Lara Croft, the Tomb Raider, has been a game for home computers and consoles for 20 years. In that time we have seen it go from some innovative graphics and animations to being a major movie franchise, from being an animated figure on a PC screen to the dream girl of a generation of young men (and maybe not so young men) and all the while being at the forefront of computer adventure gaming. Millions of £s have been spent on Tomb Raider in one form or another all leading up to this game and the twentieth anniversary version of Lara Croft.
RISE of the TOMB RAIDER takes life-like video graphics to a new front. It has been said before, heck I've said it myself, "It's like playing a movie" only this time it really is like "playing a movie". Lara and fellow members of the cast are so realistic that you actually feel like you are directing real people scene by scene.
As a reviewer part of my job is to give my personal opinions and to tell my readers about the game so that they can make up their own minds whether it is something they would like to purchase. Obviously some reviewers are paid to say only nice things, others get their kicks saying nasty things because that's what often appeals to the masses. Just watch X Factor and see how the cameras are drawn to the fool who cannot sing a note in tune yet gets three times as much TV air-time as the majority of people with good voices. Why? Because viewers like to watch disasters unfold in front of them, is why. It's easier to write about poor acting, bad singing, terrible game play mechanics and graphics than it is to write a glowing review without sounding sycophantic. Therefore for this review I am assuming the reader is already interested in Tomb Raider and is actually wanting to know whether to spend more money on a product they have most likely seen and played several times already.
There is a lot of game here and I haven't reached the end as yet. I will reach the end because I am enjoying the playing so very much, but it is fair to you, the reader, and to the publisher, that the game be known before it is passé in terms of game-shop shelf life. I would like to mention that my PC is about 5-6 years old and was never the top of its class to begin with but it handled the graphics and action smoothly and without any problems. I look at my monitor and think the characters look fantastically realistic, I can only imagine how they would look on a newer, higher specced, PC or the capabilities of the PS4 or ONE consoles.
So instead of a review of what you can make Lara do, jump, run, vault, shoot, climb etc etc etc here is a selection of screenshots that I have taken whilst playing. These are not stock shots from the publisher or screenies found online, they are actual true visuals of the game on my old PC with a just adequate graphics card. I have just added a soundbar to my PC as the speakers were older than the PC, heck they were almost as old as me, and the vocal talent and supportive sounds are tremendous.
Not all reviews give credit where it is due so before my picture parade here are a few names that deserve you knowing about:
Neil Huxley - cinematic director
John Stafford & Cameron Suey - Narrative
Rhianna Pratchett & Philip Gelatt - Writers
Christian Cantamessa & Sean Vanaman - Story
Lara Croft (vocals) - Camilla Luddington - Camilla is Dr Jo Wilson in Grey's Anatomy, Lizzie in Californication and Claudette in True Blood
Ana (vocals) Laura Waddell of The Vault and Living with Frankenstein tv series
Jacob (vocals) - Philip Anthony-Rodriguez Star Wars Rebels, Grimm, Gang Related
The full credit list of stars of TV, Movies and Games is amazing and well worth checking out HERE
But now for my pictorial review: Enjoy!
Any one of these could be a still from a movie instead of a screen capture during a game. I actually had to put a jumper on while playing the snow scenes because the chill and atmosphere was so intense I could feel the cold. A couple of the screen-shots show Lara falling to her death but luckily for me the game saves automatically and very regularly so each death doesn't mean going back to the beginning of a long chapter and having to do it all again. I have passed this point in the game, by quite some way actually, but I wanted to show these from the opening adventure because they set the scene for the whole dynamic feel of the game, and besides this isn't a walkthrough. There should be more than enough here for you to decide that it is a more than worthy addition to the Tomb Raider game range. However if you are wondering what specification you will need for your PC to run this game the lowest required specs are as follows: As you can see my PC is just above recommended lowest required and yet it runs this game perfectly well.
Lowest recommended specifications:
OS: Windows 7 64bit Processor: Intel Core i3-2100 or AMD equivalent Memory: 6 GB RAM Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 650 2GB or AMD HD7770 2GB DirectX: Version 11 Storage: 25 GB available space
My PCs specifications:
OS: Win 10 64 bit (free upgrade from Win 7) Intel Core i5 750@ 2.67GHz 4GB RAM Radeon HD 5700 series graphics card Chip Type AMD (0x68B8) DirectX: 11.2