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RISE of the

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 long written 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. Let's face it, everyone knows how to make a character do all the usualy movements and actions. 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. 

This has to be the best Tomb Raider game I have played, which doesn't necessarily say it is the best ever (I haven't played them all) but it does say a lot for it. The action is bum-squeaky, edge of your seat, and gripping. You can feel every bump and bruise and your fingertips ache as Lara holds tightly to nooks and crannies often too minute (that's small not minnit innit) to see with the naked (or dressed) eye. Often it is a matter of instinct and leaps of faith (by the player) and by the great Lara Croft herself as she flies through the air in death defying leaps and bounds. This is Lara at her most gutsiest and grittiest, bashed up and bruised, way beyond the beauty we are used to. Physically (especially facially) Lara has changed over the years, but she is still the heroine of one of the best game franchises available.


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




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


Rise of the Tomb Raider Cold Darkness Awakened DLC Available 

REDWOOD CITY (March 29, 2016) – Crystal Dynamics® and Square Enix® are celebrating 20 years of Lara Croft®, star of the award-winning TOMB RAIDER® franchise this year, beginning with festivities for this major milestone at PAX East 2016. The developers of Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend®, the critically acclaimed Tomb Raider® reboot in 2013, last year’s hit Rise of the TombRaider® and more will celebrate the achievements of the Tomb Raider series and its protagonist, with special activities and events planned throughout 2016.

“Since its introduction, Tomb Raider has held a significant place in video game history, and further cements that with this milestone,” said Ron Rosenberg, Co-Head of Studio at Crystal Dynamics. “We look forward to celebrating with fans, and honoring the iconic Lara Croft with special events, retrospectives, giveaways and other surprises throughout this year of Tomb Raider.”

First making her debut in 1996 with the original Tomb Raider from Core Design, famous archeologist Lara Croft is a powerful force within the gaming industry, and has made an indelible mark on virtually every facet of entertainment. From being named an ambassador for scientific excellence to appearing live on tour with U2, Lara Croft reaches millions of people around the world. With over 30 video game titles released and hundreds of awards, the heroine has been a cultural icon for 20 years on gaming screens and Hollywood silver screens, battling T-Rexes and the undead and adventuring around the globe. Lara has had adventures in over 25 countries, explored the Mediterranean, Adriatic, and Andaman Seas, ventured to Antarctica and the Arctic Circle, and rediscovered Atlantis and the lost island of Yamatai.

“Tomb Raider has become a cultural phenomenon over the last 20 years, selling millions of copies worldwide, sparking one of the most successful video game film adaptations in history, and inspiring our amazing fans of all ages,” said Scot Amos, Co-Head of Studio at Crystal Dynamics. “It’s incredible to be part of this legend and to see how much the series has evolved over time, and think about what’s yet to come. Here’s to 20 more years of adventure together.”

As part of the 20-year celebration, Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics have partnered with GameChanger Charity to provide a free digital copy of TombRaider 2013 for every donation made to the charity of at least $1. Eligible contributors who donate at least $20 will be entered into a drawing where prizes include a special Crystal Dynamics swag bag including a collector’s edition ofRise of The Tomb Raider, along with special items related to the series and its famed globetrotting explorer (see official rules for details). GameChanger is a non-profit focused on improving the lives of children suffering from life-threatening diseases. GameChanger delivers video game gifts to hospitals, and provides financial support to deserving families.

To donate to GameChanger, please visit

Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics today also released the third Rise of TheTomb Raider content pack titled Cold Darkness Awakened for PC on Steam® and The Windows Store for $9.99. Players who have purchased the Season Pass or have downloaded the additional content separately will be able to continue the journey as Lara Croft takes on nightmarish predators in an abandoned Cold War base. Cold Darkness Awakened will also be available that same day for Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Watch the trailer for Cold Darkness Awakened.

Along with the award-winning Tomb Raider Definitive Edition and Rise of theTomb Raider, the series spans PC, console, mobile and handheld, with other hit titles such as Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light®, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris®, Lara Croft: Relic Run® and Lara Croft GO™.

Related Links
Official Homepage:
Official Twitter: @TOMBRAIDER
Official Facebook page:
Official Tumblr:
Official YouTube Channel:

The TOMB RAIDER franchise has sold over 45 million copies worldwide and inspired one of the most successful video game film adaptations in history, grossing over $300 million at the global box office with protagonist Lara Croft becoming a contemporary global icon. The most recent release in the world famous franchise, Rise of the Tomb Raider, released exclusively for Xbox One and Xbox 360 on November 9, 2015 and on PC January 28, 2016. The game has received numerous “Best of” nominations and is one of the highest rated games on next generation systems. All of this has made TOMB RAIDER once again a destination brand for action-adventure.

About Square Enix, Inc.
Square Enix, Inc. develops, publishes, distributes and licenses SQUARE ENIX, EIDOS® and TAITO® branded entertainment content throughout the Americas as part of the Square Enix group of companies. The Square Enix group of companies operates a global network of leading development studios and boasts a valuable portfolio of intellectual property, including: FINAL FANTASY®, which has sold over 110 million units worldwide; DRAGON QUEST®, which has sold over 66 million units worldwide; TOMB RAIDER®, which has sold over 45 million units worldwide; and the legendary SPACE INVADERS®. Square Enix, Inc. is a U.S.-based, wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd.

More information on Square Enix, Inc. can be found at

TOMB RAIDER © 1996-2016. Square Enix Ltd.  All rights reserved.
TOMB RAIDER, the TOMB RAIDER logo, CRYSTAL DYNAMICS, DRAGON QUEST, EIDOS, FINAL FANTASY, LARA CROFT, LARA CROFT AND THE GUARDIANS OF LIGHT, LARA CROFT AND THE TEMPLE OF OSIRIS, LARA CROFT GO, LARA CROFT: RELIC RUN, RISE OF THE TOMBRAIDER, SQUARE ENIX, the SQUARE ENIX logo, SPACE INVADERS, and TAITO are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Square Enix group of companies. Steam is a registered trademark of Valve Corporation. All other trademarks are the properties of their respective owners


© Chris Baylis 2011-2015