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Games : Highly Recommended
Ranking:
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Release Date: October 11th, 2016 Movie Release Year: 2016

Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration

Overview -

Originally released in 2015 as a Xbox One exclusive, 'Rise of the Tomb Raider' has had a pretty busy 2016. First came the release of the game's downloadable add-ons, 'Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch' and 'Cold Darkness Awakened,' and then the title was ported to PC. Now, almost one year to the original game's release, Crystal Dynamics is bringing their third-person action game to PlayStation 4 with the previously released DLC, and several new additions, including the 'Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration' content. The '20 Year Celebration' includes a narrative-driven mode called 'Blood Ties,' a zombie-themed shooter called 'Lara's Nightmare,' online co-op for the survival mode, and more.

OVERALL:
Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
VIDEO
AUDIO
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
October 11th, 2016

Video Review

Ranking:

I remember being blown away by 'Rise of the Tomb Raider's opening sequence last year, as Lara climbed an icy mountain, and it's still a sight to behold a year later. Having said that, I was a bit disappointed that some aspects of the game didn't look better given a year's worth of patches and being on a more powerful system For example, the footprints in the snow look pretty terrible as they look like Lara is walking with a brick attached to her foot (although it should be noted, that the title will be receiving a PS4 Pro update which should improve these rough edges). It's definitely a step below 'Uncharted 4' in terms of visuals, but I still was constantly impressed by what Crystal Dynamics had to offer here. The 'Baba Yaga' DLC in particular has some tremendous artwork and a unique locale that had me constantly taking in-game screenshots.

Audio Review

Ranking:

'Rise of the Tomb Raider' features a fantastic soundtrack composed by Bobby Tahouri. Impressively, his score always manages to heighten the tone of each scene. Frantic chase sequences are made more intense by upbeat music, while more somber moments are accompanied by slower tracks.

On the voice-acting side, Camilla Luddington once again stars as Lara Croft, and she does a fantastic job delivering all of her dialogue. The same can be said for the other voice actors involved (with Philip Anthony-Rodriguez being a particular standout), as they all deliver good performances despite the game's script not really taking advantage of all of the groundwork it sets.

Final Thoughts

While I found myself a tad bit underwhelmed when playing through 'Rise of the Tomb Raider' last year, I'm thoroughly impressed with how much has been added to the game since then. Each piece of DLC has added something unique to the package, be it online co-op or an excuse to battle hordes of zombies. Some of it definitely meshes with the 'Tomb Raider' formula better than others, but the amount of variety is appreciated. There has never been a better time to experience Lara Croft's latest adventure, and the great writing found in 'Blood Ties' makes me excited for the next entry in the series.