Rise of the Tomb Raider Game Review

Rise of the Tomb Raider Game Review

Developer: Firaxis Games


Firaxis Games appears to be attempting to revive the Tomb Raider franchise, and I hope that they do! This isn’t the quasi typical “Lara Croft” with all her bouncing bits… Firaxis¬†games herd the cries of those screaming about the hyper sexualization of women in video games and gave Lara a much more realistic look. They even put pants on her!

But in all seriousness, this is a very well rounded game. The tomb challenges are reminiscent of the Tomb Raider many of us older gamers will remember, where there are little to no hints and you really have to think to solve the “puzzle.” The depth of the lore that is available is great, and you can easily spend hours exploring different zones, then to top it off they have various challenges in each zone that give you no clues at all other than a vague subnote in the map screen.

The story is fantastic, going way back to the very early years with a young Lara Croft beginning her first journey. (If that doesn’t scream revamp, I don’t know what does). The entire story line lays the framework for an entire series of games to come, and I can only speculate that each will build upon the last. Multiple sub-plots that tie together towards the end as you begin to piece together exactly what is going on, the Rise of the Tomb Raider will not only keep you entertained for hours on end, but leaving wondering “What will they do next?”

  1. Graphics – 4. They are really good, better than many other games that have been released in the last year, but not quite the best I’ve ever seen.
  2. Story – 4.5. An excellent story, but it is linear. Even so; there is a lot of depth as you really come to understand how Lara Croft came to be the Tomb Raider we knew growing up.
  3. Mechanics – 3. Little things here and there, like items can only be picked up from a particular angel or homing animations during certain jumps. They are slight, and few between but enough to warrant a lower rating.
  4. Combat – 3. The Combat system tries to be realistic, and maybe on the hardest difficulty it would be. Cover plays a good role, but sometimes hiding in the bushes is just as effective as hiding behind a rock. There’s no homing, it’s all twitch based, which is good. It’s not bad, but I think it could have been a bit better. I mean Lara Croft shouldn’t be able to take more damage wearing a t-shirt and yoga pants than a fully a trooper completely clad in body armor.
  5. Lore – 5. Rise of the Tomb Raider is riddled with lore for you to hunt down, and it plays such a nice role in building the back story for the struggle that you have been thrust into. Showing centuries of battles between these two foes really sheds light into what you have gotten yourself into, and hints as to what you can expect later in the game.
  6. Economy – 3.5. For the most part its well balanced, but at times it feels you get too much too fast, and then other times it feels nearly impossible to find the materials or tools you need to upgrade some items. In fact, you’ll most likely complete the game without ever maxing out a single weapon, even if you have the tools available to do it. This isn’t the case with ammo, unless you only want to use 1 of the 4 ranged weapons you have towards the end.
  7. Replay – 3. Being a linear story makes for little replay, but the alternative game mode does add a good twist. You can play with your friends and challenge them to kill streaks while adding various hinderances like no starting ammo, player upgrades like maxed out weapons, and fun perks like “Big Heads” and chicken arrows. Its a game where, if there is nothing else to do, you can rerun one of your favorite maps with some new challenges added to it just for kicks.

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