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Rise of the Tomb Raider Review



In the review for the 2013 Tomb Raider game, I wrote very little on its gameplay because I felt there was little to say. Everything was just done right enough that there was little need to go into detail. In Rise of the Tomb Raider things are still done right, but there are some points I want to cover.

The first is the crafting system, which we now actually have. Instead of just collecting and expending a single resource to purchase upgrades, you now have to collect materials like oil, cloth, wood, and different kinds of leather. With these materials you can upgrade weapons at camp fires, but you can also use them for crafting some ammo types and handmade weapons while exploring. Primarily it is arrows you craft this way, as well as special arrows, but you can also put together fire bombs, grenades, and traps if you pick up the correct objects. You can also convert the ammo for your firearms using these resources, if you have the appropriate skills.

I never really found myself crafting the ammo for my firearms much, or crafting regular arrows because they are easy enough to find or pick up after killing an enemy. The special arrows though I made several of because they are so useful. Poison arrows will release a cloud in an area that will kill some enemies and stun others. It will be your friend if you use it appropriately. Fire arrows are also useful, but I used them and the grenade arrows more for clearing paths than actually attacking enemies. Still they are useful for attacking with, especially when you are up against armored enemies.

You will be able to craft new weapons once you have collected all of their parts. These new weapons are not necessarily upgrades. For example, the Compound Bow is the second bow you unlock and is the most powerful bow. The third bow does less damage but fires much faster, so once you get it you will want to decide which is best, based on your preferred play style. I went with the Compound Bow. Each weapon can also be upgraded and while some upgrades are shared across weapon types, some are not. This will make it important for you to consider how you want to spend your resources as you collect weapon parts.

Before moving on too far, the various resources do regenerate in the world, so you may want to go back to previous areas to gather them.



As you play you will be gathering experience and skill points to invest, and the skills you unlock can be really nice. Some are fairly standard, like increasing the damage you can take, but some are a bit different and very useful. I am thinking mostly of those that allow you to lock onto multiple enemies with the bow and attack them all simultaneously. It is pretty cool and useful for clearing out small groups, or just ensuring a hit. One skill even makes them headshots instead of body shots, which again is pretty cool.

While many of the skills are unlocked by skill points, some are unlocked by completing tombs. For example, the skill that highlights natural resources near you and marks them on the map is earned this way. Additionally some tombs contain useful items and they all hold some number of coins, so be sure to explore them as you play. Not all will be available to you when you first discover them, as certain equipment may be required. You will continue to acquire this equipment up until the end of the game, so keep going, but that does not mean you should not backtrack. Thankfully items you cannot get yet will have a lock over their icon on the map, if they have been revealed on the map, so you know which you can get to at any given time. That is with the exception of tomb icons; those do not indicate if you can actually access the tomb.



I believe that is everything about the gameplay itself, except for playtime and replayability. It took me about 16 hours and nine minutes to complete the story and reach 88% completion. I do intend to go back in and finish finding collectibles and completing the more difficult challenges. The challenges are more difficult because they do not appear on the map, so you will have to find the objects involved on your own.

That playtime can be increased by taking part in Expeditions. With the Expeditions system you can replay missions with or without the gear and skills you have required, complete score runs, and use various cards to manipulate the challenge and difficulty. You will be given a number of cards by achieving certain things within the game and can earn coins to purchase more within the marketplace. Scores can then be seen and compared by looking at the leaderboards. Personally I like the Expeditions system more for the New Game+ capability it adds, but I am sure the leaderboards will be very valuable to a number of people.

The gameplay of Rise of the Tomb Raider is a lot of fun and has a good amount of depth to it as well. I cannot think of any real issue I have with it either. The developers did a good job of designing good mechanics here that work well and keep things fun and interesting.


  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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