Rise of the Tomb Raider - Xbox One Review

The intrepid Lara Croft survived her adventure on Yamatai Island, returning a much different woman than she left. Now that she is back she has decided to solve the last mystery her father was working on, the mystery that claimed Lord Croft’s life. But is Lara up for the adventure that her Dad left uncompleted? Or will she be meeting him sooner than she expects?

The Adventure

One mystery in Lara’s life has always been what happened to her Father. The last great mystery that Lord Croft was researching, the mystery that caused him to be mocked by his peers and ostracized from his field, the mystery of The Prophet and the Divine Source. While researching the Prophet’s last know location Lara inadvertently helps a religious military group called Trinity discover where they need to go on their search for the Divine Source. Now it is a race between Lara and Trinity to find the Divine Source. If Lara wins the race she can restore her father’s name. If Trinity wins, the world will change, and probably not for the best.

To help her on this journey Lara befriends a group of natives that has been protecting the Divine Source for centuries. But is it enough to fight against a fully armed and ruthless military group? I guess that is for you to find out.

Now that you know the basic plot of the game, the big question is how does it play? If you played TOMB RAIDER you will find this game to be very similar; ok, exactly the same. You still have your survival instinct that takes the form of special vision. This helps you find equipment, survival caches, and track wild game or enemies. It is a good way to give the player something that is expected of a trained archaeologist, but not a couch potato. If you are good you can stealth your way through some areas, but other section will require you to go guns a blazing. One nice difference is when you fail and Lara does make an fatal mistake, the images are not as graphic as in the previous game. I didn’t see a single branch puncture her throat once.

Gear Makes the Woman

Much like her previous outing, Lara gets 4 primary weapons to “defend” herself with. The bow, pistol, rifle, and shotgun. Each weapon is upgradable with salvage found in the field, and from appropriate places. No longer will you find parts for a rifle in an ancient crypt or off a deer. Also each category of weapon has different actual weapons each with their own pros and cons. More damage or greater firing speed? Faster Reload or larger clip? Each weapon also has special ammunition. The most notable is from the bow with grenade arrows, napalm arrows, and poison arrows which are granted by the story. Other special ammo guns can be crafted by spending skill points.

Speaking of skill points, the 3 category leveling system is back. Only this time, you might actually want to put some thought into where you want your points. When I went through the game I found that I didn’t actually have enough skill points to fill all three trees as I did in TOMB RAIDER. Maybe if I had completed ALL the challenges I MIGHT have had enough, but there were only 3 or 4  I had not completed and I had several talents that I still had not chosen. It still gives a nice mix on play though.


So overall how did I like this game? It was fun, I don’t think it was a good as TOMB RAIDER, but I enjoyed it. It expands on Lara’s situation nicely and sets up to continue a series of interconnected games. Something that is important to keep a long running series going. The gameplay works well and you will, or at least I did, authentically care for the characters in the game.