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Rise of The Tomb Raider Review (PC)

I finally got a chance to play Rise of The Tomb Raider all the way through and it was fantastic, but it’s also the buggiest game I’ve played on PC this year. 

Batman Arkham Knight is still the buggiest game I’ve ever played in my life, but Rise of The Tomb Raider is definitely the buggiest game I’ve played this year on PC. The bugs in this game brought a exceptional game down and almost made me rage quit a second time and write this game off. I’m glad I stuck with it because this game is game of the year material.

The Great:

Graphics:

Rise of The Tomb Raider is a beautiful game. It’s one of the best looking games I’ve ever played in my life and it has really great animations too. The character models, especially Lara Croft, were all fantastic and I lip syncing was perfect. I could actually read the npcs lips. The lighting is the best I’ve seen all year long and it’s backed by some of the best particle effects I’ve ever seen. This game is almost perfect in this area.

Gameplay:

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The first Tomb Raider game had the perfect cover system. Instead of watching our protagonist attach themselves to cover and be stuck on it like glue, Lara took cover the way you would expect some people to do in real life. The animations are excellent, the gunplay is smooth, the stealth mechanics have been refined and work better, and even the melee combat is good this time around.

In addition to everything I mentioned above there has also been some new items added to the game too. The first Tomb Raider game had a decent amount of gadgets for Lara to use, but it pales in comparison to this game. Lara feels like Batman some times because of all of the cool shit she gets in this game. She has a extra pickax for climbing walls, and beating the shit out of people, the rope arrows, bomb arrows, fire arrows, incendiary bullets, a grappling hook, and some other goodies.

The crafting in this game is simple, but good. I like that I can craft healing items while I’m running from an enemy. The upgrade system from the last game has also been implemented here too and it’s okay. I don’t think this game needs a skill tree, but it’s here and it works for the most part.

Rise of The Tomb Raider is the best third person action-adventure game I think I’ve ever played. The gameplay is that good and I can’t get enough of the cover system in this game.

Sounds:

You can’t have great gameplay and not have some good sounds to go along with it. Rise of The Tomb Raider has top notch sounds all around. Everything from falling to my death all of a cliff to firing a gun is phenomenal. The voice acting, and acting in general, is great, and the soundtrack is great too. My ears were in a constant state of bliss while I listened to everything that was happening around me. The soundtrack was there when it needed to be and didn’t try to be “epic” or in face all of the time.

The Good:

Story:

The story, like the last game, is good, but not great. Lara is off searching for answers on how her father died and she gets tangled up in a war between Trinity, and the local tribe of people that lives in the area that she’s exploring. Crystal Dynamics tried too hard to make this villain “awesome” when he was just average most of the time. He’s a religious zealot that thinks he’s on some holy quest when he’s really just a insane, psychopathic murderer that has as much personality as a doorknob. He wasn’t interesting at all, but I did like his sister and her reasons for wanting the special item that she wanted to find. I enjoyed the story for the most part because of how well it was acted by everyone involved with the game.

The Bad:

Bugs:

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Rise of The Tomb Raider was so buggy when it released I had to uninstall it from my PC. I reinstalled it three or four months later nad it was still unplayable for me. I tried again four days ago and at first it was the same way, but when I adjusted some options and activated directx 12 the majority of my problems disappeared and I was, finally, able to play the game.

There are animations bugs, random fps drops (before the directx 12 fix), and many other minor bugs that really annoyed me. The biggest issue I had with the game came at the very end of my playthrough. As I was watching the final cutscene in the game my GPU crashed. Rise of The Tomb Raider crashed my GPU three times. I turned off directx 12 and it worked again. I even got a small fps boost too.

This is one of those games that’s probably best enjoyed on consoles.

The Last Three Hours of The Game

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My first 16 hours of Rise of The Tomb Raider was fantastic. It was firing on all cylinders and didn’t give me too much at one time. It was spread out and didn’t feel like a Michael Bay movie like the last game did… until the last three hours of the game. Everything after a certain point in the game feels rushed. Rise of the Tomb Raider went from being fantastic to just good and that really surprised me.

The story kept it’s strength at the end, but the gameplay segments didn’t. I had to go through a platforming puzzle, which was awesome by the way, fight my way through one of the most repetitive parts of the game by firing multiple trebuchets at giant gates, and watch as everything around me was blown into tiny pieces. It’s like Michael Bay was invited on set that day and he directed the last few hours of this game.

The final boss fight was also stupid. I had to fight a helicopter by shooting my grenade arrows at it or by shooting the fireballs that the trebuchet was firing over it’s head. The boss fight after that wasn’t so bad, but it was still weak because the main villain isn’t very memorable.

The Verdict:

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If it wasn’t for the numerous amounts of bugs, and crashes this game would probably get close to a perfect score for me. It has the best third person gameplay in any game I’ve played to date and even with the weak final few hours I still had a lot of fun playing through it because the game is that good.

I think that if I would have played this on a console I would have had a much better experience then what I did, but I didn’t and I have to fair here. I love this game and it’s a game of the year contender for me, but it’s buggy and if you have access to a console and you haven’t played this game yet you might want to consider buying it for that instead of the PC. I would be lying if I said I didn’t love every second I spent with this game though and It’s definitely going to make my top 10 games of 2016 at the end of the year.

85

8 thoughts on “Rise of The Tomb Raider Review (PC)”

  1. I think what I liked about this one over the previous game (and I REALLY liked Tomb Raider) was even when I had finished the main story there still felt like a lot more hidden tombs and stuff to see and it kept me playing a lot longer.

    Sorry to hear that you were having so many problems with the PC version – seems like a few developers are still having issues with DirectX12.

    1. So far I’m not really impressed with Directx 12. I’ll stick to 11 until developers learn how to optimize games for it. The first Tomb Raider was good, but I never bothered playing it more than once. It has zero replay value for me. I can see myself playing through this game again some time in the future and I like endurance mode so far, but I have no idea how long that’s going to last me.

  2. Rise of the Tomb Raider is definitely one of the most gorgeous games I’ve ever played. I know I already went over this in a comment back on my blog, but although I really, really loved *playing* the game, I found it difficult becoming invested in any of the characters (even Lara herself) or the story. I said the same thing about the 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider, that it’s a great action game and one hell of a reboot, but the characters and story could really use some much needed attention. I want to care about Lara. She’s iconic. But they’re not doing her justice for a large majority of the game.

    Sucks to hear the PC version was so buggy. I played this on Xbox One near launch and it ran perfectly fine the whole way through. I have the PS4 version on my wishlist for when it inevitably hits the $20 mark, since I wanted to check out the DLC. Might as well get trophies this time around, haha.

    1. The characters are definitely a weak point in the games. I’ve never liked Lara Croft before these new games though. Lara isn’t a deep character in any Tomb Raider game in my opinion.

      The 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider was good, but lacked in a lot of areas. I don’t think the story is the main focus of these new Tomb Raider games and I honestly don’t mind that. If I want to play games with great stories I’ll go somewhere else, but if I want the best gameplay a game has to offer I’ll happily play through this game again.

      I’m glad you had a smooth experience on Xbox. It took me months to play this game because of the bugs. At least it works now, but it should have worked on day one.

      Since I haven’t had the chance to answer your other comment about Uncharted I’ll do it here. Uncharted, to me, is one of the worst games I’ve ever played. Never liked Drake or any of the supporting cast around him. Naughty Dog tries too hard to make their games like Action movies and I don’t need that in my video games. Uncharted 4 was a interactive movie to me and not a very good one at that. I prefer Tomb Raider over Uncharted.

      1. Yikes, that’s definitely an opinion I don’t hear much, haha. To each their own, dude! I love the series and UC2 may be the most perfectly paced game I’ve ever played in my life.

      2. We’ll agree to disagree on Uncharted :). I’ve never liked any Uncharted game. I remember writing a review for the third Uncharted game, but I don’t remember where I posted it. It was way before I made my blog here :).

        If I ever get a PS4 Pro I’ll give the games another go, but I remember being really unimpressed with the games when I played them on the PS3.

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