Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback
Rise of The Tomb Raider continues a plot line that was recently started in 2013 and follows Lara Croft through various environments while she becomes obsessed with uncovering what Trinity, an organization which intends to cover up the truth, is hiding. It is similar to the latest installment in that it provides the player with platforming perils, item collection, and puzzle aspects. Tomb Raider has come a long way from its start over the years and has a significant fan base to prove its success. Let’s see if the latest installment can do the series justice.
In all honesty, this games feel is absolutely epic. You aren’t going to have hardly any points during the game play that feel boring or quaint. The game is set to have as many explosions, and near death experiences as one can take. Near falls off the side of a cliff, rickety buildings, and the quick use of items keeps our hero from the brink of death at every turn. If you like action this is your calling. It kept the play style interesting at every turn and truly fun.
One of the interesting aspects of the title was the insanely huge environments. I remember in 1996 with the original Tomb Raider, the vast scale of the game seemed gigantic at the time. It left the player in awe and wanting to explore for more. This title gives me the same feeling on an even larger scale. Environments are alive and moving, just waiting for Lara Croft to explore. Besides just the scale of the environments, the visuals for them are incredible. I’m not sure that graphically, now, it gets any better. Water ripples with a realism that is unmatched, while characters are shown in intricate detail unlike many titles out there today.
Using Lara’s new tools was a favorite aspect of mine in the game this time round. They can be used in quick succession to keep Lara from hitting the ground far below. Shot wires, ice picks, rope arrows, and the like become necessary during the play through to keep her moving forward in a fluid movement and off the ground. Traversing the world is a big deal and takes a good amount of skill from the player themselves. The controls are smooth, which I’m thankful for when there are many times Lara was running from a crumbling environment and I was left desperately clawing at the right button to keep Lara moving in an upward direction. This can make for some annoying play throughs but I can also appreciate the skill level and the satisfying feeling once I get through certain sections of the game.
Lara has to deal with a lot of shenanigans on her adventures, which means puzzles and fire fighting to the max. However, with the amount of shooters out there today, I honestly wish this would have been a game based more on puzzles and less on shooting at the nearest enemy. Lara is an explorer more than she has every been a weapons vet, and I was expecting her to be balanced more towards the exploration side a bit. While button smashing sequences get us through some level of Lara’s environments, and there are many puzzles to explore, there are too many times when an enemy is afoot. Most of the best tombs are also side missions and you wouldn’t run into them unless you were squarely trying to hunt it down. I felt like many of them should have been part of the main story line, a person uninterested in side missions wouldn’t have even come across them.
The combat aspect is well done. Lara can put together weapons on the fly, and taking down enemies in the game is quite satisfying. I find myself being more of a stealth fighter, and have always leaned toward this in Tomb Raider titles, this time around however, I found that there is no real reason to do this. Lara is such a skills fighter that taking down her enemies is quite easy, and seeing as how there is so much of it, she becomes much more militarized in her fighting style. I didn’t find this to be my favorite aspect of the game, but it wasn’t broken in any way either. I can see some players actually finding this more appealing, just personally it wasn’t my favorite.
All in all, while I think the game should be tweaked a bit, it was tons of fun and a definite experience that should be had. When I pick up a Tomb Raider title I expect more puzzle oriented aspects, and I think this is what needs to change in future sequels for the game, but really it’s not too much to complain about. With its semi-open world, vast side missions, challenging environments, and beautifully detailed scope, players can have an intricate experience with Lara Croft this time around.
Rise of The Tomb Raider Gets
4.5 Out of 5
+Environments are stunning and interactive
+Controls are smooth and instantaneous
+Story line is entertaining
+Puzzles are intricate and fun
+Combat is well done and grows with the game
-More puzzles needed in main story line
-Too much combat, Lara is an explorer