For those who have not played the game yet for any reason, do not read past this point! There are billions of spoilers in the way of screenshots, and descriptions. So …. I should also say that I am not going to speak about this blog post on twitter and if I get a facebook I won’t there either. This is information intended for those who have played the game and would like to talk about it on my blog. There are still many out there who have not bought it because of the fact they have a PS4 and I am not sure at this time if it is even out for PC yet. So taking all of those folks into, consideration I won’t discuss Rise outside of this blog for now. Thank you,
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
If you are part of the Tomb Raider fandom, your day was made in the USA on the 10th of November. For me, it happened on the 9th. My game arrived on my doorstep via FedEx! Upon grasping the case in my anticipating hands and loading this disc into my Xbox360, I was glued to the screen from the start. I have not finished the game as of yet and play it whenever I find some time. Due to this fact, I shall report on the first few sections.
My Overall Thoughts
After the reboot from 2013 we find Lara with Jonah Maiava (once again played by the talented Earl Baylon) high in the mountains of Siberia. A lot of the footage is spectacular. The scene, the environment in general and her interaction is plausible. I found the way she tracks through the snow is odd because you do not see footprints all the time, and she crosses her arms when hiking over precarious mountain ridges, etc., where her ice ax would serve as an aid for balance as mountain climbers usually use it in that way. I only say this from my own personal experience in the mountains, so maybe I see items that some would not pick up on. Nit-picking me. It was nice to see her gear improved in the mountains. She wears ice climbing crampons, and uses two ice axes along with rope in the opener and because she has a rope with Jonah Maiava, I would also expect her to be wearing a harness under her garb.
With that said, I still enjoyed the game, and found her a lot more believable as a character. I also noticed some incidental bits of music used for the atmosphere that I could have sworn were part of the older series. Sounds clips from TRII and I thought some were from Legend. Lara’s reaction to different situations throughout this game was better than I saw in the trailers, so I believe they may have touched a few items up before the release. I could be wrong, but that is how I feel when I play it for now.
The historical element was very interesting from the Byzantine ship caught in the ice, Lara calls it a “Byzantine Galley” to the masterful scenes of tomb interiors and the history supplied alongside it. They did their research for this game. Of course, some things are a reach and were not actual items, but that is what makes Tomb Raider the fabulous game it is. It makes you think in so many ways outside the box.
One of many items I found fascinating was the language carved onto various walls etc. The first one Lara finds in the Tomb of the Profit was from the Byzantine period. Her language meter will update in Classical Greek after she reads the images around the area along with an inscription found on the wall. Much research had to be implemented because of the depth of this particular finding. Meaning the real origins of the inscription languges and where and what it comes from in Jordan. This is one of the reasons I enjoy playing the Tomb Raider games, for it has great historical elements in places. Throughout the game, Lara is seen deciphering various inscriptions on walls. The more she deciphers she increases her knowledge and can translate stone monoliths with major clues carved in the language she gains skills. So far Lara encounters Mongolian, Russian and Greek. Her proficiency meter advances into different levels as she becomes more learned.
I am happy to say I really did feel as if I was playing a Tomb Raider game this time around.
As far as the plot is concerned, I do not know why they goofed around with Lara’s past so much; her father killed himself in this incarnation according to her flashbacks. That is something I don’t like. I like the flashbacks; I just do not like that one. You will see flashbacks throughout the game. Lara is wrestling with her past from her horror at Yamatai. We see her thoughts through these exciting flashes from her little girl days with her father. I found that most interesting.
Another main character that appears to be absent from the game is Sam. At this point, I am not done with the game, so I could actually be wrong. There is nothing about her in Rise that I know about other than one photo from a group shot I saw with Sam on one side and Lara on the other. In fact, when Lara reflects on events from Yamatai, Sam is never mentioned. She clearly states she saw something on the island of horror, but that is about it.
In her audible thoughts by the camps as you toggle through the weapons, skills and upgrade lists you hear conversations about different people from Lara’s past, even Ross is mentioned. That serves as an insight to her background. These thoughts are a way of binding the two stories together I would think. I quite enjoyed that touch.
The way you upgrade weapons and gather items for these weapons is another feature I enjoyed. You can use cans, bottles, gas cans, ancient pots and other items for weapons. What I enjoyed about this intriguing feature is you grab the can, for example, off the table or wherever you found it, and you fill it by holding down the appropriate button. Then you throw the can, and it explodes on the enemy. A really good weapon for that adventurer who has everything. There are Molotov cocktails you make the same way with bottles, gas cans to shoot and explode, poisons you make from berries, and leaves to stem bleeding. You collect wood from trees to craft weapons as well. There are endless lists of items you collect. I love this a lot. It makes you think as you move and the puzzles are wonderful and they too make you think instead of pushing, pulling and jumping where obvious. These are far better. They reminded me a bit of the older gameplay. Although Lara pushes items and can pull them as well in this game, it has good reason and may not be an obvious move at first. You have to figure a lot out before you make a move in most cases. Bravo!
There are some great side tombs too. So far, I have found the exploration and even side missions a lot of fun and worth doing. You get deeper into the plot when you play the side missions. They are optional as far as I know. They also have good guys in them you can converse with and gain information and extra elements to help you along the way.
The music is wonderful and if not, I would have been disgruntled. Music plays a big part for me in games and movies. If the soundtrack is off, the entire game / movie is for me. They do not disappoint. Even the song by Karen O is not bad. It is off in tone for the reason Lara is, too. The tone in Karen O’s voice fits with Lara’s state of mind in some ways. She is rattled, by everything she has been through. She wants to prove her father correct about his obsession with immortality.
She is racing against time to defeat the sinister age old group known as Trinity from stealing the Divine Source. Through her efforts to find it, she inadvertently led Trinity straight to it. So against the advice of many Lara plods on through her new adventure that I totally enjoyed playing and I know I will again after I beat it. I am almost through the entire story and shall beat it soon. However, there are miles of things left undone that I am thrilled to go back and complete.
I say to go and buy your copy NOW if you are an Xbox player. If not I hope you are not reading this and heeded my warnings from the start.
Good day to anyone who reads this, and while you are here browse the Rise of the Tomb Raider Gallery below. I didn’t add everything from the game, but there is a lot here.
Rise of the Tomb Raider Gallery
Please note, I do not have an Xbox one at the moment, so these are not conventional screen shots. I took these with my phone. They are my exclusive shots as I played the game. So yes, they belong to me, Emma.
A Happy Little Bonus I Discovered Today!
I found I had two gifts on my Xbox. It was these two card packs from Rise of the Tomb Raider.
FROM THE MICROSOFT SITE: RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER
XBOX EXCLUSIVE HOLIDAY 2015
Get the animated screensavers
Featuring epic, high-octane action moments set in the most beautiful hostile environments on earth, Rise of the Tomb Raider delivers a cinematic survival action adventure where you will join Lara Croft on her first tomb raiding expedition as she seeks to discover the secret of immortality.
Oh, and the below footage has a 360 panorama perspective of areas from the game. That is what I call spoiler central. So, if you have already seen this, you have willingly viewed some major scene spoilers already. It has been out a while.
- PlatformXbox One, Xbox 360
- DeveloperCrystal Dynamics
- Release DateNovember 10, 2015