Rise of the Tomb Raider

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Rise of the Tomb Raider review
William Thompson

Review

Completing a father's legacy

Combat


Unfortunately, Lara does encounter the Trinity soldiers and it soon becomes a case of kill or be killed. With her trusty bow and the small arsenal of weapons, Lara can go about her business in a number of ways. In the Tomb Raider reboot, Lara began as a somewhat naive young woman who was hesitant about taking a life. She has no such qualms in this chapter, after seeing first-hand what the Trinity soldiers are capable of. After her initial encounter with Trinity, Lara can deal with the Trinity threat however you see fit. Lara can open up all guns blazing (which works well when there are small numbers of soldiers) or she can perform stealth tactics, either from close range with the use of her climbing axe, or from a distance with the bow.

Ammunition can often be scarce, and it can pay to be a little more discreet. Indeed, Rise of the Tomb Raider grants bonuses for stealthy kills, and quieter kills lead to less drastic consequences. Enemy soldiers will come in a variety of forms as well, and often require different strategies. Most will go down with a single arrow or gunshot, but there are some that have added protection, such as helmets and shields that mean headshots will be hard to come by. And the enemy AI is reasonably intelligent too. If they spot a comrade lying dead, they'll begin inspecting the area, and radio in to their commanding officer. Of course, they can also be distracted by the sound of breaking glass (from bottles thrown by Lara) and will often investigate, leaving an opportunity to not have to fight them at all on occasions.

Puzzles


The puzzles in Rise of the Tomb Raider aren't overly taxing, mainly requiring Lara to use her various skills and equipment to work her way through the scenario. The returning game mechanic known as Survival Instincts acts sort of like a hint guide for those that get a little stuck. Survival Instincts can also be used to track animals in search of prey as well as assisting to find items required for crafting similar to Eagle Vision in the Assassin's Creed series or the Focus skill in Thief.

Upgrades


Despite wanting to race through the main storyline missions for the next plot point, I often found myself wandering around in search of salvage parts and other collectibles. Weapons can be upgraded when the prerequisite parts are collected. This alone makes it worthwhile to jump off the main storyline path and do some exploration of the surrounds, in order to salvage these parts, as well as find hidden relics and other collectibles.

Upgrades are completed at the numerous Base Camps situated around the locales. Salvage parts can be used to upgrade weapons and equipment, as well craft ammunition (although crafting certain ammunition can be done on the fly throughout Laras journey). While at Base Camp, Lara can also upgrade her skills if she has gained enough XP to level up. Some of the weapon upgrades seem to make an obvious difference, whilst others can appear more cosmetic than effective. Of course, this often depends on your game style.

Completing her father's legacy


As a said earlier, I loved the Tomb Raider reboot a couple of years back and must admit I had been looking forward to doing some more treasure hunting as everyone's favourite English heroine. Rise of the Tomb Raider hasn't let me down. Although there aren't too many differences in the gameplay, the story has been written so well that it makes the game feel fresh despite the similarities. For me, that works out just fine. Why change a formula that works? The change in scenery certainly helps, but the storytelling, the voice acting and the detailed visuals provide for an enjoyable playing experience, one that leaves me wanting more despite all the hours I put into the game.

8.7

fun score

Pros

Lovely visuals and wonderful voice acting complement the enthralling storytelling.

Cons

Main storyline is quite linear.