Many gamers felt that Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider back in 2013 was the exact reboot that the Tomb Raider series needed. Following its 2013 predecessor’s success, Rise of the Tomb Raider looks set to build on this foundation and continue the story of Lara’s beginnings.
Lara’s jump to the new generation of consoles has brought with it a beautiful new lick of paint. While Tomb Raider was by no means an ugly game, Rise of the Tomb Raider fully utilizes the power of the Xbox One, and Lara looks so much better for it. The visuals were crisp and beautiful and has definitely helped Crystal Dynamics fully realize Lara.
Navigating her around the environment was a joy, too. The controls felt tight and it was comforting to see that Rise of the Tomb Raider retains the exact control scheme that the 2013 game had. This familiarity with controls, combined with the same, just more detailed character model of our favorite archaeologist adventurer make her feel familiar.
While Tomb Raider told us the story of Lara’s transformation from a young, naive archaeologist, to a bow wielding hardened adventurer and survivor by the end; Rise of the Tomb Raider tells us the story about Lara truly finding herself and working out what makes her tick. While she was successful in uncovering the secrets of Yamatai, a mysterious group called Trinity went and covered the whole thing up and discredited her and her father’s work. This race between Lara and the mysterious Trinity is definitely a storyline that will keep you guessing and make you care for Lara even more-so than the previous game.
Getting down to the actual demo itself, Rise of the Tomb Raider put us straight into a tomb. Much like the older games in the franchise, it looks like Rise of the Tomb Raider is going to correct the balance of combat and puzzles that the reboot got a bit wrong. The puzzles scattered throughout the tomb were fun and challenging. While they weren’t hugely taxing, they were enough to have me stop and think about what needed to be done, rather than just knowing from the off. It’s also a possibility that the demo offered an easier puzzle from the game to give everyone a good and enjoyable experience with the demo, rather than putting off newcomers eager to see Lara in her new adventure.
If you were a fan of Lara’s last outing, then you’re going to love Rise of the Tomb Raider. While the reboot didn’t quite get the mix of combat and puzzle solving right for old school fans, Rise of the Tomb Raider looks to make amends there. We just hope Lara doesn’t meet an untimely end when she runs head first into Fallout 4 on launch day.