Late last year, Rise of the Tomb Raider (sequel to 2013’s Tomb Raider by Square Enix) released on Xbone and 360. For Windows and Playstation users, we’d have to wait a few months to year, respectively, for the game to drop on our shores. So, with the release of Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration Edition on Playstation 4 this October, I finally get to play the game, and here are my thoughts on it:
Before moving on to the review, a disclaimer on my “experience” with the Tomb Raider franchise. I’ve been a fan since the Playstation era, and I’ve played MOST of the games. However, I never got to play 2013’s Tomb Raider. So Rise is technically my introduction to the reboot of the series. With that out of the way, let’s get on to the review proper.
As I said, this is a sequel to Tomb Raider (2013) and I haven’t played that. And yet, despite that, Rise of the Tomb Raider avoids the “pitfalls” of being a sequel game. Even though I haven’t played the original, Rise works well as a stand-alone game.
New players, such as I, don’t get lost as to who the characters are and what the story is about. The game does well to introduce characters who are important to the story without the context of the first game (except for Jonah… I am around 20 hours into the game, and I still don’t know why I should give a fuck about him).
The game also has a self-contained story that doesn’t require knowledge of the previous game.
So, let’s talk about the game itself.
Rise of the Tomb Raider, is at its core a “action adventure game” in the same vein as the Assassin’s Creed games. It is an open world set-up with collectibles, missions, resources, weapons, etc. scattered throughout the world.
I actually find the “open world aspect” of the game an over all weakness. As I mentioned earlier, I find the game VERY reminiscent of Assassin’s Creed, and I am sick of that style of game. Still, if you’re still into open world games, this is a very good one. Following that line of thinking, what I actually find as the game’s greatest strength are the tombs.
The tombs provide gameplay that’s reminiscent of the original Tomb Raider games, and THAT is what I enjoy about this game the most. The puzzle solving and 3D platforming challenges within the tombs are what I find most enjoyable about Rise of the Tomb Raider.