There are so many feelings I have for Tomb Raider, a few for Lara Croft too in fairness. Especially the re-imagined Lara that blew me away in 2013 on my PS3. After a not so successful year on Xbox One we finally see Rise of the Tomb Raider on PS4. But is it all a bit late one year on?
For us gamers sake I hope it’s not but when you consider the games this month, it has some competition.
For those of you still thinking about my “not so successful year in Xbox One” comment. I have to say, from a objective point of view, I was very impressed with Xbox getting an exclusive on this game. I love my PS4, but it shares a shelf with my Xbox One. We’re one happy gaming family.
But as a person who’d played most Tomb Raider games, all on PlayStation, it was a bit of a surprise. Lara, having a fling with the Xbox One? Wow!
It was an amazing game too, a breath-taking experience that Xbox One owners loved. It just didn’t perform as well as the quality of the game deserved.
More on that later.
Here you’ll get my thoughts on Lara’s return home to PlayStation, and how the Rise of the Tomb Raider may be received by gamers one year later. A look at how the game can compete with the big releases this month. Plus some details on the package you get in the 20th Anniversary.
Right; let’s do this gamers!
A Really Good Deal, But Not Good Enough
Back in the 90s we got our first sight of Lara Croft. And if, like me; you were old enough and had a Sega Saturn, you got it a bit early. But the Saturn ultimately failed next to the PlayStation where Miss Croft made her home.
After many sequels as the defining action-adventure title of its day, a certain Nathan Drake came along to steal the crown. This lead to the re-imagination of Lara story in 2013, which was an amazing game that was deservedly brought to the next generation of consoles. Her transformation through the adventure was one that stirred up many emotions along the way. Plus the performance of Lara as a survivor character was exceptional.
But this is no history of Lara Croft article now. Enough looking in the past! The latest game; Rise of the Tomb Raider, looked spectacular throughout its promotion. The whole game looked like it really built on the foundation of 2013’s wonderful experience.
But, you’d only be able to play on the Xbox One!
Shock! Lots of gamers suddenly start to feel two very opposite feelings. Xbox fans understandably felt pretty good about the deal (as were the team at Microsoft). But PlayStation gamers were understandably annoyed by this given the legacy of Tomb Raider on the platform.
Frankly, it felt a bit like Lara had engaged in a sordid affair.
People like me weren’t that concerned since I was getting both consoles eventually. I could also see the smart business sense for Xbox given the lack of any answer to Uncharted. But it was still a little bit naughty of Miss Croft to do that to her fans on PlayStation!
Unfortunately, by the time Rise of the Tomb Raider released, the Xbox One was already massively behind the PS4 in sales. The console was suffering from a bad first year, focusing on media and having to change many key design principles of the console last minute.
Even having Rise of the Tomb Raider exclusively was not good enough to turn it all around.
Things did pick up though. The console did do a lot better following the release of 3 big exclusives in 2015. Halo 5 Guardians obviously saw an increase in the consoles prominence, as did Forza 6 and our friend Lara of course.
Even after the surge of activity the sales were only decent. 1 million sold is the report a month or so after release. Not bad, but its rival in Uncharted 4 sold 2.7million (according to reports) in its first week.
While it was no flop and the game was amazing, it simply didn’t launch the Xbox One fully out if it’s slump.
More of The Game’s Audience
It’s a little stereotypical to say which gamers play what console. All Xbox gamers are not COD and Halo playing, multi-player lovers. And all PlayStation gamers are not Uncharted & Kratos, single player lovers.
But, from the history of Tomb Raider on the format and far greater success of the 2013 Tomb Raider Remastered on the PlayStation. It’s safe to say there more of an audience for Rise of the Tomb Raider on PS4.
My question is, has it come a little too late? And during a bad month?
Let’s face it, people only have so much money for gaming. Do they spend it on the game that came out a year ago? Or use it for new games like Battlefield 1, TitanFall 2, Watchdogs 2 or maybe the remaster of Skyrim?
Pop back to MGL tomorrow for my article on Remastered Games to see how Skyrim really is one to watch for big sales even as a remaster.
PlayStation VR is going on too, and while there is the new Blood Ties DLC that sounds great and works on PS VR. Is that enough to entice buyers while dedicated VR games exist?
I don’t want this for the game, but the question has to be asked. Many gamers will be asking the same things.
Luckily though, there is one huge element I have missed out: just how good this game actually is, because it’s brilliant. And with Mafia 3 decent but disappointing generally, nothing this month really comes close to the standard of Rise of the Tomb Raider as far as Action-adventure goes.
20th Anniversary of Miss Croft
The delay of The Last Guardian has helped Lara enjoy her anniversary pretty much unopposed this month. The Batman Return to Arkham Remaster and Darksiders Warmastered are the only ones close. But they really are older games.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is an exceptional game, one that has a bit of everything. But I’m going to focus on the two things that really got me with the game from the moment I played it. The performance and characterisation of Lara Croft played by Camilla Luddington. And the stunning environments that really are works of art.
The gameplay is pretty bang on too!
From the moment the games starts and you embark on your quest through the snow and ice, you see the effort that Crystal Dynamics put in with every detail. I remember it making me feel actually cold playing it.
But this was the same in the deserts and forests too. All the environments are amazing and breath-taking but it’s still Lara that steals the show for me.
Camilla Luddington plays a damaged and almost unstable Lara Croft this time. I mean, the last game really put her through some serious trauma. But then the supernatural side towards the end also took its toll on her.
The way she is portrayed and acted throughout the game is excellent and, having made a start on PS4 last night (as published) everything looks amazing on the PS4.
She did have a little fling, it was a bit naughty (I blame those Crystal Dynamics people for corrupting her!) but she’s back and hopefully the game will perform well this month, as a product it certainly deserves to.
What are your thoughts on Rise of The Tomb Raider? Drop us a comment below using Facebook or Disqus and get chatting to us on Twitter Too! Until next time gamers, check out the details on the 20th Anniversary pack below and…
Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration Details
Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration is the most comprehensive version of the award-winning experience. It includes Rise of the Tomb Raider, along with a host of completely new content such as the new story chapter “Blood Ties,” “Lara’s Nightmare” zombie combat mode.
Plus, PlayStation VR support for “Blood Ties,” co-op Endurance gameplay, an “Extreme Survivor” difficulty, five classic Lara skins, and an outfit and weapon inspired by TR III.
It also includes all of the previously released downloadable content such as the critically acclaimed “Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch,” “Cold Darkness Awakened,” 12 outfits, seven weapons, multiple Expedition Card packs, and more.
“Our development team has crafted the ultimate package in Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration,” said Scot Amos, Co-Head of Studio at Crystal Dynamics. “The game and all of the new additions delivers something for every gamer with an epic single-player story, survival co-op action, and a fully immersive virtual reality story chapter.”
After uncovering an ancient mystery, Lara must explore the most treacherous and remote regions of Siberia to find the secret of immortality before a ruthless organization known as Trinity beats her to it. Faced with the mysterious Remnant leader Jacob, the constant threats of Trinity’s leader Konstantin, and driven by her Father’s unfinished legacy, Lara must become the Tomb Raider she is destined to be.