Rise of the Tomb Raider is actually pretty good and is the most fun I’ve had with a Tomb Raider title, yet. It’s narrative is ripe with danger, violence, intrigue, mysteries, and it’s tombs are dastardly, dangerous, and fun to explore. Huge, beautiful vistas surround you as you make your way across the snow-ridden landscape. After all, you are Lara Croft.
Like the Tomb Raider reboot back in 2013, Rise of the Tomb Raider revels in light sci-fi and ultimately very grounded take on Lara Croft and it is a mix of realism and very high concept of searching for an artifact that can make life eternal. Rise of the Tomb Raider is all about Lara Croft and her deceased father and Camilla Luddington’s performance as Lara Croft is really good, and sold me on her relationship with ghosts of her past.
Every cut-scene, every moment you can see how Camilla put all of her strength into Lara Croft, Lara shines with brightness. Calm, Smooth, Confident as she rolls through danger as she becomes this action hero. And all the while, on the inside, she is still scarred by the last game’s events so Lara carries this weight. It’s a very good performance.
Lara’s ambitions and goals are complex now then in the 2013 reboot. This time, Lara is driven by obsession and a little bit of survival. Also, since the 2013 reboot, Lara is a seasoned fighter who inflicts more damage than what she takes, which is so frustrating but makes Rise of the Tomb Raider a real challenge to beat.
Also the bad thing is that most of the cast is not well-rounded out, but luckily I didn’t find it a problem because the supporting cast wasn’t always on the screen than the antagonists. Her antagonists are real-dark which makes Rise of the Tomb Raider one of my favorite games in quite a while because it’s dark, gritty, and realistic while it maintains some light-heartiness and high-octane action that you can only find in a Indiana Jones film.
Traveling around the in-game world has been reworked, all of Lara’s gadgets and tools of the trade have been upgraded to suit an adventurer’s lifestyle. She has now access to a wire spool, arrows that can help her reach a certain ledge. One of the fun parts about Rise of the Tomb Raider is the action that you can do with them. It’s frantic, acrobatic, heart-thumping chases that sometimes ends in death if you’re aren’t careful where you step.
Also, the puzzles has been reworked and retooled as well. The puzzles has been rooted into the main plotline, the best part is the ones that you can hunt down during the open world segments of Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Combat is the best and worst part about Rise of the Tomb Raider, it’s third-person shooting mechanics feel awfully dull and wonky and pretty loose, she can build all of the weapons like a nail bomb or special ammo to deal with different enemy types, the combat is just “fine” and “eh” at the same time.
The firefights can turn the much-needed and widely used stealth approach rather useless because while the firefights are “fine and eh” at the same time, the stealth approach is the best part because it tells you that you will survive longer and save ammunition and to me, in my playthrough, the stealth option is the best way to go.
Rise of the Tomb Raider raises the bar for the Tomb Raider franchise with a very fun storyline, dark villains, great and snowy vistas, actual tomb raiding and good puzzles thay make you think, while it’s combat isn’t there. It’s still a very much fun game to play. Lara steals the show, her ambitions and goals shows a new side to a character who has grown into a formidable action hero, while she doesn’t change or grow much by the end of the game. You can still see and tell how much Lara Croft has grown throughout the years.