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PaigeFTW: ‘Rise Of The Tomb Raider’ Is Just Darn Good

I never was much of a Lara Croft fan back in her pointy boob days, but she piqued my interest after her gritty reboot back in 2013. I picked it up on sale and was enthralled for a good month.

As a PS4 owner, I was disappointed that Rise of the Tomb Raider was a timed Xbox exclusive, but I waited and waited, and finally got around to playing the PlayStation release this month.

So I’m late to the party when I say this, but damn. This game is fantastic.

The reboots get a lot of heat for being too similar to the Uncharted games, but I find Tomb Raider to be the superior series. Nate Drake is an explorer in the loosest terms — the guy clearly was better suited to be a soldier with the amount of killing he does.

But Lara’s tales are balanced. Yes, she’s out there killing agents of evil organizations, but she’s also exploring actual tombs and gathering materials to build her own weapons. You get the sense that she really is surviving, as opposed to just stumbling from one non-archaeology-respecting fight to another.

The story this go-round revolves around Lara pursuing a Divine Source — a fragment of God’s soul — from the remnants of a Christian cult in Siberia. A mysterious, powerful organization called Trinity also is after the source, with predictably bloody results for all involved. Lara also is dealing with delayed grief over her father’s death, as well as PTSD from her experience in Yamatai last game.

The story moves briskly, with bursts of action and quiet that allows Lara to traipse through caves and crypts for treasure. Controls are smooth and responsive. Visuals are wonderful. It simply is just a joy to play at every moment. Even when I wanted to stop playing and do something else, I played on.

My one and only complaint is that Lara’s death scenes are still unaccountably graphic.