After being an Xbox exclusive for almost a year, Rise Of The Tomb Raider had quite the craving for PS4 owners. Now, that the robust 20 Year Celebration is out for Sony’s platform, it’s time to catch up with The Rise Of Tomb Raider.
The original game, along with Baba Yaga DLC, endurance mode, Cold Darkness Awakened were part of the season pass that Xbox owners were gifted with, but there’s also the Blood Ties and Lara’s Nightmare DLC , as well as a PlayStation VR mode in Croft Manor, each freshly releasing with this 20 Year Celebration. Sure, as PlayStation owners we’ve had to wait a full year to play this proverbial Game of the Year edition but it sure is one hell of a deal for PS4 owners. Aside from being a tad bit late, its worth a go.
Getting back to 2013’s reboot and other previous series have most likely pushed lara into danger against her will, marooning her on a strange island with even stranger secrets. But this time round, developers of Crystal Dynamics has made her go on her own will, instinct, or whatever seeking the key to eternal life. You may also call it hackneyed but its reality of games like tomb raider.
Tomb Raider is an awesome game, despite or possibly because of — the comparisons to Uncharted 4 that it received. As Uncharted itself received comparisons to the classic Tomb Raider games when Nathan Drake took the stage, it’s hard to look at Rise of the Tomb Raider without drawing parallels between the two, particularly having just come off of the most stunning Uncharted 4 earlier this year. Rise of the Tomb Raider follows Lara as she seeks the path of an ancient prophet and something called the Divine Source. Lara being Lara, is confident and smart, and reacts to danger with an action hero’s calmness and intuition. Lara refuses to acknowledge her father’s death, opting instead to seek the Divine Source, the object that could obviate death, sorrow and grief. Even the villains have compelling reasons for pursuing the heavenly power (if existed, even I would have).
She’s following up on some of her father’s research, and there’s somewhat of a personal story here, but I felt that it lacked a lot of heart. While making my way through the massive environments and learning more about the history of the world I was playing in, I found the narratives of the prophet, the people in the valley, the Soviets, and even some of the men in Trinity’s army, to be vastly more interesting than Lara’s place in the story. Where the first game was about a girl growing into the tomb raider that we’re all familiar with, being brutalized while she tries to save her friends. This game lost that personal touch. The thing that irks me the most was that it lacks the near reality touch and attachment with any of its being.
Speaking of blood ties, it’s purely story-based, but you do have the option to play the whole thing with PlayStation VR. It’s hard to see how the main game would work with VR, but peering around the mansion (which seems to have been refurbished by Umbrella Corp), it’s actually one of the better tech demos for the headset.
And, speaking of zombies, there’s a new expedition called Lara’s Nightmare, which is also set in her mansion and is the reverse of Blood Ties in that it’s all action and no story. The third major new extra is an expansion of the Endurance mode from one of the DLC releases.
Raising its difficulty level, endurance mode is build with survival mode where you have to keep yourself warm and fed at all times. In this new edition though you get to play it in two-player co-op, which works very well and is something we’d definitely like to see expanded in a future game. None of these additions feels like entirely tacked on experiences, except for perhaps Lara’s Nightmare, which serves little purpose or replay value. In fact, in many ways they almost make the main game feel like the side content.
Well, square Enix has done very well to keep all their fans happy and believe me when I say its a catch, a bargain for all. The lighting is better, especially in dark environments, where shadows play across the walls and Lara crawls through glacial caves.Textures are slightly more detailed, from the footprints in Siberia’s snow, to the leaves in its ancient valley. And while the framerate did stutter several times during cutscene explosions and quick camera cuts, they weren’t frequent enough to mire the cinematic experience.
With Rise Of The Tomb Raider it no longer seems as if the series is commanding its own impersonator and that being said, Lara Croft feels like her own woman, with her own ambition. We have no idea what the future will hold for her, but now that it’s available on all formats, Rise Of The Tomb Raider shows that the present Lara has never been ever better than this. One year after its released on Xbox One, Rise of the Tomb Raider is still a voyage to take a stride for.