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November Video Game of the Month: RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER

This month’s choice came with ease as Crystal Dynamics delivers yet another fantastic entry in the Tomb Raider series. The Tomb Raider got rebooted back in 2013 and was very well received. This wasn’t just because of the game itself but how well Lara Croft as a character is now genuinely respected as a character in gaming, and is not just viewed as a object of sex appeal. The tradition continues in the sequel (Rise of the Tomb Raider) and perhaps even surpasses the success of the past entry.

Reasons To Play

  • More adventurous Lara Croft that can now hold her own
  • Tombs are more complex than Tomb Raider (2013)
  • Crafting useful items in combat on the fly
  • Fantastic visuals
  • An interesting look into Lara’s family

Crafting In The Midst of a Battle

The combat in Tomb Raider (established mostly in the previous game) is good but some may say uninspired. Taking cues from games like Uncharted it is well done but isn’t all that fresh. Because it is well done however, it remains fun, and the fun factor rises when you can collect cans or bottles in the battle field and turn them into weapons to throw towards enemies from behind cover. The adds for kills outside of just your bow and arrow or gunplay, or at the very least, a nice distraction to line up some easier kills. Crafting is possible based on items you end up finding throughout the game. While crafting is a highlight, added to the combat (or lack thereof in this case) is a genuine choice to now be stealthy instead. More stealth options and sneak attacks have now been added to the game for those who want to go the route of not attracting much attention while taking down foes.

Stunning Visuals

It’s the little things that attract attention. In this game, the scenery for every area you see is gorgeous and the snow parts are absolutely fantastic. In the colder weather, you can see Lara’s breath in the cold air. You can also see her shivering making the feeling of getting to a campfire feel like something that needs to be done a timely matter. Footprints and trails in the snow as you walk through it, as well as slower movement overall when walking through it are other notable details. These small touches keep you immersed in the game and push you to keep on going. Lara’s struggle is real and two games in, that feeling is still very much a prominent part of what makes this game worth getting into.

Lara Croft, Still The Star Of The Show

Camilla Luddington still manages to make Lara Croft in-game a very believable and outstanding character. Lara Croft is here to stay and now that she is more used to killing and survival in general, she is 100% battle ready, and even when help is offered, she is reluctant to accept it. Her journey will be successful no matter what she has to go through. Her battle-hardened demeanor is felt during the entire playthrough, although emotion does still come into play when death is apparent. She definitely still tries to help when she can and has a “no one gets left behind” attitude. Between this and her starting to understand her father’s ways of looking for treasure (The “Divine Source”) you get an experience worth every minute of your time. The chemistry also between her and her mother is also a plus but can’t be spoken about because spoilers.

Rise of the Tomb Raider is just that. A new rising of an older game franchise once again, a rise of one of a few great female protagonists this year, and a cut above the previous entry. Xbox fanboys can enjoy the fact that they have an exclusive (although timed) to compete with the Uncharted series and once again, it is a great game that stands on its own. The adventures are Lara Croft are here to stay and Crystal Dynamics seem to be doing a fine job with delivering a great story again now and likely in the future as well.

 

Cover image via TombRaider.com

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Categories: Video Game Reviews

Author:Victor Vellon

Victor has been gaming since his early childhood and plays many games. From retro to modern, his gaming knows no bounds. When not writing or playing games, he can be found engaging conversation on the Twitterverse as well as managing Video Gaming Hard Corps and it's many outlets.

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