The Price of Truth 

Rise of the Tomb Raider • Finish the game on any difficulty • 125G • 35.45% of gamers unlocked this 

I was actually planning on cashing out today’s achievement after earning the Self-Improvement Junkie achievement for purchasing ‘all skills in one category’, but when I got the ‘point of no return’ message to find out how close I was to the end – I figured, ‘Why not?’ and pushed through to finish the sequel to Square Enix’s Tomb Raider reboot. Considering that my main reason for firing up TR tonight was after having a mental battle with myself about the joys of starting a new game (Dishonored 2, in particular) versus finishing off one already in-progress, I decided that it was best to tidy up the list, and clear TR from my backlog. I can now say, with an achievement to prove it – I have done just that. 

I have to say, that Rise of the Tomb Raider had one of the simplest final boss battles I’ve had in a AAA game for a while. Not that I’m complaining – I game for the story first and foremost – but even playing on the easier difficulties, you expect ‘a bit’ of a challenge when it comes to the end game. I think I died, perhaps, twice in the final battle – largely as a result of my own stupidity rather than particularly clever AI.

So … did I enjoy the story? No, not really. For all of TR’s success in the original reboot, a story rich about Lara’s growth as a survivor, it felt like Rise tried to force the viewer to care about all these extraneous people. Ana. Jonah. Jacob. All, I’m sure, are important to some grand story which I suspect was, or has been, crafted to (re)build the franchise (the ending is deliberately left ready for a sequel), but none of which I gave two hoots about long enough to build any meaningful rapport. Tomb Raider is, and always has been, stories about Lara Croft. You can reboot the franchise in film and video games all you like, but if Lara’s immediate journey isn’t the focus (cf. the macro, family, friends, etc. ‘journey’), then maybe consider crafting a narrative for Generic Adventurer Protagonist B. 

Gameplay is as good as the original TR reboot, and that’s a good thing. With the exception of crafting, which seems largely optional except where prompted, it’s a delightful run-and-gunner. You can see why Phil Spencer spent the money to get this one with some Xbox exclusivity, even for twelve months. 
I don’t know if I’ll go back to Rise of the Tomb Raider to finish the optional tombs yet – I just don’t. I feel good about the completion, and I’m always willing to try and squeeze a few extra GS out of a game, but I’m also ready to move on with my gaming life. 

I’m also a fickle man who changes his mind more frequently than his jocks, so watch this space. 

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