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My Year of Gaming: ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’

Rise of the Tomb Raider/Square Enix

My Year of Gaming: Rise of the Tomb Raider

At the beginning of 2017, I purchased a PlayStation 4, and it was the first time I have had a console since 2011. Needless to say, I have quite the backlog of games. I played through 23 titles in my first year getting hardcore back into gaming, and still have a long way to go. Now that we’ve entered 2019, I figured I would look back on some of the games I played this past year.

From the moment this game started, I was hooked. The opening to Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015) is one the most intense, fun gaming experiences I’ve had. We open with Lara searching for the lost city of Kitezh. Naturally, things can’t be easy for the new explorer and she winds up lost and without all her gear in the Siberian wilderness. And she’s not alone. Lara faces off against the organization Trinity, racing to discover the secrets of Kitezh before they do.

Rise of the Tomb Raider/Square Enix

Rise of the Tomb Raider is my favorite out of the reboot trilogy. While I really enjoyed Tomb Raider (2013), I thought it ran a little long. Rise feels much tighter in terms of story and game-play. It has a great balance between action and exploring, with a pretty intense boss fight at its conclusion. Lara still feels a little green in her characterization, which is appropriate since this is really her first foray as a “tomb raider.” The experience in Rise help solidify who she will become and it’s fun to watch her grow.

The map doesn’t feel quite as big as that in Tomb Raider, but offers enough variety of locations to where it doesn’t feel so small. The bonus tombs that can be explored are also a whole lot of fine and up the challenge of the puzzle. One of the first tombs you run across is absolutely beautiful (a ship stuck in a massive amount of ice). I really enjoyed that this game took you to the Siberian wilderness because I feel like most games with a wide-open map stick you in a jungle or something. The game did a fantastic job of capturing the essence of the biting elements and how that would affect Lara.

Rise of the Tomb Raider/Square Enix

If you played Tomb Raider, but never really saw any reason to continue past that, keep going. Again, Rise of the Tomb Raider is my favorite of the trilogy and offers a really emotional, engaging story that further shapes Lara into the tomb raider we all know. The good news is that since the game is a bit older, there are frequent price drops. There’s really no excuse for picking this game up.