Rise of the Tomb Raider – Dale’s Review

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Lara Croft Delivers Again

Dale’s Review

As the credits roll all one can do is sit in pure bliss and watch. This is the feeling at the end of Rise of the Tomb Raider. We have posted updates during gameplay, but now I’m done and ready to review.

When buying this game it came down to a choice between Fallout 4, and this, and in the end I’m glad I made the decision that I did.  Rise of the Tomb Raider is spectacular in every way.  Despite the fact that I still have to get to Fallout 4 and Star Wars Battlefront, this is the best game I’ve played all year hands down. So let’s get into it.

Square Enix Hit It Out Of The Park

This game is just wonderful.  it contains all the components necessary in a great adventure game; spectacular location, high stakes, a challenging enemy, a mystery and more. The game is especially potent for those of us who grew up idolizing Indiana Jones. If a game company would take everything about this game and slap Indy in it, you’d have a home run Indiana Jones game,but Lara Croft fills the position ably.  This game is basically an Indiana Jones movie in game form, with everything from booby traps to crumbling floors, to ancient relics, are here and it’s all at your fingertips……….literally.

The most exciting, and beautiful, moments in the game are when you’re exploring ancient tombs, and buried cities. There’s a breathtaking Byzantine ship buried in ice that’s totally worth the side quest to experience.

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whenever you are asked why you seek the divine source, this is what you’ll say, in your head…….most of you, ok I said it out loud

The Plot

I don’t think I have to explain who Lara Croft is. If you  need it explained please step to the left and prepare for execution. So, we catch up with Lara one year after the events of the first Tomb Raider, trekking up a mountain in Siberia, looking for something called the Divine Source. You have been discredited by a shadowy organization called Trinity (aka  The Ancient Order of Dicks), who also have some connection to Lara’s deceased father (whom they also discredited). Lara has inadvertently led Trinity to the Siberian mountains and the ancient city of Kitezh. If you know your history and mythology, which I do (I looked it up) it’s actually a legendary lost city in central Russia. That adds a whole layer of mystery to the game and actually connects it to the past.

Graphics

So let’s move on to what really pops in this game, the visuals. The landscape is INCREDIBLE.  Everything from the peaks of icy mountains to the low valleys surrounded by enormous mountains, to the lost cities and tombs themselves, everything is big and awe inspiring.

This game truly excels when it comes to the mountains. I come from a place near the rockies, and love going to the mountains. One thing that anybody who’s seen the real big mountains knows is that mountains are enormous, and awe inspiring  in person. This where the game triumphs, the mountains are huge and looming, and they certainly do the trick of making you feel small.

The underground tombs and lost cities are nothing short of incredible. Decayed and ruined by time but beautiful in their own right, but the truly great thing is that these places are able to be explored. You aren’t bogged  down by linear gameplay or lack of shit to do. Just run around, explore tombs, find cities and be your best Lara Croft.

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The snowy peaks of Siberia

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One of the many tombs just waiting to be explored

Mechanics

This all brings us to the big question, how does the game play?  I enjoyed the game mechanics. The jumping was on point, no button delay at all. One thing that bothered me was the fact that reload is X/Square, and melee is Y/Triangle. This was sort of awkward and difficult to get used to, considering that in most games reload or melee is X/Square, and Y/Triangle is to switch weapons, but you’ll get used to that quickly. Other than that the game mechanics are wonderful, you won’t have any problems once you get used to it.

The Icing On The Cake

Let’s get into what really brought this game home for me. There was a real sense of danger in things like crumbling floors with spikes beneath, avalanches, finding your way out of underwater caverns before you drown, etc. Stuff like that makes for an exciting experience. Running full tilt through an ancient building as it crumbles around you, is thrilling every time especially when you get to the end of the building. That’s where you realize, you have to jump, and hope you survive all the way to the other side where youa use your axe to latch onto something to grab. Will you make it? You won’t know until you jump.

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Oh………..shit, you have to outrun this (click image to see avalanche video clip

In Conclusion

Ok, so let’s wrap this up, guys and girls. The final verdict is that this game is absolutely wonderful, a thrill, and a pleasure to play. Don’t wait, pick it up now. Get it in your collection. Any game that makes you feel accomplished at the end is a great game, and this is absolutely a great game. As Richard Croft put it,  “Greatness is in what we do, not in who we are.” So get out there  and do something great, adventurers.

 

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