I'm really feeling it!
I'm really feeling it!
Illustration for article titled Hot Take: Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration Edition (PS4)

Along with my new PS4 Pro came with two games: Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - Day One Edition. I began my PS4 experience with the franchise I’m marginally more familiar with. And by marginally I mean I watched DK1games let’s play videos once. He’s pretty much a master tomb raider. But what was my experience like at actually playing a Tomb Raider game for myself?

  • The game is cinematic and fluid. To the casual passer-by it might appear as if you were watching a movie. The way that it transitions between gameplay and in-game cut-scene really helps with the flow of it all.
  • The gameplay may be fun and controls easy to manage, but the story never elevates past predictable. I’m not too familiar with the franchise, but the staple secret organization, russians and/or germans, and under-your-nose reveal never felt compelling. Even the backstory with Lara and her father never felt worthwhile.
  • Speaking of the story, it’s pacing moves forward smoothly. I never felt like I was left between story elements for too long (unless I chose too, but more on that later). The game did it’s best to casually guide me to my next objective, both through level design and with the use of objective markers.
  • Lara, while dynamic in cutscenes, is pretty flat during gameplay. She is in a perennial state of saying she’s “Got to find...” something.
  • You’re never beholden to progressing the main story, so if you find yourself needing a break for 20 minutes, casually treasure hunting is an option. There’s a decent number of unique collectables in the game and side missions to complete. Finding them is made easy through obelisks in-game and use of the map.
  • I may be an outlier, but I experienced a few glitches. Only one game-breaking one where some moveable carts didn’t load into a tomb. I spent the better part of ten minutes trying to figure it out before I watched a walk-through and realized a piece of the puzzle was missing. Otherwise just some visual issues and file corruption that I’m not sure if it was caused by the game or my PS4.
  • I did notice that there were some interesting options that may be available only on the PS4 Pro for switching between 4K, Extreme graphics (at the cost of frame rate), and smoother animation. I don’t have a 4K tv currently so I didn’t mess with it too much.

Overall I liked the experience. While the story was lackluster, the gameplay and open-world treasure hunting was fun for me. Not enough to go back to the original game, but enough to make me consider buying the next one.

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JpSr388 is a casual(ish) gaymer, hardcore Nintendo fan, designer & writer. He writes about what he cares about, and is always good for some opinions. Keep on the lookout for more editorial, QuickDraws, Hot Takes and reviews here.

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