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Rise Of The Tomb Raider 20 Year Celebration Edition PS4 Review – Is It Worth The Price?

In this post I’m going to be reviewing Rise Of The Tomb Raider – 20 Year Celebration Edition for the PS4.

My Experience

I played the Tomb Raider reboot about two years ago and I thought it was cool. It wasn’t breathtaking or anything, but it was competent enough and there was fun to be had with it. Prior to that Tomb Raider reboot, I had probably played about two Tomb Raider games. I remember playing Angel Of Darkness on the PS2, but I don’t remember it enough to know wether I liked it or not. I do, however, remember the early Tomb Raider games being very clunky in terms of controls and aiming.
That is far from the case here. In this post I’m going to let you know whether Rise Of The Tomb Raider is worth its asking price.

Gameplay

If you played the Tomb Raider reboot from 2013, you’ll already be familiar with the gameplay present in this game. You still have an open area that you can run around littered with campfires to save at or spend skill points and frequent checkpoints. You can focus of progressing through the main story or you can venture into optional tombs for some good ol’ tomb raiding. These tombs provide you with new upgrades or skills and are pretty easy to complete. There are no real in depth puzzles that require a lot of thinking here. The puzzles usually just require you to be aware of all the pieces available and then put them together, you’re also provided hints from Lara so you never get stuck for too long. This works because I view Rise Of The Tomb Raider as an action adventure game and not a puzzle game, but I would’ve appreciated my intelligence being tested. Also, there’s no real danger when exploring. It would have been better and more exhilarating if there were traps in the tombs and caves. There are traps in some places in the game, but they’re just pits with spikes which are quite easy to avoid.

The climbing and traversal is excellently done. The game is very good at communicating where you can and can’t jump to signified by white paint streaks on every reachable ledge. I hardly ever died due to poor camera angles or misplaced steps, and this is probably the best climbing or traversal I’ve ever experienced in this type of game. Scenery also breaks away as you climb around, further adding to the immersion.

There is a tremendous ease of use when it comes to picking this game up. I didn’t play it for a week due to the release of Watch Dogs 2 and my review for that, but as soon as I jumped back in I knew exactly how to play and got back into the swing of things immediately – there’s not many games that can do that. I usually feel at odds when I come back to a game after not playing for a while, but with this game it was liking putting on an old jacket and it fit perfectly.

Unlocking new abilities keeps the traversal fresh and interesting. The steady drip of unlocks as I progressed through the story kept me engaged and giddy to test out my new toy.

The combat in this game is great. It’s easy enough to get through enemies and you have a variety of weapons to do so, but you can’t take much damage either so it can get very tense at times.
I nearly died on many occasions, but I actually died less than 10 times in combat. I felt powerful yet fragile and I think this is the perfect balance for good edge of your seat gameplay without the frustration of losing or dying too frequently.
Unfortunately, you can’t duel wield pistols like classic Lara Croft which is a damn shame.
There also aren’t any loading screens apart from when you die. The loading screens seem to be masked by short transition scenes between areas. For example, crawling through a tunnel or squeezing through a crack in a wall.
The gameplay is phenomenal and as smooth as butter in my opinion. I had so much fun that it’s probably some of the best gameplay I’ve experienced this year.

Story

In Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lara Croft becomes more than a survivor as she embarks on her first tomb raiding expedition to the most treacherous and remote regions of Siberia. Lara follows in her dad’s footsteps in order to restore respect to his name and maybe cure all diseases and that.

The story really is not amazing here. I didn’t care about any of the characters except for lara. The villain is super evil with no real redeeming qualities. Lara is a bit of a goody two shoes, but she’s not super annoying or overly righteous. However, there was a twist near the end of the game that I didn’t see coming. I didn’t like the ending, but it wasn’t that bad and I could tell that they were setting things up for a sequel.

You can also find audio recordings and relics that help flesh out the story, but it never really became a major driving factor.

All in all the story is quite mediocre here.

Graphics And Sound

The graphics here are great. Lara looks beautiful, and so does everything else. The graphics aren’t outstanding, but they are in line with what we’ve come to expect from this current generation of gaming.

The sound is pretty good in terms of voice acting, although there were some really bad attempts at a Russian accent in a few audio tapes later in the game. For the most part everything was A-okay. The gun sounds did sound a little hollow or tin like at times, but it wasn’t anything majorly off putting.

Modes

There are a fair few modes that you can explore and have fun with separate from the main story. The 20 year edition also comes with all the previously released DLC.

The main thing that ties most of these modes together is a card system which allows you to add modifiers to your experience to make things more challenging or easier on yourself as you wish, or just experience weird changes like making your enemies have giant heads or playing as Lara from Tomb Raider Angel of Darkness.

Blood Ties seems like a story-heavy mode based in craft manor. You’re focused on finding information and listening to audio snippets in order to solve a mystery. It doesn’t seem like it has combat, but I haven’t fully played through it.

Endurance mode adds a few survival elements to the game such as managing your hunger and heat, while tasking you with searching for artefacts and relicts. You can also play this mode in online multiplayer by inviting someone on your friends list or using matchmaking. I did test out the matchmaking and there are people still playing in case you were worried about that.

In Cold Darkness mode, trinity soldiers have become infected. This results in them having reduced sight, but makes them attracted to sound. This mode seems to revolve around a puzzle which was quite confusing the first time playing, so this might be exactly what the main campaign was missing in terms of more difficult puzzles. However, from first glance it seems a little convoluted. With that said though, this is probably the extra mode that grabs my attention the most.

Lara’s Nightmare is a cool mode which has you running around Croft Manor while also shooting zombies. This seems very similar to something like Call Of Duty’s Zombies mode.

There’s Score, Attack and Chapter Replay which is self explanatory.

Remnant resistance is the last mode. You can create missions by putting together different cards to modify difficulty and objectives or play through missions created by others.

Cold Darkness and Endurance mode seem like the best modes the game has to offer for my personal taste. This content adds hours more to the potential play time you’ll get out of the game, although I assume most of these modes would get repetitive really quickly.

Is It Worth The Price?

Pros:

  • Gameplay is very satisfying
  • A variety of extra modes

Cons:

  • The story is mediocre

Rise Of The Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration is currently £39.45 on Amazon. It took me over 20 hours to complete the main campaign and I had loads of fun while doing it. If you liked the reboot from 2013, you can’t go wrong here. With just the main campaign and removing all the extra content, I think it was well worth the price.

If you want to buy Rise Of The Tomb Raider please use this link to support the channel. This is not a sponsor, it’s an Amazon affiliate link and I’ll get a couple pennies if you buy anything on Amazon using that link.

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