Rise of the Tomb Raider picks up the pieces of Lara Croft following the dramatic events of the 2013 reboot, and puts her together again as a much stronger, more determined adventurer, hunting the secret that cost her father his life.
Following a quick adventure in Syria, Lara’s quest to find the mythical Divine Source takes her to the chilly Siberian mountains, as the forces of Trinity hound her and snow, ice and freezing waters make her quest an uncomfortably cold one. Rise is a much more open and explorable experience, fully linear but with a series of large hub areas you’re free to return to and examine at your own pace, with many areas locked metroidvania-style until you find specific upgrades later in the game.
Tombs are far more frequent, important and logical this time around – no more lit candles and modern weapons in untouched catacombs – and thanks to some ancient wisdom hidden within ‘Challenge’ tombs, far more useful and essential. Of even more importance is the need to keep Lara stocked with supplies such as wood, berries and specific materials needed to craft arrows, special ammo and to turn objects into makeshift weapons. Combat and movement are once again snappy and weighty, ensuring the action is never frustrating.
At no point does Rise of the Tomb Raider feel anything short of thrilling, as it pushes you through at least 20 hours of story, and offers up tons of additional, enjoyable content and secrets. The final act is a little too familiar to the previous game’s finale, but Rise is a new high watermark for the 19-year-old series.