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Featuring epic, high-octane action moments set in the most beautiful hostile environments on earth, Rise of the Tomb Raider delivers a cinematic survival action adventure where you will join Lara Croft on her first tomb raiding expedition as she seeks to discover the secret of immortality.
Put Lara on a dangerous quest to discover the secret to immortality before it falls into the wrong hands
The visuals are stunning, with detailed backdrops and realistic animations. I only encountered a few framerate hiccups
Sound effects, music, and voice acting are all top-notch, keeping you right in the moment
The basics are easy to grasp, and the game does a great job of providing reminders about certain abilities to use at the right times
Whether you're facing off against giant bears or making a risky jump, Rise of the Tomb Raider is an adrenaline rush
Crystal Dynamics set a solid foundation when it rebooted the revered Tomb Raider franchise back in 2013. With a bigger world, more varied combat, and more high-octane action, the follow-up, Rise of the Tomb Raider, is better in every way. This new path for Lara is intriguing, making her more complex while capturing the struggle of surviving in the harsh world. Just as Lara remains determined to keep moving forward, so does Crystal Dynamics with the franchise.
The most exciting parts of Tomb Raider occur as Lara makes her way through harrowing situations, and the stakes have only been increased since last entry. Expect plenty of close calls, death-defying leaps, and exciting escape sequences - I often felt like I was just escaping by the skin of my teeth. Rise of the Tomb Raider features a quasi-open world that's split between hubs each in which Lara is surrounded by resources for crafting along with hidden caves, hideouts, and tombs to explore. She must platform, solve puzzles, and break through obstacles to navigate them. These areas have so much to do that staying on the critical path is hard, and I was constantly lured away from the main story by worthwhile discoveries. Siberia's brutal, snowy landscapes are great venues to test your survival instincts, offering high points to climb, dangerous wildlife to fend off, and collectibles stashed on high ledges and concealed paths.
The excitement of exploring tombs is one of this entry's major improvements over its predecessor; players can raid nine optional ones, along with having a few required for the main story. These are much more expansive than caves, usually featuring one big puzzle, where you use Lara's tools, such as her rope arrow to eliminate obstacles, and platform using her pickaxe to land big jumps. For example, one was flooded and had me using Lara's rope arrow to get a boat around and find ways to drain the water. You can still click a button to see points of interest, lighting up what you can interact with. This comes in handy when you're trying to find new paths or are struggling with a tough puzzle. However, just because you can see the parts involved doesn't mean the puzzle is solved. They go deeper than that, requiring you to pay attention to things like water levels, timing your jumps to reach moving platforms, and finding a way to light something on fire that's blocked by running water.
The action excels just as much as the exploration and puzzle-solving; just when you think it can't get any more bombastic, it does. I reveled in reacting on the fly, whether it was taking out a swarm of enemies or racing to flee a collapsing tomb. Combat is much more strategic now, providing multiple ways to tackle every situation. Sometimes you can plot and sneak up on enemies for surprise attacks, and other times they come charging in at you, forcing you to react in the moment. I loved using a stealthy approach; however, throwing a molotov cocktail or firing an arrow to land a perfect headshot were just as entertaining.
Lara has plenty of combat prowess, but objects in the environment also provide opportunities for explosions. I liked using melee kills to sneak up on enemies, but sometimes their animations put you into vulnerable spots during battle. The gunplay is solid; using your bow-and-arrow and crafting explosives are more esoteric ways to kill enemies though. Supplies get scarcer later on, so you might have to resort to using your guns more in the final battles. These later sequences often feel like Lara versus the world, and feel repetitive as you're eliminating wave after wave of enemies. This breaks the momentum of the otherwise exceptional action.
See the rest of the Review at Game Informer
After uncovering an ancient mystery, Lara Croft embarks on a journey throughout the most treacherous and remote regions of the world to find the secret of immortality. Forming powerful new alliances and relying on her intellect and survival skills, Lara will ultimately embrace her fate as the Tomb Raider.
Featuring epic, high-octane action moments set in the most beautifully hostile environments on earth, Rise of the Tomb Raider delivers a cinematic survival action adventure where you will join Lara Croft on her first tomb raiding expedition and witness the rise of an icon.
Explore huge ancient spaces littered with deadly traps, solve dramatic environmental puzzles, and decipher ancient texts to reveal crypts as you take on a world filled with secrets to discover.
Conquer a world fiercely protecting its secrets, endure perilous conditions and unstable landscapes, face dangerous wildlife that act as guardians to ancient tombs, and explore huge interactive environments.
Use the environment to your advantage, scale trees and dive underwater to avoid or takedown enemies, configure Lara's gear, weapons, and ammo to suit your play style, craft explosives on the fly to sow chaos, and wield Lara's signature combat bows and climbing axe.
If you are a fan of the Tomb Raider franchise, check out all of the latest Rise of the Tomb Raider games and accessories available for Xbox One & 360 now.
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