Rise of the Tomb Raider takes its predecessor's winning formula & improves on it in every way.
The new Lara Croft works out some kinks in a second act that, while slick and enjoyable, doesn't resolve Tomb Raider's identity crisis.
While essentially a retread of its predecessor, Rise of the Tomb Raider is a magnificent adventure game, brilliantly combining action genres and letting you play the way you want to.
The old style Tomb Raider is never coming back, but this is a more satisfying compromise than the reboot and a fun alternative to the Uncharted series.
Whether you're facing off against giant bears or making a risky jump, Rise of the Tomb Raider is an adrenaline rush
Rise of the Tomb Raider's first shot pans over the vast, foreboding landscape we'll soon come to know. In many ways, it functions as a promise on the part of Crystal Dynamics: there are big things ahead of us. And at the end of Lara's journey, after we've seen her through this adventure, and experienced everything the world has to offer, it's clear that promise was kept.
Rise of the Tomb Raider executes the franchise formula with confidence
A bolder, more capable Lara Croft returns for an adventure that's more varied and fun than Tomb Raider has seen in years.
Rise of the Tomb Raider feels like a confident improvement on its predecessor, giving players more tombs, better crafting and increased options for stealth.
This fantastic sequence also underscores the reason this review isn't complete yet. Although I have an excellent grasp of both the strengths and weaknesses of Rise at this point, I need to see if that explosive, fiery battle is a sign of great things to come. TR13 became more and more bogged down with asinine GTEs and clichéd scripted action sequences as you approached the end, and Rise could very well end up going in that direction as well. I hope it doesn't, though. Tomb Raider may have been built on a foundation of borrowing ideas from other games and developers, but the series has long since established itself, and Rise proves it: It's great when it's brave enough to be itself, and not so great when it's trying to be some other game.
Rise of the Tomb Raider took aim at perfecting not just its own series, but modern action games as well, which is an ambitious undertaking to say the least. The past decade has seen the genre jump, shoot, and blow stuff up real good with games like Resident Evil 4, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and Dead Space. Each redefined what a well-balanced 15-hour experience could be by delivering a compelling narrative, tight gameplay, and outstanding world building. Rise of the Tomb Raider bests even those classics with a character that resonates like no other. Even if it took nearly twenty years for that to happen, this is an adventure worth replaying with a hero who's unforgettable.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is better than its predecessor, but only because of its additions; it doesn't fix any of the things that were wrong with Tomb Raider (2013). The story is smoothed down, much of it hidden away in dull audio logs. It's not about "survival" as billed, given the ease of mowing down dozens of folks and plenty of resources. But finding tombs wherein to clamber about ancient Rube Goldberg machines, coupled with the gorgeous visual flair and diverse environments, make Rise's wilderness one worth exploring and elevate Tomb Raider's otherwise perfunctory take on the third-person action platformer. I still get a strong sinking feeling in my stomach when I've misjudged a jump and watch Lara careening towards a splat.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is an action-packed tour-de-force that, while derivative at times, is a fantastic romp from beginning to end. This sequel learns some of the lessons of its predecessor by making the game more like a recognisable Tomb Raider game, while at the same time implementing some new features and impressive visual design. While not quite the globetrotting adventure some were hoping for, Rise of the Tomb Raider is well worth playing.
The gameplay is the star here. Rise of The Tomb Raider does everything Tomb Raider did and does it better, taking a still-growing heroine into an unfamiliar location and unfolding its lethal mysteries as we grow to meet them. This is still not the game it could be, but it's remarkable how quickly Crystal Dynamics has taken a half-dead franchise and turned into one of the most vital experiences on the market today, true to its essential character while still feeling absolutely new. This is the new standard for third-person shooter/adventure games. I want another.
Now that Lara Croft's origin story is out of the way, does she blossom into the hardened explorer that's made her such an icon in Rise of the Tomb Raider?
Lara faces her greatest adventure yet. It's a compelling and interesting journey, just a bit too close to the 2013 reboot in terms of pure gameplay. But a joy to play and explore nonetheless.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Rise of the Tomb Raider on PS4 today is as beautiful as it was on Xbox One 12 months ago. Plus, the 20 Year Celebration Edition is plenty of contents to explore and play.
Review in Italian | Read full review
With a huge world to explore, heaps of secrets and puzzles to uncover, and some great action, this is the best Tomb Raider since the original Tomb Raider.
An essential purchase, and although it's a case of simply being more Tomb Raider, lessons have been learned along the way to make this one of the most refined and enjoyable blockbuster rides available.