Rise of the Tomb Raider
Alex the Kidd, Gamers of the Round Table
Lara Croft has returned to PlayStation with her 20 Year Celebration edition of Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix’s Rise of the Tomb Raider. The follow up to 2013’s Tomb Raider, fans have been eagerly awaiting the next installment of the rebooted franchise, and now after a year-long wait, PS4 owners can experience Lara’s next adventure; does Rise of the Tomb Raider live up to the twenty year legacy of this award winning franchise, or is it a failed expedition that could derail the progress its predecessor set?
Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration is packaged with concept art from the creators and fan art submitted in celebration of twenty years of Lara Croft. Along with this collection of art, the game comes with every add-on available during the first year of its release, and new content as well. This includes VR support for “Blood Ties”, new “Ultimate Survivor” difficulty mode, new outfit and gun inspired by Tomb Raider III, 5 classic Lara skins, Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch, Endurance Mode, Cold Darkness Awakened, 12 outfits, 7 weapons, and 35 Expedition cards. With all of the additional content offered, players can feel good about paying full price for a game that is technically a year old; in the end you actually save money compared to those who bought the Xbox 1 copy last year and then purchased all of the subsequent DLC afterwards.
The story in this game is a proper continuation from where we last left off. Players see the aftermath of the previous adventure where a survivor was born, and the ripples it created in Lara’s life. The adventure progresses at a steady pace, and no plot-point is left unresolved.
The emphasis on resource gathering is a welcome addition, forcing players to hunt, forage, and look for supplies to upgrade their weapons and gear. Players must also gather collectables to increase their knowledge of ancient languages in order to find valuable artifacts. This game keeps the player from having anything handed to them, forcing them to earn the valuables they seek.
The inability to blind-fire from behind cover becomes a problem as the amount of combat Lara is subjected to increases; when enemies are both running to your position and firing from a distance, the battles can feel aggravating, especially for those playing on survivor or ultimate survivor mode. The brutality seems toned down compared to the last installment, and while many may enjoy the lack of graphic visuals, it was a major component of the rebooted franchise – this isn’t your old Tomb Raider game, and this isn’t Lara Croft as you’ve experienced her before.
Lack of dual-wielding pistols; at the conclusion of Tomb Raider, Lara defeats the final boss by firing two pistols simultaneously as an homage to the classic weapons of choice that have populated the series since the first game. While this is about the beginnings of Lara Crofts journey, this installment didn’t even offer a nudge to the classic weapons. The end of the last game insinuated that we would see a development in Lara’s arsenal, but players are left with more of the same from the previous installment.
10 – Rise of the Tomb Raider is a welcome addition to an already amazing franchise, not only continuing the journey set out from the 2013 reboot, but standing on its own as an excellent Tomb Raider game. This Lara Croft is a very human character, and while she isn’t the dual-wielding badass she was in previous years, it’s clear to see that she is well on her way. The 20 Year Celebration Edition for PS4 is the complete experience and then some, providing everything a gamer could want and more in a full-priced game. This game is the reason for owning a PS4.