A mere three months after its exclusive Xbox One release, Rise of the Tomb Raider has arrived on the PC bringing the rebooted Lara Croft’s mass-murdering rampages to PC players everywhere.
On the scale of PC ports from Arkham Knight to Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, Rise of the Tomb Raider falls closer to the latter, but it still requires a beefy rig to get the most out of it. The minimum requirements are pretty forgiving (i3 or equivilant, 2GB GPU) aside from the 6GB of RAM, which is quite the ask for most builds. For reference, I’m running an i7-2770k, 16GB of RAM and a 4GB GTX 980. Despite the taxing nature of the game I ran it on the highest quality with nary a dip below 60 fps aside from a couple areas at the end when everything was popping off – fire, lighting, multiple enemies, collapsing geometry, you name it.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is heavy on particle effects and lighting and in some area of the game it looks damn near close to a pre-rendered scene. The vistas in the new Tomb Raider are stunning and the developers managed to get a wide variety of scenery out of the game’s Siberian setting. Throughout the 12+ hour adventure you’ll guide Lara through glaciers, geothermal valleys, gulags and ancient ruins and it all looks and (for the most part) runs perfectly.
The only real downside of the PC port is the somewhat imprecise mouse and keyboard controls while climbing. A couple sections of the game caused me to quit in frustration when I couldn’t get Lara to jump to the correct handhold and fell to my death five or so times. The shooting works perfectly so I stuck with M&K throughout my playtime, but if you can’t get around the sloppiness of the platforming then a controller should serve you well.
The moment-to-moment gameplay is great as well, whether you are going through a series of linear enemy encounters or exploring the smaller open sections to find various collectibles or explore challenge tombs. Rise of the Tomb Raider has legitimate tomb raiding this time and each encounter is a nice puzzle with a passive upgrade at the end. No more finding assault weapon parts in an ancient cave!
Sadly the only area of Rise of the Tomb Raider that doesn’t measure up is the story, which feels like the same plot we’ve been going through since the original Uncharted. I won’t say much more than that out of deference for those who haven’t played yet, but if you’re familiar with the structure of the previous Tomb Raider you can probably guess what the beats are.
Story troubles aside, Rise of the Tomb Raider is a great follow-up to the reboot that gives you more of want you want: exploration, tomb raiding and tight combat. It also tones down the more unsettling murder voyeurism from the last time. If you have an Xbox or a decent PC, or can wait until the PS4 release, I recommend checking it out.
Has anyone else played Rise of the Tomb Raider? What did you think of Lara’s latest adventure?