"Rise of the Tomb Raider" continues Lara Croft's next-gen adventures and sees the action heroine on more steady footing this time around. The latest game in the "Tomb Raider" series will be released Tuesday, but critics are already weighing in on the sequel to 2013's titular game. For fans, "Rise of the Tomb Raider" does not disappoint while continuing to expand its in-game world.
The "Rise of the Tomb Raider" Metacritic score is currently at 87, with 52 positive reviews and no negative reviews from critics. For 2013's "Tomb Raider," Crystal Dynamics was busy reintroducing Lara Croft to a next-gen audience. She was not the confident action heroine from previous games. Lara Croft was a vulnerable, but capable young explorer on her first adventure. By the end of "Tomb Raider," fans began to see a more familiar side of her. This growth continues in "Rise of the Tomb Raider" with Lara off on a new adventure seeking a lost artifact connected to her deceased father.
While the story was a highlight for "Tomb Raider," the mystery falls a bit flat in "Rise of the Tomb Raider," according to Polygon's review. The ancient city of Kitezh can't compete against the island of Yamatai from the previous game. Luckily, the main villain, Konstantin, and the evil Trinity organization make up for the less-than-stellar tale.
Everything that gamers have come to expect from "Tomb Raider" can be found in "Rise." There are plenty of puzzles, exploration and Trinity goons to mow down, notes Kotaku. The latest addition to the formula is a crafting system that lets Lara make ammo, weapons or healing items. In "Rise of The Tomb Raider," exploration is not only encouraged, it's rewarded. Lara's different skills -- such as the ability to find resources -- are bolstered the more a player finds every corner of the map. There are more missions, more sidequests and a much larger world to explore.
The variety of the puzzles are a big highlight in IGN's "Rise of the Tomb Raider" review. The main mission requires clever solutions using Lara's rope arrows while the optional puzzles were, at times, daunting, but incredibly rewarding once solved.
Destructoid is not as keen on "Rise" as other sites, but it's a mostly positive review. The main drawback is what is considered bloat and lazy gameplay design that take away from the fast pace of the action. Instead of weaving backstory fluidly throughout the game, "Rise" delivers them via audio logs, argues Destructoid. Despite the flaws, Destructoid says "Rise" is better than its predecessor.
For now, "Rise" is an Xbox One and Xbox 360 exclusive, but PS4 and PC owners will get their chance to experience the game in spring 2016.