Rise of the Tomb Raider – Review
Follow Genre: third person action-adventure
Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: Xbox One, Xbox 360
Tested on: Xbox One

Rise of the Tomb Raider – Review

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Good: Great gameplay, amazing graphics and sound
Bad: A lot of similarities with previous title
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When we think about action-adventure games, a lot of titles like Uncharted come into mind. Lara Croft is also one of these franchises that has been around for quite some time and that has helped shape this type of games. With ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’, the latest installment has received a new open world to explore with a brand new story. Let’s go on a trip into the cold and dangerous environment of Siberia.

tomb raider


Every story starts with a bang and this game sets of in the severe circumstances of the cold Siberia. It seems that Lara and her friend Jonah are on a trip to a hidden city, but the weather isn’t their best friend when doing so. The cold has really worn their spirits and they both decide to continue on their own, whilst staying in contact. Bad luck seems to be haunting them, as due to certain circumstances, they are separated.

After a while, it is clear that Lara isn’t the only one searching for answers in the snow. Thanks to some flashbacks, it seems that her father was looking into some myths and he was getting obsessed with one in particular: ‘the Divine Source’.  His work wasn’t left unnoticed, as an organization called ‘Trinity’ showed quite some interests in his findings. Things went downhill quite fast, but in the end, her father’s reputation is blown to smithereens. This is one of the major reasons why she wants to find the truth behind this myth.

Although the story is quite expansive, the overall flow of the game feels quite slow. You have the freedom to do a lot of things, like hunting or exploring tombs, but the main quest doesn’t evolve in a fast pace.

Rise of the tomb raider


Rise of the Tomb Raider is, at the moment, only available on the Xbox One and Xbox 360. We have gotten the chance to test it on the latest generation and it is clear that the developers did their best to completely use all the resources this console has to offer.

Looking at the environments, there are a lot of different surroundings and every one of them has their specific elements that gives that bit of an extra. For example, when venturing steep mountain tops, a snowstorm might start and a lot of little snowflakes will dance on your screen, which really gives it  that bit extra. You drag yourself through the snow and you see the proper markings after doing so. Many little details were considered and implemented.

The facial expressions and overall movements of the characters feel quite lifelike and the lip synchronization is really nicely done. You can actually see the articulation of what you are hearing, which is a nice asset. Not only facial expressions were well taken care of, but also the overall appearance of the characters is quite decently done. Again perhaps only small features, but it’s quite pleasant to see Lara in a glossy leather jacket one moment, whilst she is wearing a fuzzy bloodstained one the other.


Next to the rather realistic graphics, the music and sound effects are great as well. The available tunes really fit the game and give you that adventurous feeling. Even more, the music changes and gets a more ominous vibe when danger is lurking nearby, setting the proper mood to prepare for combat.

There is also a huge variety of sound effects which is a huge advantage. For example, you’ll hear the distinctive sound between several guns, or the crispy sounds of burning wood at a campfire. There are some more subtle effects as well, like Lara’s grunting when she’s climbing on a wall, the soft sweep of a bow and so on.

Rise of the tomb raider

When looking at the different voices, it feels like the developers have put a lot of time in searching the right people. Lara’s voice really fits so well, which makes it easier to relate to. The same goes for all the other characters and truly is the icing on the cake. Nonetheless, to set the mood in a game like this, it’s to be expected that the voice acting is well taken care of.


Rise of the Tomb Raider is a third-person action-adventure game with some RPG-elements, in which Lara Croft takes you on an adventure in chilly Siberia. As expected from this bad-ass chick, you’ll get in a lot of trouble, which you will have to deal with. It isn’t that unexpected that you need to take up arms to survive this frozen desert. Nonetheless, a fun aspect is that you can roam the area quite early in the game, giving you the possibility to loaf around and get some other things done. There are tons of tombs to discover, which might present you with some nice perks.

With this open world, you can also use quick travel between bases. When you discover a new camp fire, you can switch between places. This makes it a lot easier to travel around and discover new things. Of course, just like always, this title in the Tomb Raider universe also presents you with a proper amount of puzzles in order to put your gray matter to the test. You’ll have to disarm traps and find how to pass other obstacles in order to find whatever it is you’re looking for.

Rise of the tomb raider

If you want to face enemies, you’ll need some equipment. This means that you will need to make some weapons with materials you’ll find lying around. Next to the trusty bow, you can also find construction plans for other weaponry like guns and rifles. When you think about weapons, you immediately see some munition as well. This can be made when you’re relaxing at the campfire and when you have enough materials. These materials can be found by scouting your environment and killing wildlife. It might be tough finding these resources on your own and that’s why Lara has a neat ability: She can scout the environment for interesting areas and climbable places, which will pay off.

You can improve several skills and learn new abilities, but before you can do that, you’ll need some experience. This can be obtained by finding treasures, killing enemies, animals, exploring tombs and so on. At a certain threshold, you get a new skill point, which you can use in three skill trees (Hunting, Brawling and Survival). This means that you can learn abilities like taking less damage or receiving more experience, which really enhances gameplay. Next to ‘normal’ experience, you can also train yourself in foreign languages. When you find certain old artefacts, you can decipher them and your knowledge increases.

Now that you know how to gain skills, make weaponry and forge ammunition, it is time to face some baddies. You can choose how you will handle this, although the more stealthy approach might work a tad better, seeing you can’t take that much damage and you’re still operating a solo team. You can hide in bushes and try to go for stealthy headshots (which give you more experience). It might be a good idea to enable Lara’s ‘sixth sense’ here as well as you will get a nice overview which enemy is spotted by another enemy (red glow) and who isn’t, which gives you the opportunity to plan your attack. This means that it might be better to take those lonesome enemies out first, before tackling groups. When some enemies don’t seem to move and they’re in a bad sniping position, you can always lure them away by throwing something. Works like a charm.

Rise of the tomb raider

Although the gameplay mechanics might seem a lot like the previous installment, there is so much to see and discover, especially when you like to explore tombs. It is also great to see that there are some tutorial parts as well, especially for newcomers to the franchise.


Lara Croft takes us on a new adventure in the latest iteration: ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’. Next to the amazing graphics and music, you also receive an open world with enough tombs and side-events. If you like third-person action-adventure games, hunting and scavenging, you will like this second Tomb Raider title since the reboot of the series. Get ready for a hike, things are about to get quite steep.

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Faster than lightning

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