Thursday, 12 November 2015

Asylum Reviews: Rise of the Tomb Raider [Xbox One].

For over a week now, I've been paying Rise of the Tomb Raider every chance I get. It's very similar to the first in terms of gameplay and feel. And that's not a bad thing.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

As of this morning, I'm around halfway through the game. It is exciting and fun, and having been a huge fan of the 2013 reboot, it's very familiar, so getting used to controls was never a problem. I could dive right in with very little getting to grips with things. It's definitely a game I'm really enjoying, and I'm happy to see how the story pans out.

Rise of the Tomb Raider sees Lara embark on a new adventure, to seek out what her father had been searching for before his death. In the icy setting of Siberia, we have her up against Trinity, battling against them as they race to find the "Divine Source", a extraordinary artifact that could be the answer to eternal life, which she has inadvertently led them straight to. We have new weapons and gear, the ability to change Lara's costume and you can also fulfill tasks for the local people that you will come across.

The new gear, whilst easy to use and fantastic to play with, sometimes becomes slightly confusing as you try to rush through a tight spot and can't remember which of your expanded arsenal is correct. Is it the wire spool, which in effect turns your climbing axe into a grappling hook, or is it your bow to shoot a strong rope to swing across to the other side? Oh no wait, we used the wrong one and now we've plunged to our deaths. Aaand reload.

The game does keep you gripped and make you want to journey on. Though there's not much in terms of "groundbreaking change" between this game and the last, it's definitely not something I'd fault it for. The formula works, so why change it?

Obviously, at this point I'm yet to have 100% completed the game, even though I've been playing it a lot over the past week. I definitely like that it's longer than the previous one, as that was my one gripe that I had with it back in 2013. But I can honestly say that there's nothing big enough to really make me say anything bad about this game.

The story is great (despite being quite a common theme), the gameplay is fun, the combat is fantastic - although melee is sometimes a tad off, in my opinion - the graphics are beautiful and I just loved it.

The only thing that we did initially think was bad (until we realised it was a glitch) was the lack of aiming with your gun. From the beginning of a certain location in the game, and lasting for around 10 minutes or so (as we ran around this tiny spot confused on what to do), we had no reticule when aiming our gun (nor any HUD for our ammo in the top corner), and we lost the ability to pause, the ability to use survival instinct, and no info would come up when we picked up a collectible. This really frustrated us, as we hadn't yet used the gun before then, so weren't sure if this is just how it was, until maybe you unlocked the reticule via your upgrades at camp, but the lack of pause was infuriating, especially when you're wanting to check your progress.

Luckily - or not so luckily, for Lara - Lara died when we couldn't aim properly to shoot a falling spiky block that was rushing towards us. And the checkpoint reloaded and woohoo, we finally had a reticule, thus realising that this was in fact a glitch and not some evil-doing of the development team.

Allan started his own save and played past this part, not being affected by the glitch at all, so I'm glad to see it's not an outright bug affecting that portion of the game, but simply just something I'd randomly stumbled upon in my own playthrough.

Overall, I'd definitely say that Rise of the Tomb Raider is worth purchasing, especially if you were a fan of the previous game. It's fun, it's interesting and it's definitely worth the time spent playing it. I just hope that continues on right until the end. It also looks outstanding and I'm really happy to have the game, as it's sure to be one that I play through to completion.

I do think that releasing in the same week as Fallout 4 (same day for those of you in the US) however, was a big risk. I feel that all of the hype of Fallout 4 will have severely detracted from the hype surrounding this game, and thus the sales, and I hope that it doesn't hurt it too badly in the long run.

So, are you picking up Rise of the Tomb Raider when it's released tomorrow? Or are you so lost in Fallout 4 that you won't be buying another game till New Year?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

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