Tomb Raider was one of the most pleasant surprises in 2013 and while it was eventually upstaged by games like The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V for Game of the Year, Tomb Raider was certainly deserving. Crystal Dynamics is developing this game to push what the reboot established and growing the foundation set by 2013’s iteration.
Rise of the Tomb Raider takes us to new parts of the world as Lara tries to make sense of the events that transpired in Yamatai. Syria and Siberia will be the two main settings in the game and they both present quite different landscapes than what we saw from Yamatai.
A new story means there will be a new faction for Lara to go up again, and Rise of the Tomb Raider’s major enemy faction in will be Trinity, a shadow organization. They will do anything and kill anyone who gets in their way in order to reach The Lost City. Trinity has also been pursuing The Lost Prophet for nearly 1,000 years and seems to have the same disregard for life as they do in the pursuit of The Lost City.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is taking big steps to make sure resources and crafting are bigger parts of the game. Resources Lara has gathered can be used to upgrade her weapons and equipment. When players select their bow, they will have a couple of different options. In the example I saw, the player used extra wood and parts from a deer carcass to reinforce and strengthen Lara’s bow.
Resources seems like they will be quite diverse as Crystal said there will be 16 different resources that Lara can gather throughout the world, via hunting or finding things such as mushrooms hidden in the wilderness. They all have a material impact on gameplay and scarcity will be a factor in finding resources at times.
There are several types of bows in the game, with the recurve bow being one. Recurve is said to be more of a stealth bow, while the compound bow is for the more aggressive style of play. Lara can also create new custom ammo types through the resources she gathers. You can find arrows in the world but you can also craft them on the fly if you have the right resources. If you find mushrooms, you can make poison arrows with them.
Poison arrows take out enemies with heavy armor in a silent fashion. Using devices to group enemies together is a great way to utilize molotov cocktails, which can be crafted via supplies that are picked up throughout the world. When you toss a molotov at a group of enemies, it easily takes out all within its range.
Bears are among some of the new predators and if you get attacked by one and lose health, you’ll need to find the right herbs and cloth to heal Lara. One of the things you’ll need in order to have an easier time killing a bear is a poison arrow, and that disorients the bear allowing you to be more effective in your attack. Players can heal themselves in the midst of combat, speeding up the regeneration of health.
Crystal Dynamics have also made Lara a more versatile character to control, giving her some new movement mechanics. While she couldn’t do this in the game’s reboot, Lara can now climb trees and swim under water, both of which can be used to takedown or avoid enemies.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is looking phenomenal and will really shine on the Xbox One. Visuals in the game are absolutely stunning, whether it’s a wide shot of the game’s landscape or it’s a cutscene with Lara. Even though fans may not like the exclusivity of any game in the industry, exclusives are a great chance to see how a platform’s performance can really be maximized.
Microsoft and Square Enix have teamed up to bring Rise of the Tomb Raider to the Xbox One and Xbox 360 this holiday season. The game will drop on both systems on Nov. 10, with PC and PS4 to follow in 2016.