Reading the Past

Xbox

Rise of the Tomb Raider • Translate one Monolith • 10G • 62.57% of gamers unlocked this

It feels like I have been waiting a long time to play the sequel to the Tomb Raider reboot. A long time. Finally, this week, I got an email from EB Games with a ‘special offer’ that allowed me to pickup a preowned version of it for under $30, which is still more than I want to pay for it, but it is a fair price for a good game and … well, I’ve waited long enough.

One of the downsides of the original reboot was that it took so … darn … long to start earning achievements. This one takes place thankfully much sooner in the game, using a clever little mechanic that requires Lara to, essentially, ‘learn’ a language, then use that learning to decipher a stone Monolith to guide her along her quest. This initial Monolith happens early in the game, about level two, when she first arrives in Syria, where Lara uses some stone etchings and tapestries to piece together enough Greek to be able to decode a Monolith which points her towards a nearby secret entrance. It’s a basic mechanic, but it’s fun … and something I can see employed as a plot mechanic to steer Lara towards more and more difficult puzzles as the game goes on. Time will tell if that’s how Square Enix have developed it that way.

One quick final thought … this game is beautiful. Seriously, I’m astounded at the graphic fidelity on something that essentially is a mid-cycle title. Lara’s character modelling is second-to-none, and I’d even go so far as to say it’s a prettier game than the Uncharted series – I can see why Phil Spencer wanted this as a timed exclusive for Xbox.

Gosh it’s good to be back in the Tomb Raider universe.

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