The demo Microsoft showed off on stage at gamescom last week for Rise of the Tomb Raider was heavily focused on Lara Croft’s combat skills. So much so that I found it a bit off-putting. It felt more like Splinter Cell or Far Cry than it did a game about an archaeologist. Now, though, we have in hand a firm look at the biggest new experience coming to the new Tomb Raider series: raiding tombs.
The sequence opens with Lara in a truck with someone she quickly learns has sold her out. As usual, the poor sap ends up dead for his trouble. Lara made it to her destination, though, and after crawling through a few bug-infested tunnels, she kicks through a brick wall to see a huge structure carved out of a rock wall.
“It’s amazing,” she says, in total awe. And we’re right there with her. The structures on display are massive and impressive. Inside them, Lara tackles some puzzles that have her making use of her pistol as a tool instead of a weapon before finding herself pursued by the same soldiers that out her traitorous tour guide. While Lara does pull off a few nice kills here, the focus is clearly on escape as she runs through a disintegrating obstacle course that would give Nathan Drake pause. Danger and combat are part of Lara’s legacy, but I’m hoping more of that is her being pursued and less of her pursuing.
Rise of the Tomb Raider releases for Xbox One and Xbox 360 on November 10, 2015, with PC and PlayStation 4 hitting in 2016.