Rise of the tomb raider is the sequel to 2013’s reboot of the classic series. The game has just released on PC after its release on Xbox one a little while ago. The game does not do a lot to differentiate itself from the reboot in base mechanics but what they have added adds so much to make it a unique action game that blends genres to create a wonderful twist on classic action adventure tropes. With inspirations from the last of us and uncharted it flaunts crafting and logic puzzles giving it some big boots to fill.
Sound and voice
The sound of ROTTR is confined to grunts of exertion and gunshots both of which sound great and pack the appropriate amount of punch. However some of the voice acting is very uninspired and lacks some emotion.
ROTTR is a pretty game. Fire and animations are smooth and tend to add to the immersion of the game. The landscapes are glorious, from the long deserted Russian gulags to the tombs themselves it is all designed deliberately and looks wonderful. Lighting is also used to great effect to make up for some of the more primitive textures on display. However their are a couple of small foibles with the way the game runs and looks. Their are major problems with optimization. Some areas cause FPS to drop below 30 and rest between 30-45 witch is surprising seeing as most of the game runs at a solid 60 FPS. their are also some vistas were the sea and the distant pines are quite obviously very ugly which is surprising due to the fact that most everything else doesn’t.
The story of ROTTR is not anything you haven’t heard before. The characters fall into basic archetypes and it is not until the end were it really picks up speed and the drama amps up. Its passable but not anything to write home about.
The beauty of ROTTR’s gameplay is that it is a very diverse and multi-faceted machine. Its climbing is really enjoyable and packs in multiple mechanics to make it engaging and fast paced. Their are also these survival-esque mechanics in the game which really adds to the idea of being a scavenger in a unexplored world. These survival mechanics manifest themselves in scavenging all sorts of supplies to craft arrows, healing items, pouches and weapon upgrades. After every couple main missions the game lets you loose in small but detailed open environments packed with side missions, rare animals to hunt and weapon parts to collect. This contrasts well with the heavily scripted main missions, in fact these are so enjoyable that I can see these being a much bigger part of further entries. There are also challenge tombs which deiver a steady drip of aha moments and are rewarding but not unbeatable. Combat in ROTTR is awesome. Engagement starts in stealth were you can quietly pick off enemies, booby trap corpses and take people out with your trusty bow. Eventually you will get spotted which lets the game show its teeth with brutal close range combat that mixes almost all the other systems in the game to create a tense and unique combat environment. In open combat you dash about scrambling up walls and across platforms, jockeying for a better line of sight all the while crafting Molotov cocktailsand other consumables on the fly. Laras small amount of health only adds to the tension. However the games leveling system cripples the progression locking key elements behind skill point doors and is another example of an unnecessary skill system which feels sort of meaning less.
Rise of the tomb raider is a great game which is engaging and enjoyable but some lackluster progression and a cliche ridden plot really drag it down. It is still a great game and worth its price tag.
7.5/10 Almost great