Reviews · The Foundry

Game Review: Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015)

Hi All,

This is my review for Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015), I completed it this Tuesday that just went by. Suffice to say it was an enjoyable game with some things that stood out to me, from the story to the gameplay.

Now past this point to those people that do not want to have spoilers for the game I state to not continue reading further.  While my reviews don’t contact many spoilers there may be some, so I advise to not read further.

To continue, the Tomb Raider series of games has gone through a revival. First of all with Tomb Raider (2013) and now with Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015). The 2013 game reset the whole franchise, with a young Lara Croft adventuring on the island of Yamatai. The 2015 game is her second main outing, this time to an extremely cold region of Russian Siberia.

To start it off with the graphics, they were good. The short amount of time I used them at the highest setting, the view of the various landscapes, ranging from large mountains, the ice sheets to the green grass and flowing water. They all looked superb, a good showing of the graphics of the game. However saying that my computer couldn’t run the game on the highest graphics, so after a while of the game stuttering, I had to lower the graphics right the way down. On low settings, they were still good, though perhaps the character models suffered. Which I find strange since I don’t think the landscapes did, not sure how that worked, to be honest.

The gameplay took some getting used to, from the controls to the way combats and even the basic searching. There were some aspects that seemed to be purposefully easy down, like the way Lara had a survival sense. It made finding objects and items all too easy, which I didn’t like. After a while it became a crutch, I would tap the L3 button ever few moments to see if I was missing any items. I didn’t like that aspect of it at all,  I think when I do a re-run of the game I will see if I can disable it or maybe force myself to stop using it so much.

I am not into doing 100% completion playthrough, so I don’t know if it was weapons I could get later or by being more thorough. However, unlike the end of the 2013 Tomb Raider, Lara’s iconic duel guns were nowhere to be seen. I went through the whole story expecting Lara to pick them up, or for them to appear on the weapons screen to use. Again I don’t know if I was meant to do something throughout the game to get these weapons, it will be something I will look into in my second play through.

Now then while most of the aspects of the game have been good, there is one aspect that I felt was lacking and that was the story/plot. I felt it had a strong start, but somewhere midway through the game I stopped caring so much about the antagonists and their agenda and just wanted Lara to get through and complete the quest. The two main villains were Konstantin and his sister Ana. They worked for the shadowy organisation known as Trinity, who apparently do black-ops operations for perhaps the Catholic church.

I felt like they were not as dangerous as they could be, that their own plot lacked focus. There were a few scenes in the game with them, which were there to show their characters but I felt that the developers failed in showing it in a coherent way.

The actual ending of the game came abruptly, I knew it was coming and had expected another hour of two of gameplay but then the game ended. Which was a surprise, the build up was there but I felt there was no payoff. The game just ended in a cut scenes, while there was the last fight it just didn’t feel like one.

With the story it also felt like I had missed out on a lot, Trinity came out of nowhere at the start of the game as this shadowy organisation that Lara was trying to investigate. I had to actually stop the game midway through and check to find out about their backstory. Only to find out some of it was covered in prequel comics and other media, I felt while a few game companies like the alternate medium that there was no indication of it in the game. Nowhere did it state to perhaps read up on these comics, or provide a little run down on what had transpired. It was one major downside I feel with the story and wish if game companies do this then they should provide a brief summary at the start of the game

Overall the game was good, with a few detraction.  I feel like it was a good entry into this new franchise and look forward to future instalments. I am looking to doing a re-run in the next few weeks, just because there were a few side missions that I felt I could do and because I have bought the DLC for the game and wish to try them out.

Anyway, I hope everyone has enjoyed my review, and hope to hear your own opinions of it.




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