I finally put the controller down after the end of Rise of the Tomb Raider and reflected on all of the things Lara and I accomplished together. This story is much different than her coming-of-age reboot in 2013. The previous entry told the story of her initial travels as she became the legendary tomb raider that we’ve all come to love. Unlike the reboot’s setting of a mysterious island, we now find Lara in various locales throughout the sequel. Lara fights her way through snowy mountains, geothermal valleys, and underground caverns; the latter of which look simply stunning. In this second story, Croft is uneasy about accepting the death of her father and sets out to find an artifact that grants immortality.
The graphics of Rise of the Tomb Raider certainly do not disappoint and are easily among the best graphical presentations during this current console generation. It’s a display of what’s capable on the Xbox One when the coding is optimized for it. The PC version also holds up very well with a myriad of graphical tuning options. However, you’ll need a decent rig to be able to handle the game at it’s very highest settings on PC.
The gameplay is very similar to the 2013 reboot. The third person gameplay has been tweaked for the better. It feels a little tighter than the last game. Lara can choose from one of four basic weapons: a sidearm, shotgun, assault rifle, and her very familiar bow. There are different models that she can choose from as well as the ability to upgrade any one of them. There is also a large focus on crafting. This makes sense as Lara is continually needing to make use of her surroundings. Collecting items to craft things such as holsters, extra ammo pouches, and arrows can be a bit tedious sometimes and can distract from the story and its setting. However, I never felt that it was such a burden that I stopped enjoying my time playing the game.
The overall single player campaign was pretty lengthy, around 8 – 14 hours depending on your play style. The story was entertaining albeit a little cliché at times. However, the action and fun never stop throughout the entire single player campaign. If you get bored of the campaign, make sure to search out the many tombs that Lara is able to explore. These tombs reward players with extra items needed for crafting and upgrading inventory.
I enjoyed my time very much with Rise of the Tomb Raider. Its faults are far outweighed by all of the amazing set pieces and nonstop action. Lara’s latest adventure earns her a 9 out of 10.