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Rise of the Tomb Raider Review

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Story:

A good place to start this section is probably with the game's title: Rise of the Tomb Raider. Seems like an odd name for the second game of the rebooted franchise, right? As you play, the context of the name, and the events of the previous game, are revealed. A theme from the previous game is continued on here, which I was happy to see, but I will come back to that.

The story of Rise of the Tomb Raider is told in a somewhat fragmented way, as Lara has flashbacks to things her father told her, and these memories are key to that context I just mentioned. While she was growing up, her father Lord Croft was a respected archaeologist, but he also believed in some stories that others dismissed as myth and legend. Eventually even Lara came to feel that way about these stories. The events of the 2013 game changed everything for her because she saw myths and legends playing out in front of her. Having survived those encounters, she decided to vindicate her father by picking up his leads on the Prophet, who is said to have achieved immortality, and the Divine Source which is supposed to be how he achieved it.

With this context we see that the first game was meant to open her eyes to the mysteries around her and it is with this game that she steps up to hunt them, hence the title, Rise of the Tomb Raider.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The theme from the 2013 game I mentioned is the idea of sacrifice. Lara witnessed people sacrificing themselves to save her and others in that game, which deeply affected her, in part because she was not willing to make those same sacrifices. I did not feel like that theme was fully concluded in the previous game, but here it actually is as we see her make a sacrifice because she sees it is for the best. That is a little bit of a spoiler, so I will not say more on that.

As a whole I found the story to be pretty good and some of its twists definitely helped with that. Some were not hard to see coming, but one I did not anticipate until it was actually revealed. For the bulk of the game you are fighting the forces of Trinity, an ancient organization that has been seeking to destroy the Prophet and claim the Divine Source for hundreds of years. Closer to the end you will also encounter the Deathless Ones who just want to kill everyone that goes after the Divine Source. Luckily you do have some help from the Remnants, who are the descendants of the Prophet's followers and are dedicated to protecting the Divine Source from Trinity. They are actual, living people, unlike the Deathless ones.

 

 

Most of the game takes place in Siberia, and because the Remnants have been living there for centuries, you will find records and artifacts of the various encounters they have had with other peoples. This includes the Mongols who tried to conquer them and the Red Army that enslaved them for manual labor. While some of this may seem unimportant, there are actually gameplay reasons to seek out these stories of the past. As you do, Lara's ability to translate different languages improves, allowing her to read monoliths that point to coin caches. These coins can then be used to purchase upgrades from a shop. Without reading the monoliths, you will not find these caches. Also some of the records you find help explain some events at the end.

Because of how I would periodically stop to explore the world or even backtrack for things I missed, the story was a little disjointed for me, but that is my own fault. The game actually does try to push you forward at times by disabling certain actions, like reading murals and collecting unnecessary items, like those coin caches. It is a clever way to drive progress, though I will admit I wish there was a prompt explaining it. I figured it out on my own once I completed the mission and found everything was accessible again.

Overall, I found the story to be quite good, and it does do a nice job of providing context to the rebooted Lara Croft character, both games, and lays a foundation for the future of the franchise. I look forward to seeing what comes next.

 

 




  1. Rise of the Tomb Raider Review - Introduction
  2. Rise of the Tomb Raider Review - Graphics
  3. Rise of the Tomb Raider Review - Story
  4. Rise of the Tomb Raider Review - Gameplay
  5. Rise of the Tomb Raider Review - Additional Gameplay Media
  6. Rise of the Tomb Raider Review - Conclusion
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