Up until this year, when a certain motorsport game came out that replicates the 2016 F1 season, I called our Playstation 4 “the Tomb Raider box” because that’s pretty much all it was good for. I’m not a big console gamer but Tomb Raider has always been a huge love of both mine and Mr C’s, so it was only natural we grabbed the new Rise of the Tomb Raider game as soon as it became available (which was a year later than on the Xbox, thanks peeps).
I remember struggling with the increased realism in the previous game because whilst on the one hand there were incredible views and staggering graphics, there were also some pretty grisly areas on the map and some horrific death scenes to give you nightmares. Thankfully, Rise of the Tomb Raider seems to have dialled some of that down.
We’ve been playing for a good few nights now and have completed about a quarter of the game, so firstly, a big thumbs up for value for money. What Square Enix seem to have done with this outing is (at least so far) reduce the sheer volume of enemies that need to be dispatched and instead focus on running, jumping, scavenging and of course, completing those all important puzzles. That’s more like the Lara adventures we know and love.
That’s not to say there aren’t bad guys to shoot in this game, because there are and some of them are very hard. And there are things that could go the route of the nightmare - that swimming scene out of the ice, or whatever the heck those zombie wolves are. But it feels like (again, so far) that the developers have gone back to the core of Lara, those tombs and puzzle rooms that involve pulling levers and completing jumps in a certain amount of time to get to your destination. It feels like they’ve got a good balance and know what story it is they’re trying to tell without resorting to gore.
Plus, you can tell they’ve gone back to their roots a little with the reintroduction of Croft Manor, with all its little hidey holes and Easter Eggs, it’s a lot of fun.
So yea, the graphics are even more beautiful than ever before, they’ve got a better balance of gameplay, and we’ve been playing for hours and have just cracked 25%. I guess I’ll be productive again in 2017.