her father’s work on immortality. She runs into Trinity, a massive supernatural-chasing evil corporation hell-bent on world domination (you know the drill), who seeks the “Divine Source” that is hidden in the lost city of Kitezh.
Cue being chased by missile-laden helicopters, escaping a crumbling tomb and falling down icy mountains and you’ve got yourself the prologue to what you know is going to be an amazing game.
One of the main things I want from a game is story, and by golly does Rise of the Tomb Raider deliver. The writers obviously know that it’s the characters that essentially drive a story and Camilla Luddington’s Lara Croft is one of the most real characters I’ve seen in a video game. The rest of the cast are also incredibly believable. I was sucked into the world of Lara Croft and her near-obsessive search for Kitezh.
The great narrative is coupled with fun gameplay that follows the same successful formula as in Tomb Raider. Except now there are more optional tombs (which was always my favourite part) that let you puzzle away towards in-game rewards. And there’s also a heck of a lot of extra content.
I was very happy as I finished the game, but there are several DLC that I really recommend you get. (They’re all included in the 20 Year Celebration edition).
There’s Blood Ties, which is a story based in the decrepit Croft Manor where you and Lara learn more about her parents. Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch, which is a whole new added area in the main game (and one of my favourite missions). Endurance, which is a sort of online survival mode that you can do solo or with a friend. And then there’s Lara’s Nightmare, which is you fighting zombies in Croft Manor. Because of course there’s a zombie horde mode. Oh, and that’s not all, Cold Darkness is another zombie mode but with a bit more story and puzzling than Lara’s Nightmare. Oh my goodness, I was still playing Rise of the Tomb Raider for days after finishing the main game.
I guess what I was trying to say in that last paragraph is that it’s very much worth your money getting the 20 Year Celebration edition. And you should get Rise of the Tomb Raider. I know it came out in 2015 and it’s then-good graphics may no longer be up to “standard” – pfft. The graphics are still pretty good, in my opinion. Much better than some AAA games that came out this year (I’m sorry Mass Effect: Andromeda, I love you, really!).
But if you haven’t played this or Tomb Raider, then you are seriously missing out on some of the best the gaming industry has to offer (and also basic gaming culture. Come on, Lara Croft is a gaming icon).
Massive props to developers Crystal Dynamics for doing a gaming legend justice and giving out a game that was more enjoyable than the classics.