The first Tomb Raider game in this franchise was one of my favourite and most loved games in recent years so I was of course excited to get a hold of the second game in the series, Rise Of The Tomb Raider. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy this game, I also loved almost every minute of Lara Croft’s journey from the beginning right until the end.
This is a game that many out there who are fans of the series may have purchased an Xbox One for over the holiday season or asked for someone to gift them one so they could have it. If you were lucky enough to get the console recently, or just picked up the game if you already were an Xbox One owner, you were likely in for quite a lot of fun with this Tomb Raider experience.
It’s a great game to play and it’s a lot of fun, but that’s not to say that it’s anything super different to what we had before, it’s more of the same really but with some improved graphics since the previous iteration was released. One of the most noticeable improvements is the way Lara’s hair waves around while she’s walking or running which adds a lot of realism to the character you play as throughout the game. The character models also look a lot better than the previous game, although the enemy soldiers are often repeated units with little variation throughout the game.
In Rise Of The Tomb Raider there is a heavy emphasis on crafting and on upgrading your weapons as well as your gear as you go through the game. Slowly better weapons become unlocked, which help you out a lot when put up against more powerful enemies in the game, especially towards the end. New items will become available as you progress and some of them can be used to explore or reach previously unreachable areas of the map. All this means is that you’ll have done a lot with Lara by the end of the game and the different variations of weapons and items helps to keep things fresh as you go through it all. It also gives some after story mode fun for those looking to get 100% in this game, as you can fully explore the world once you’re done with the campaign.
The campaign in itself is not bad at all, I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed the storyline more than I did when playing through the first game in the series but I found it enough to get the job done. This adventure story sees Lara travel to Syria hoping to uncover the tomb of the prophet of Constantinople. We get to visit exotic locations few have had the luxury of witnessing in the world. We also get to learn quite a bit about Lara’s background and her relationship with her father throughout this game, which was quite interesting and added a lot to Lara’s character development as things went on. Other characters aren’t as interesting though and I never really felt much for the main villains in the game, which is a bit of a let down but not exactly the end of the world.
It’s the gameplay that is really the biggest selling point for this game and to be honest it has potentially the best gameplay of any game to be released in 2015. Not only is it fun climbing, running and jumping around the place as you explore the world in this game but the action scenes are all phenomenally well crafted with enough difficulty and tension to keep you well satisfied. There’s not even any part of the gameplay that I even think I could critique at all, it was just excellent and it’s even better than the first game in the series, which is a significant improvement.
Music is something that’s worth a mention here, like in the first game, all the tunes were well chosen with regards to the tone of the narrative but also suitable to the world Lara was in at the time. Environments were well thought out and the plants, water, sky and weather effects were all exceptional which should provide many with screenshot worthy moments.
Overall Rise Of The Tomb Raider was one of the best games I have played in a long time and one that I will play again and again as I try to reach 100% completion. The graphics are significantly better than the first in the series and the game on Xbox One runs beautifully. Everything looks wonderful from the beginning until the end. It’s great to play as Lara Croft again and I can’t wait for the next in this series to be released because Rise Of The Tomb Raider was just so much fun!