Microsoft deserves a pat on the back for letting the gaming press voice opinions on Lara’s latest a resounding four full days before release. That’s a sign of confidence, that is.
Lo and behold, the majority of reviews have been incredibly positive. Destructoid and Eurogamer stand out as the only two outlets that weren’t fully smitten with Rise of the Tomb Raider, although neither review veers on the harsh side. Destructoid felt that it didn’t fix the faults of its predecessor while Eurogamer found some of the â€œtrendy gimmicksâ€ ultimately needless. They still felt uncomfortable with Lara’s murderous streak too, refusing to unlock the perk allowing bombs to be placed on corpses.
Eurogamer chose not to award Rise of the Tomb Raider a rating, which allegedly prompted a phone call from one reader asking where the expected â€˜Recommended’ badge was. We wonder how that conversation ended.
Anyway, here’s a review round-up:
5/5 – The Telegraph: “Even if it is just a subtle tweak to a combat situation, a smart environmental puzzle or the addition of a new traversal skill, Rise makes sure you’ve always got something fresh to get your teeth into”
9.5 – GameInformer: “Rise of the Tomb Raider captures the thrill of being an adventurer and leaves you thinking about Lara’s next move. You have daredevil sequences, heroic moments, fun exploration, and exciting fights that even Indiana Jones would envy. If Crystal Dynamics keeps raising the bar from here, I can’t wait to see what’s next for Lara”
9.3 – IGN: “Rise of the Tomb Raider takes its predecessor’s winning formula & improves on it in every way”
9.2 – LazyGamer: “Crystal Dynamics have effortlessly done the impossible with Rise of the Tomb Raider, crafting a sequel that is superior to their reboot in every single way possible. It’s a bigger, more expansive experience that has a captivating narrative, engrossing gameplay loops and an absolutely stunning presentation. Rise of the Tomb Raider is one of the best action games ever crafted, and a generational leap forward as the series looks towards the horizon. Lara Croft is in good hands”
91/100 – GamesBeat: “Rise of the Tomb Raider is an epic adventure, and it’s a story well told and well played”
A- – GamingAge: “Overall this is a fantastic second outing for the rebooted franchise, and one that I look forward to replaying down the road”
9/10 – Forbes: “Rise of The Tomb Raider does everything Tomb Raider did and does it better, taking a still-growing heroine into an unfamiliar location and unfolding its lethal mysteries as we grow to meet them. This is still not the game it could be, but it’s remarkable how quickly Crystal Dynamics has taken a half-dead franchise and turned into one of the most vital experiences on the market today, true to its essential character while still feeling absolutely new. This is the new standard for third-person shooter/adventure games. I want another”
9.0 – Post Arcade: “Ultimately, Rise of the Tomb Raider builds on the strong foundation of the 2013 reboot into something that is more recognizably Tomb Raider. There are few video game adventures that are as good as this one”
9/10 – VideoGamer: “In an era when triple-A blockbuster games often drown beneath a desire to make things more explosive or complex than before, Rise of the Tomb Raider shows how it should be done. This is captivating romp that should cement Lara as a modern gaming icon”
9/10 – GameSpot: “Rise of the Tomb Raider’s first shot pans over the vast, foreboding landscape we’ll soon come to know. In many ways, it functions as a promise on the part of Crystal Dynamics: there are big things ahead of us. And at the end of Lara’s journey, after we’ve seen her through this adventure, and experienced everything the world has to offer, it’s clear that promise was kept”
4.5/5 – GamesRadar: “While essentially a retread of its predecessor, Rise of the Tomb Raider is a magnificent adventure game, brilliantly combining action genres and letting you play the way you want to”
8.5 – Polygon: “In many ways, Rise of the Tomb Raider could be viewed as a fairly modest sequel. It successfully builds off Crystal Dynamics’ excellent reboot, but it doesn’t introduce any massive changes; the scope is greater but still in spitting distance of the previous game. But successfully regaining the feeling created in an extremely good game is no small feat. This is the inauguration of Tomb Raider as a formula once more, but for now, it’s a formula I’m happy revisiting”
8.5 – God is a Geek: “It’s an essential purchase, and although it’s a case of simply being more Tomb Raider, lessons have been learned along the way to make this one of the most refined and enjoyable blockbuster rides available”
8/10 – The Metro: “The old style Tomb Raider is never coming back, but this is a more satisfying compromise than the reboot and a fun alternative to the Uncharted series”
7.5 – Destructoid: “Rise of the Tomb Raider is better than its predecessor, but only because of its additions; it doesn’t fix any of the things that were wrong with Tomb Raider (2013). The story is smoothed down, much of it hidden away in dull audio logs. It’s not about “survival” as billed, given the ease of mowing down dozens of folks and plenty of resources. But finding tombs wherein to clamber about ancient Rube Goldberg machines, coupled with the gorgeous visual flair and diverse environments, make Rise’s wilderness one worth exploring and elevate Tomb Raider’s otherwise perfunctory take on the third-person action platformer”
Somewhat predictably, reviews of the Xbox 360 version are yet to appear. Going by what has been shown to the press we imagine that it’ll be a safe purchase. It’s Microsoft’s sole Xbox 360 release this winter, after all.