Rise of the Tomb Raider – quick impressions
As the credits now roll here’s some random thoughts and memories:
+, +, + a couple of really beautiful environments
+, + great scripted moments
– I did get or almost get stuck a few times in the to me contrived puzzles, leading me to put the game away for a while
+, +, – the game made some attempts at a more philosophical story, with pretty interesting audio logs. Too bad they could only be listened to while doing nothing else
– that Lara has fantastic powers, can jump and fall from amazing heights, kills and takes bullets better than Rambo, all of that I found acceptable/necessary for gameplay, yet some other things I thought broke the plausibility, in particular her use of a bow to pull down great structures… it was one point where i rarely could suspend my disbelief. It was one thing to accept her superhuman strength, but other than that the game transmits the message of somewhat realistic physics and with that I kept thinking how implausible it was that an arrow (with infinite rope?) could grab onto a big structure so strongly, even if she was so strong.
+, + the story themes of ancient religions around immortal(s) and civilizations was quite interesting, reminded me in some ways of the movie The Man from Earth with it’s interesting story
+, +, – there were some interesting special puzzle locations, they felt however mostly forced. Still, some of the best content in the game was in some optional relic locations
-, +, although the game is largely linear it does make attempts at sections of openness, which is appreciated
+ decent soundtrack
+, + impressive graphics technology, and attention to visual detail in this sense (depth of field, blur, particles, lighting & shadows… overall quite impressive on multiple platforms
+ the main story was okay, not fantastic IMHO, but passable and it did manage to surprise a little with the mixture of the supernatural elements while still staying a Tomb Raider game
Overall I’d give the game a +2 on a -5 to 5 scale: a technically competent game with much appreciated experimentation into more openness, it was an enjoyment from the beginning to end, never so that I couldn’t put it down, but always good enough that I knew the next play session would be consistently high quality. A good game overall, with AAA production values everywhere.