Lara Croft is back where she belongs, on PlayStation. After a year of madness where Square Enix decided to give Microsoft some exclusivity with the game, Rise of the Tomb Raider has finally arrived on the PlayStation 4 as the Rise of the Tomb Raider 20 Year Celebration edition. This celebrates 20 years of Tomb Raider games, starting with the original that was born on the original PlayStation way back when. After a year though, is this version of the game worth replaying?
The Tomb Raider reboot we saw back in 2013 was a great game, but lacked one essential element that many gamers wanted to see, Tombs. That’s right, the game took place mainly in the wilderness, with the sole goal of developing Lara Croft’s character and showing us what she had to go through in order to become the way she is today. So suffice to say, it’s nice to see some tombs back in Rise of the Tomb Raider.
The beginning of the game is fairly standard fare, with a lot of tutorial elements. One might say it tries to help you a little bit too much, for a little bit too long. However, once this eases away, you are left with a good concept of how the game works. The puzzles will slowly become more complex, although there is a ‘survival instinct’ feature that can be used that will give you hints as to what you need to do if you’re stuck. This is supposed to be used only when you need to use it, but you will end up using it all the time, just because it is there.
Rise of the Tomb Raider eventually opens up in to more familiar territory by allowing you to go into open world areas, similar to the reboot. Like before you can hunt and scavenge animals to upgrade your equipment. The new skill tree is far more complex this time round, and a huge improvement over the first game, and the game itself also looks amazing in the outside environment in particular. In comparison to the Xbox One version, the PS4 version does look slightly better.
Lara’s movements are very tactile and her animations are really satisfying. Combat is also very satisfying, if that’s the way you decide to play the game, and you could argue it is as good, if not better that the Uncharted series. PlayStation gamers may see some scenes that feel familiar as it feels like the developers have tried to emulate the Uncharted series to create more engaging story sections. Thankfully, they’ve done really well and the scripted scenes are interesting despite the story itself being relatively forgettable. With that said though, tomb raiding itself is enough to get you along in this game.