The game begins in a fantastic way. A typical Tomb Raider beginning. She was on a cliff-face climbing to the top of a mountain to find the lost city, when the entire mountain pass was struck by a lightening storm which starts an avalanche. What I loved about this was that sheer desperation I felt, that kick to the head that made me role play. The fact that if I didn’t move I will die made me clutch that controller and just run like hell!
This game is extremely great in the action it delivers because there are just so many moments when sh*t just goes crazy and surviving is just a matter of quick reflexes, and they are fast, in combat and in exploration, you rarely find yourself struggling with the controls. It’s a refreshing touch after having cursed Assassin’s Creed Syndicate for the last few weeks. The combat feels similar to the last game in the reboot.
Sneaking and shooting is just as fun. Small elements like climbing trees, poison arrows and various other crafted material make the combats more fun and enable taking down bigger and harder enemies easier. The crafting menu reminds me of Witcher 3 and Far cry.
It works on the same principle– collect raw material to make your equipment like grenades, arrows, etc. These minor changes to the game play mechanics make you cautious with your resources as a survivor should be. Which brings us to our protagonist – Lara Croft.
Lara is an explorer and is obsessed with finding “The Divine Source”, an artifact her father had been searching for years. The artifact holds the secret of immortality and the after life. And having been subject to the concept of supernatural in the last game she has questions she wants answered.
And that makes this Lara different from the ones in the last games. Though she picks up from the character she was, you can still feel the sheer desperation in her tone and the expressions on her face that really bring across an altogether darker tone to the story.
This is no longer a happy adventure game or a novice learning how to survive in the wild. The serious tone accentuates the idea of being a survivor. But obviously you aren’t alone. You have Trinity and it’s a gang of cut-throats at your tail. You race them to the divine source and as far as villains go, Trinity is pretty bad ass.
Exploring tombs is more fun, with the ancient sites telling a story that connects to the main plot, and you gain new abilities for solving the puzzles in the tombs, which makes digging for these tombs more rewarding than it used to be.
The game looks visually impressive and more often than not you find yourself slowing down to appreciate the stunning view. The caves and caverns, mountain passes, makes you feel like an explorer treading uncharted (hehe) territories.
The PS4 release brings with a host of new content including all the DLC, along with new content. A new story chapter Blood Ties, takes you in the Croft Manor. It’s mostly exploration with a nifty VR integration if you own a PS VR. It’s a neat insight into the Croft family, and adds more depth to the characters overall. Then there’s Lara’s Nightmare, which is in direct contrast of the exploratory, and almost serene feel of Blood Ties. It’s packed with combat against zombie-like enemies, and it’s loads of fun. there’s even a co-operative mode added into the Endurance DLC, which make the already enjoyable mode, even more so. Overall, if you haven’t played Rise Of The Tomb Raider, this is the most complete package you will get for the game.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is one crazy, adventurous, story rich, intense, action game, and if you are looking for a break from the deluge of open world games lately, you should definitely check it out. I loved my experience and I loved the new tone of character.