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Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider is the follow up to Crystal Dynamics' reimagining of the Tomb Raider brand. Everything about these new titles is different when compared to the classic series, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. For instance, Lara's appearance changed so she has the proper look of a young woman around the age of 21.

While Lara may no longer be an extremely disproportioned individual, her agility is intact. She can run, jump, climb and hang from ledges better than she could in the old days. In fact, there are plenty of times throughout Rise of the Tomb Raider when you have to wonder how Lara even survived a specific fall or the dangers of the area you're in. Of course, that's when you remember it's a video game and it's OK to suspend belief for a short period of time.

Gunplay and puzzles

The classic Tomb Raider games were all about solving puzzles in the form of tombs (hence the title). In Rise of the Tomb Raider , there are only a handful of tombs you are forced to raid during the course of the story. Every other tomb is an optional adventure waiting to be discovered and eventually raided. The tombs are the only places where you'll encounter puzzles that must be solved to unlock the treasures within.

When you're not raiding tombs you'll explore vast landscapes, collecting resources for crafting and upgrading tools and weapons, and fighting Trinity forces. If you skip all of the side activities, Rise of the Tomb Raider has more in common with a third-person shooter than it does the classic Tomb Raider games of the past. While that falls in line with the previous game in the series, if you're a fan of the classic titles this may not be what you're looking for.

What Rise of the Tomb Raider does offer is a beautifully crafted game that will give you hours of enjoyment. You can select the difficulty level to match your skills as a gamer, with most of the differences coming in Lara's ability to regenerate health. On the hardest difficulty you may find yourself playing the game more like Metal Gear Solid or Assassin's Creed, favoring stealth or run and gun action.

Not quite raiding tombs

Where Tomb Raider falters is with the story and the lack of tombs. Rise of the Tomb Raider is meant to take place before Lara Croft becomes the tomb raider we all know and love. It's understandable that the number of tombs may not be as plentiful as they were in the original series.

There are a few more tombs you can raid if you venture off the beaten path, so for those of you looking for a bit of adventure we suggest going and hunting down those tombs. There's enough out there to fulfill any Tomb Raider fan's appetite, it's just a case of searching for those hidden gems in the semi-open world environment.

Lara's primary goal is to prove her father was correct about the lost relic known as the Divine Source. She must fight against a rogue organization called Trinity in order to prove her dad wasn't out of his mind. It's an intriguing story full of twists and turns as you progress.

The single player adventure will last roughly 10 hours if you play from start to finish with only a few of the side missions done. If you're shooting to get 100 percent completion, it will take the average gamer about 20 hours to finish Rise of the Tomb Raider .

At its core, Rise of the Tomb Raider is as entertaining and intuitive as we had hoped for. If you're playing this type of game you should focus on completing as much of it as possible, and you can always play through multiple times to get better placement on the leader boards, clearing areas as quickly as possible. In regards to her next adventure, more tombs, please.

GAME's Verdict: 8/10

What's Hot

  • Top-notch graphics on the Xbox One
  • Challenging and intuitive gameplay
  • Getting 100 percent completion will take awhile

What's Not

  • No multiplayer
  • Most of the tombs are optional side activities

Published: 12/11/2015

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