Rise of the Tomb Raider PS4 Review: Lara rises again

A year later and Lara Croft is back for PlayStation 4 fans as Rise of the Tomb Raider finally hits the console repackaged as the 20th Year Celebration. Rise of the Tomb Raider was originally released back in 2015 as an Xbox One and Windows 10 exclusive but Crystal Dynamics has packed a few extras in the package for those who waited.

Respawn Ninja previously reviewed Rise of the Tomb Raider giving it a 9/10:

“Crystal Dynamics’ follow up to the incredibly successful reboot of Tomb Raider is a brilliant telling of the next step in Lara’s journey. While the story is unbalanced at times, the set pieces, core gameplay, and exceptional attention to detail take primary focus and showcases a series that’s fully come into its own. Add to that the Expeditions mode, which is a score-based leaderboard mode that can be used during both your journey or post-game, and it’s evident that there’s a good amount of content embedded within the latest Croft outing as well. Rise of the Tomb Raider is by far one of the best action-adventure titles of the year, if not of the console generation thus far. I can’t wait to see where Crystal Dynamics go next.”

You can check out the full review by Toby Berger here.

Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20th Year Celebration packs quite a bit out of the box for PlayStation 4 players. You get the same great game released a year ago but also included is some extra modes and content that is surprisingly worth checking out. It also adds PlayStation VR support for one of those new mode which is a great addition to those players jumping in virtual reality for the first time.

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Blood Ties is one of the new expansion DLC added to Rise of the Tomb Raider’s package. It’s a very different take on the overall game providing a more narrative driven experience than violence or action. Taking place in the Croft manor, Blood Ties is all about exploration and discovering the story within the manor. Audio clips can be found everywhere and allows you to dive in the rich history Lara’s early childhood and Lara’s father – Lord Richard Croft.

There’s no action to Blood Ties and it’s honestly a welcoming change. While most of Rise of the Tomb Raider is about the action, Blood Ties pulls the pace back and relies on the mood which lends heavily to the VR experience. Blood Ties is compatible with the PlayStation VR and I’ve found myself really enjoying experience of wandering around the Croft Manor – like actually being there. The only downside here is that the experience is short and doesn’t really sell itself as a VR title to get, more on the side of – if you have a PSVR, then you can play this mode.

If the slower paced Blood Ties DLC isn’t something you fancy and you have to admit – some people just don’t like narrative titles, then the next included DLC is probably right up your alley.

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The new “Lara’s Nightmare” while closely resembles a cheap addition of a zombie mode is actually a very satisfying DLC. Lara’s Nightmare takes the survival aspect from Rise of the Tomb Raider evolved into a true survival-horror as players are thrown in the Croft Manor map infested by the undead. Lara has different weapons and tools available but they’re scarce and you’ll be timing your shots correctly and conserve ammunition. At times, you might to get down and dirty with the undead by using the melee.

I’m surprised at how much fun I actually had with “Lara’s Nightmare” – it’s challenging and puts you on edge as the Croft Manor is full of hallways and tight corners which restricts your field of view. Combined with the fine mechanics of Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lara’s Nightmare was well executed and is a great addition to the overall package.

Overall

If you haven’t picked up Rise of the Tomb Raider yet or you’ve been waiting for the PlayStation 4 release then you won’t be disappointed. Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20th Year Celebration packs quite a bit of content from it’s base game. You’re not only getting the same great game that we’ve reviewed last year but you’re also getting lots of extra content to dive into. While the PlayStation VR support is only minor, it’s not a bad experience allowing players to take the role of Lara Croft for the first time. I wish however they’ve extended more of that support rather than just the one DLC. Regardless, Rise of the Tomb Raider is one of the best action-adventure titles of the year 2015 and now 2016.

Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Windows 10

A review code was provided by the publisher.

Founder and Creator of Respawn Ninja. News Editor and covers shooter esports such as Call of Duty, CSGO and Rainbow Six Siege.

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