Rise of the Tomb Raider Reviews

  • Mr VelezbianMr Velezbian348,071
    14 Nov 2015
    31 5 11


    Lara Croft returns in Rise of the Tomb Raider, the sequel to 2013’s critically acclaimed reboot Tomb Raider, and she is in full effect. Taking place one year after the events of the first, Lara is a seasoned and determined explorer. She uncovers a particular mystery that her father was investigating prior to his untimely death when she was young, and becomes obsessed with proving he was right. What follows is an intense, emotional, and breathtaking adventure that takes Lara to Siberia in search of a pseudo fountain of youth known as the “Divine Source.” This ancient artifact was said to be a source of immortality, and the obsession behind it defamed her father now plagues her.

    Lara claims merit to her father’s findings when she finds out that an ancient religious sect know as Trinity is on to her and looking to beat her to the Divine Source. She heads to Syria, looking for further clues about the Divine Source and its keeper, known simply as “the Prophet.” After a run in with Trinity that ends in bloodshed and destruction, Lara is more determined than ever. Backed by Jonah, they head to Siberia looking for the lost city of Kitezh (ki-tesh), which is said to be the last known location of the Prophet.

    Through a pretty hefty story mode (I clocked over 25 hours before the credits rolled), Lara is introduced to the natives of Kitezh and their battle against Trinity. Trinity is, at least in part, lead by a man named Konstantin, who is hell-bent on his god given destiny to find the Divine Source. He is a Bond-esque villain who is sinister, and just sane enough to be confidently intimidating. Though there are people pulling the strings for Trinity elsewhere, he leads the attacks on Kitezh and is a constant adversary of Lara. Croft must decide whether her personal quest or the fate of the natives are more important to her, and really decide how she wants to define herself as a person.

    With Rise of the Tomb Raider, Crystal Dynamics has put fourth one of the best range of environments in an action-adventure experience, with visuals pulling out top-notch lighting and textures. From the rocky, dry terrain of Syria, to being at the heights of Siberia’s glacial mountains, Lara takes you to sites that awe with ease. While scaling the ice ridden mountain-sides, howling winds and unstable surfaces threaten you at every move. The graphics are gorgeous and only further complimented by the great score. The music keeps the cinematic moments engaged and strung together. These two notions are consistent on every level throughout the game, with each new section to explore being both gorgeous visually while also keeping the player on their toes. It is a real edge of your seat type of gaming experience, with many sections rivaling a cinematic experience you would expect at the movie theater all the while remaining engaging.. The game runs smooth as can be, and really boils down to the fine details. From the snow in Lara’s hair, her shivering teeth, and the crackle of the fire, Crystal Dynamics left no stone unturned.

    The header I chose for this review (Not Your Father’s Tomb Raider) is a notion that shows how far this franchise has come. Rise exhibits how a game should evolve for the better, yet stay faithful to the source material. Growing up I watched my dad play Tomb Raider games and I was drawn in by the oddities it brought fourth. From finding secret treasures at the bottom of a pool or off the beaten path, to having to fend off supernatural enemies like mummies, it was something that gripped your attention. The biggest complaint about the 2013 reboot was its lackluster Tombs themselves, failing to be captivating or challenging for the most part. The developers listened, and the tombs have been much improved. Not only are they diverse, they are also rich and challenging experiences. The exploration in general is phenomenal. The enjoyment I had searching nooks and crannies of my own choice is partly to blame for my hefty game time. It comes off so naturally that it was easy to lose track of time dipping in caves and scaling hidden paths.

    The history behind many of the myths is also engaging. There are various documents, recordings, and relics to find that flesh out the Prophet’s story further. Again, this is very true to Tomb Raider’s own history and representative of how the series is being reflected as a whole. The gunplay, however, is one of those subjects that have massively evolved. It is still as tight as its predecessor, with multiple weapon options returning like the trusty bow, pistol, and some more powerful options as well. There is a great force behind these weapons, showing off a power you can feel. This is represented fantastically when behind the shotgun, which can send enemies flying backwards to their death. Without a snap to cover button, Lara goes into cover as well as stealth mode on her own when in the midst of combat or enemies. This can sometimes make for some situations in firefights where you do not feel in control, but rarely works against the player. The only pet-peeve I have is Lara’s angle from which she shoots, which in many cases you would expect an over-the-shoulder type view, is not present. Instead, players are shown a very angled view which comes off as unnatural. It’s also a shame that the classic duel wielded pistols are yet to be an option, considering they were shown off at the end of the last title.

    The main storyline is engaging and well put together. Players slowly piece together the many stories of the Prophet in a mystery that is centuries old. Challenges sprawl the well sized map, offering fun objectives like chasing chickens and cliff diving amongst other things. The natives offer some side missions too, but these are more typical than they are original. They do not add much to the lore of the area, being more objective orientated than over-arching. It’s not a horribly bad concept, as many games are subject to do so, but they could have been more engaging. The natives you interact with outside the main narrative are generic and nameless, which is what makes the bland side-missions more inhuman. The natives are not the only characters that were subjected to generic industry norms. Many of the enemies exhibit the overused class structure of bad guys that you can see in almost every action game. You can shoot several different types of baddies like “regular guy” or “shielded guy,” to even “flamethrower guy.” It would be less of a big deal if these types did not have to be introduced with a “tense” moment each game. We have seen them before, no need to be reintroduced.

    This time around the competitive multiplayer was dropped in favor of a new mode called “Expeditions”. These allow you to do a few challenge based modes like score attack which lets you replay segments of the story for high scores. Other maps let you create and play challenges for points, with objectives ranging from collecting resources to fighting off bears. The twist here is the challenge cards. These are essentially modifiers, both for the game and scores. Some are visual like adding big heads to enemies or Lara, while others limit your ammo or grant you certain weapons. These cards can be earned with in game coins as well as bought with real money. It is another industry norm, but I tend to not like the market strategies that have come about since the mobile game market boom.

    Rise of the Tomb Raider is a thoroughly enjoyable experience. It is nostalgic, engaging, and masterfully weaved game. Lara shines as a vetted explorer, with her actions and instincts feeling more natural than ever. Its story satisfies and excites for more sequels. With both games dipping their toes into the world of supernatural, I am hopeful to see more myths come to life in the series down the line. Crystal Dynamics rebooted Tomb Raider series is a brilliantly crafted idea that they have turned into one of the best action adventure experiences this year. I’ll hope for some duel wielding and diving the next time around, but for now I am all the more confident that Lara Crofts place in gaming history is in very capable hands.

    *A copy of the game was provided by the developer for reviewing purposes


    +Gorgeous visuals and sound
    +Lara is a seasoned explorer
    +Tombs are much improved
    +Great Story Telling
    -Some repetitive scenarios
    -Uninspired Enemies

    Check out more of my reviews at Player2Reviews.Weebly.com

    Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment.
    Do not post anywhere else without my permission please.
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    Mr VelezbianHow so? lol I do not think I ever mentioned bowling or the old country
    Posted by Mr Velezbian on 21 Jun 17 at 23:24
    Warboy925I think Skorpionic was referring to Kdiamond, lol.....I bought the 20 yr anniversary edition a few months back for the Xbone...I played the 360 version (base game) a year or so ago, I just started playing the Xbone version, and it felt like I never played this game before, it was just that beautiful,,,,,,,,,,,,,can't wait til Monday to see what this is gonna look like on my new 60' TV, I bet I'm BLOWN away!!!!
    Posted by Warboy925 on 01 Jul 17 at 11:23
    Mr VelezbianNice! Oh and that makes more sense, thanks for the clarification! Lol
    Posted by Mr Velezbian on 08 Jul 17 at 18:46
  • TheCampelloTheCampello220,946
    12 Feb 2019 12 Feb 2019
    1 3 0
    Hey there, my name is Campello and the game that I am going to analyze completely is Rise of the Tomb Raider, so give a pause to the adult entertainment sites that I know that you're acessing in this exact moment "Gosh, bullshit dude, I am here researching hard in weeks about the life of the armadillos chicken and you don't have notion of how interesting it is" Ehh.. ok. Wash this hand, prepare a snack, light stuff to not get fat, stay very comfortable, and come with me.

    Rise of the Tomb Raider is about a game exclusively single-player, with third-person perspective, of action-adventure genre, with plataform and RPG elements, developed by Crystal Dinamics and published by the Microsoft (on Xbox 360 and One, it would be published in the following year by Square Enix on PS4 and PC), released on november of 2015, and let's start by the plot.

    After what happened on the first game, Lara wrote about her adventure and the events that she witnessed, but ended up being called of farse and liar by the media because all of her evidences were erased by a secret organization called "The Order Of Trinity" that have religion nature and exist more than a thoushand years, they collect ancient relics and erased facts that linked to the supernatural, and no, they are not the good ones. In order to collect the stuff they need and want, they kill a lot of people, file burning completely. Lara, ended up seeing herself in her father's shoes, it is revealed that he pass the same situation when she was still a child, her dad studied and researched and went after the legend of the immortal prophet, it would have a tomb containing the secrets of the immortality, like Lara, everything he wrote it was ridiculed and erased mysteriously, transforming him for many in a farce, in what took him to enter a great depression, getting to the point of kill himself. Lara never accepted (it's not even possible right?) what her father did, and now decided to scour the documents and audio files of her father, and go after to prove to the world that he was not wrong. Again, the Trinity will pursue Lara and become the great villain of the whole game.

    The story is objective and even have some points of plot-twist, but in general isn't as exciting as the first, nor have moments of great impact. Like, in the first one, we have all the Lara's transformation of her find herself forced to survive alone, the first animal she had to killed to eat, the first human she had to murder to survive, there is a great emotional factor, of her becoming to the badass Lara that we know it in this reboot series. Now the plot received a major focus, in the classics each game had its own plot and had a lot of plot hole... Anyway, we have a Lara that still make mistakes and hurts herself a lot, but this time doesn't have freshness, Lara already embraced her badass persona. About her personality, the change happened and tends to happen each more for each game launched.

    The time to complete the campaign have a duration of 12 to 15 hours, but how it have a lot of things to do besides the main campaign, who seeks the 100% can double this time with facility.

    And how the game works?

    Rise of the Tomb Raider is nothing more than a extension of its former predecessor, they simply did not touch the cake's recipe (even because it was a delicious cake already, had functioned, the fans approved), this time, they just add some things over it, threw some chocolate, a couple of chantilly and strawberry, to let the thing the better of the best.

    Lara is capable of walk, walk fast, run, walk down, take cover, jump, climb, dodge, swim, use physical attacks, aim, shoot, with a novelty of some finishing in stealth, including a death that comes from above (Altair style dude, Ezio, total Assasin's Creed) and almost all this moves received more details in its realization by the Lara's body, adding some millesimal of seconds of animation, letting everything even more plastic and realist.

    The upgrade system also remains, winning XP (and thus points) those that can be distributed in a upgrade tree or better, a bonfire of upgrades (haha... wow what a awful joke) sorted in three distinct habilities; fighter, hunter and survivor, besides it being able to realize fast travel in between. The survival instict also remains, and when is activated, he highlight in the screen everything of Lara's interest. Example: a item that can interact, a secret, animals, and even enemies.

    In the previous game we had a nice number of puzzles, that was a classic trait of the series and always existed, but the level of difficulty was very low, in some secret tombs, they were "normal", but nothing was challenging. Now the amount of puzzles pratically doubled and its difficulty (complexity) increased as well. And not only the difficulty, but they were really well worked on, like, I don't recommend for you to search answer on the internet, allow yourself to be challenged, it isn't nothing from other world to discover this secrets, and give a good sensation when you unveils. Talking seriously, try to solve the puzzles by yourselfs, you will get the job done, believe me.

    The system of percentage also remained, the world around you have a lot to offer besides the main campaign; there is text documents, audio files, artifact, relics, the secret tombs that, in the previous game, they owned riches and fragments to upgrade the weapons and build new ones, this time besides all that, there is too automatic upgrades (you know that stuff that you unlocked of fighter, like more resistance to damage? Instead of spend a level point with this, who knows you unlock it by completing a tomb).

    Other novelty was the radio tower, we should destroy it in order to avoid that soldiers of that region communicate among them. Cool right? There is a shed that sells weapons with a bonfire in its side for us to utilize the fast travel, there is a currency in the game for us to make this buys. And secondary missions were inserted. Pay attention, don't confuse with the previous ones, are really missions. Like, help a injured soldier and arrange a safe place for him to hide, help the village doing micro-missions, collecting items, things like that, that increases the time of gameplay. And is not boring, but fun. Lara now is also capable of, besides the traditional recovery, create a curative with certain itens, for a immediate cure.

    The plataform elements, translating, the leap challenges, ended up being too easy in the previous game if you compare with the classic ones, and the real challenge stayed on account by the shooting and battles. Talking about it, a new assistance came back, hook. You know the hook? The one from Tomb Raider Legends? Now Lara can avoid a fall, like you jump wrong then you throws the hook and she hangs on it. And also reach places very distant. I like they bring back elements from the old-school. The violent and explicit deads of Lara continue and now with more variety. Some give much agony and sorry for her.

    The ambiance I believe it rejects comments. The map is way more extensive,
    almost three times bigger then the previous. And not only the places for exploration are more vast and with more variety, offering more options to stealth finishing moves, like instead of have 2 or 3 paths, there is 3 or 4, letting the gameplay less linear. But the life on the scenario, everything, is much more dense, the form the nature moves; trees, vegetation, rain, wind, a lot of animals. The action scenes, where everything starts to collapse and explode remains, but the level of details of the destruction (be fire, smoke, explosion), it's jaw-dropping. The graphic is beautiful (even on the X360), well fit on the next-gen. The facial expression of Lara improved a lot and mainly her hair, the number of hair strands increased, and this hair, reacts to water, land, snow, it would be among, if not the best one ever, best hair in a game in the present moment. Its really impressive. Another cool thing, is that all the deep wounds that Lara had during the adventure of the first game, are now present, in her body in form of scar (the guys were attentive). The loadings take around 5 to 7 seconds, also some framerate drops happens during the checkpoints.

    The controls remains the exact same ones, as the gameplay. Even the failures that happened in the previous game, happens here too. A example, is you jumping and try to hold a rope, sometimes, Lara pass through the rope and not hold it. The difficulty increased in relation to the first, for having more puzzles as I already said, and fights even more frenetic, but in general continues restful, nothing Tomb-Souls level.

    Lara is capable of creating smoke bombs, bombs, and molotov cocktail. It is incredible the amount of bottle scattered for you to do it, this also contributed for the game to become more easy. The arsenal is compose by the multi-task of the hatchet, which opens doors and chests, climb, attack enemies, serves as a improvised zipline. The knife and bow arrow (note here is my favorite weapon) know there is more types of poison arrows, collecting besides wood to build the arrow, mushrooms too. Types of pistols, shotguns, light machine guns. The IA remained the same, I hoped a improvement. The humans still communicate in a realistic way, like "she is reloading attack her! Stay sharp! She is trying to flank!". When you start to shoot a lot of them, the ones that are leftover run away from you, limp. This is nice. But in certain times they are blind, you go there are two side by side, you put a knife in the head of the guy with helmet and the one close don't ear sometimes. This was a mistake of the developers, they should have fixed, should have improvement more the IA. The animals that you face don't limit only to wolfs, we have leopards, bears and the IA also remains the same for them. The cool part is that they attack in gang if you attack some, the ones left over ones run away, but that same problem remained, that you shoot a arrow in a wolf, and he simply doenst react, he acts like nothing happened, continuing attacking.

    About the bugs I saw very little, some enemies died stand, staying hard looking like a statue, the fact that Lara pass directly through the ropes that I spoke, some polygon breaks, you look to the horizon and see a tree flashing without twig, and them appear a rock and disappear, graphic problems.

    The game doens't have a multiplayer mode anymore, but there is another mode of game where you can customize the conditions of the phases. While playing, we are going to win a pack of cards, cards that create this conditions. All the enemies suffering from fire, all enemies resistent to bullets that can only be killed in stealth, or joke cards like all the enemies and Lara are big-headed, there is too a market of micro-transaction which is the reality of games now, believe or not. You can buy packs of this cards if you want. At least is not pay-to-win, right? Is way optional, only to those who really want to spend on this.

    Rise of the Tomb Raider have a OK story, without the same striking moments of the previous, but at least the transition of personality of Lara happened and is still happening, being each time more badass. In terms of gameplay, if there is something to criticize in this game, is the lack of daring in this area, is incredible similar, it appears we are playing the same game. It wasn't inserted much noveltys on this aspect. Now in others, it wasn't even touched, like gameplay and IA. In tecnology terms, like graphic, facial expression, moviment, ambiance, the soundtrack, is to clap. Taking this lack of boldness and innovation apart, it is a great game, super fun, that will please the Lara's fandom.

    Well kids so is this, I hope you have enjoyed, don't forget to evaluate and if possible, comment. And if you liked then follow me, big hugs to all of you, all the best always, thanks for everything.
  • joFuRijoFuRi168,468 168,468 GamerScore
    31 May 2018
    1 3 1
    Rise of the Tomb Raider is the second game from the 2013 reboot Tomb Raider following the new Lara Croft as she goes to find the divine source, the secret to immortality from the lost city of Kitezh hidden in the remote wilderness of Siberia. Does Tomb Raider get the treasure or does it get lost in the snowy wilderness of siberia.

    Graphics: are amazing in this game with lots of destruction, great lighting and expensive rendering shampoo for Lara’s hire. If you have a PS4 Pro you get even more graphical choices with higher frame rate, higher visuals, and 4K gaming. Not a lot of games on console do this at all mostly kept to the PC. So Rise of the Tomb Raider is gorgeous to look at a good showcase for the PS4 Pro. Still looks good on standard PS4 for those who don’t want a pro. Plus I am sure half of the game’s budget went to render Lara’s hair which is the best looking hair in gaming

    Gameplay: Largely the same from the previous game. The same Metroidvania style with more emphasis on survival than the last one. At least on high difficulties as in the normal and easy you can easily rambo your way through trinities force like they were training dummies. If you play on Survivor like me then enemies are no pushovers they flank and try to out maneuver all while on limited resources. It reminded me a lot of the Last of Us crafting looking for ammo, You consistently upgrade your weapons and level up skills on the skill tree. As is tradition by the end of the game Lara becomes an unkillable goddess that can’t be killed no matter what difficulty which is very rewarding as always.

    Tombs: make a triumphant return with 9 unique tombs all holding various upgrades for Lara. Like the last game these are the best part of the game as you explore the beautifully crafted areas and solve puzzles. The puzzles are not too hard I only had to look up one the baths of kitezh. Did all of them and they were all well made at no point did any tombs feel lazy or padding.

    Lore: the story of rise was boring and average but the lore from the game was great. You go to Russia to find the lost city of kitezh. You find the natives of the land descends of the Byzantine empire. The various different groups that came here the soviets, mongols, and trinity assassins. An ancient prophet from the former empire of Byzantium that was excommunicated. The lore has the best writing in the game.

    DLC: As a result of Playstation owners waiting for a year all the DLC comer with the game. Essentially the 20th year anniversary is a game of the year edition which came with a limited artbook from the 20 years of tomb raider. The Artbook was nice bonus and the game being complete is the cherry on top of this sundae. The DLC’s include Baba Yaga the best one, opens a new section in the metroidvania map. Endurance Co-op a survival mode with two play co-op. Cold Darkness awakened a Zombie mode and a nice epilogue blood ties explore the new famous croft manor pick up relics and documents that show lara’s past and family upbringing. I would say the year wait was worth the wait as you get the complete experience

    Story: The story is pretty boring. While it was fun learning the lore the quality of the writing dips with the story. Lara’s trip to Siberia lead Trinity a Zealot military group to go after her lead by konstantin a fanatic who's not a very interesting villain which is a shame because those make compelling villains but Konstantin is a generic bad guy that occasionally mentions god. Not to mention the boss fight with him was a joke you hide and stealth kill three time and boom dead. If you want to play Tomb Raider for the Story you are better off playing something else.

    Release: Tomb Raider had a bad release first announce as a xbox one timed exclusive and releasing on the same day as fallout 4 also having the PS4 Port coming in the fall with all the new game releases was another bad call. The Reason I bring make this a negative is due to self sabotaging their own game’s hype as it got buried by bigger titles. Many people passed on this game because it got overshadowed with two bad release dates. Next Tomb Raider game which will 100% come out near the time of the live action movie reboot better have a better release date

    Expeditions/Microtransactions: The multiplayer from the first game is gone which is good because it was not good and nobody played it. Instead it is replaced by Expeditions an arcade mode. Wouldn’t care until I saw the modifier cards are a form of microtransactions. Multiplayer maybe gone by Square Enix still wants them shekels and while it's all optional it shouldn’t be an option to buy modifications for an arcade mode Expeditions is not even good it's not bad but it’s not good either. I played through it once and never touched again as I saw no reason to it felt out of place for a metroidvania game to have a linear arcade mode.

    Despite some issue I found Rise of the Tomb Raider to be a great game and highly recommend it, Dare I say I enjoyed Rise of the Tomb Raider more than Uncharted 4 which was overrated to be honest. Although Rise of the Tomb Raider didn’t do anything too new so if you didn’t like the reboot you won’t like this game but if you did like it this refines the it by adding more stuff and getting rid of things that didn’t work. It’s not all home runs but Rise is the definition of a great sequel.