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Everything you should know about Rise of the Tomb Raider

No matter what goes on this year there has been one title that has always been on my radar. Maybe it was the fact that Microsoft took it away and made it an exclusive title on Xbox One, or maybe it was the fact that I was flown all the way to London in September to play the game and that just made my year. As someone who has had more hands on time with the game than anyone in SA, I can assure you that if you do not find a way to play Rise of the Tomb Raider, be it buying an Xbox One, or borrowing one for a week, you are going to miss out on one of the greatest games to ever see the light of day. And you can believe me when I say that as I am pretty fussy when it comes to calling a game “great”. Developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Microsoft, here is everything you need to know about Rise of the Tomb Raider:

It has been some time since the events of Yamatia, and Lara Croft’s past is slowly coming into light as past expeditions haunt her, driving her to find the truth behind everything. When I say “everything” I mean stuff that happens in the beginning part of the game that I cannot really talk about. She is now on the search for the city of Kitezh, built by Georgy II, the Grand Prince of Vladimir in the 13th century. Lara believes that it holds the truth behind immortality, but Trinity, the organization that covered up the devastation of Yamatai, are after the same thing.

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Rise of the Tomb Raider takes all the best elements from the past titles and improves on them. Stealth is now a major factor in survivability. Climbing up trees to take enemies out from above, throwing objects to distract them, and taking them out one by one. Lara also needs to scavenge for resources, there is no more holding your heads and just giving you arrows and health, you need to now make food and arrows to keep yourself protected and alive.

Sure the whole feminist debate could go on about Lara and her struggles, but seriously people, Lara is bad ass in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Remember, she is no weak young girl anymore, she has been through so much in the past title that nothing really gets to her anymore and killing comes easily. If anything the masculists should be up in arms about how the weak male enemies come across, and the fact that they are basically as overly exaggerated as possible, so there!

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Exploring in Rise of the Tomb Raider is a whole new ball game. Each open area is now 3 times larger than in the 2013 release and each area now holds 3 times the amount of collectables. Optional tombs now house actual rewards that come in the form of blueprints and abilities for Lara to master. These blueprints make rare and legendary weapons when completed and the abilities she learns are exclusive to that tomb. Meaning if you run through the game without exploring, expect it to be as boring as that pair of socks your aunt got you for Xmas last year. You need to explore the world, fend off exotic animals that guard these tombs, and build Lara into the ultimate killing machine.

Did I mention that the game is extremely beautiful? Facial animations and environments are just stunning. When a cutscene plays out, you can really feel the emotion in a character as they express their fear, excitement, and anger. Most of the time its fear as the wilderness is a freighting place, thankfully you have some companions that will help you along the way. These people will hand out side quests for you to help you level up, they will also grant you rare loot if you help them.

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Release and Season Pass

Rise of the Tomb Raider will hit stores on 10 November 2015, along with it will come a Season Pass containing all future content for the game.

According to the Xbox Live Marketplace, the Season Pass will have 3 major releases:

  • Endurance Mode – Survive Extreme Conditions
  • Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch – A new tomb that houses ancient terror
  • Cold Darkness Awakened – Combat waves of infected predators

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Other content was also revealed and will be released in a “steady stream”. This content includes outfits, weapons, and Expedition Cards. This will begin on day one and continue for 4 months after release. Game modes were also revealed:

  • Chapter Replay: Replay earlier chapters of the story. Complete challenges to earn credits.
  • Chapter Replay Elite: Replay earlier chapters of the story with your upgraded skills and equipment and complete challenges to earn credits.
  • Score Attack: Replay levels from the game with a new set of rules. Finish the level quickly for a time bonus. Chain together attacks, movements and collectibles to keep your multiplier high. Complete challenges and collect medals to earn credits.
  • Remnant Resistance: Replay Hub spaces with a new set of goals. Craft your own missions by choosing the objectives, enemies and more. Once you’ve mastered the mission, challenge friends and the community to beat your high score or play other custom missions created by the community.

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There will be in game purchases in the form of credits. These credits will be used to purchase these “Expedition Cards”. These cards will play into these side game modes that will give you an upper hand in the game modes. You can also make your own custom missions by adding certain cards into the mix. These cards and micro transactions will not have any impact on the main game, so just to get it out there.

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You do not have an Xbox One?

Well luckily Microsoft will be releasing the ultimate Xbox One Bundle before the game releases in early November. The Rise of the Tomb Raider bundle will come with a 1TB Xbox One, Rise of the Tomb Raider download code, and the Definitive Edition of the 201 release. Best thing about this all? You will be able to redeem your code and start your Rise of the Tomb Raider download before it releases on the 10th. No, you will not be able to play it early, but it will be there waiting for launch day. Rise of the Tomb Raider is set for release on Xbox One and Xbox 360 on 10 November 2015

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Disclaimer: Microsoft flew Marco to London to preview the game. His flights, accommodation and meals were paid for by the organisation. 

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