This fall, everyone’s favourite female adventurer will make a triumphant return as an Xbox One exclusive property. Of course, we’re talking about Lara Croft and Rise of the Tomb Raider – a game that was not playable at this year’s E3, but attempted to make up for that fact by being available as a hands-free demonstration.
Following the hustle and bustle of E3 2015’s first day, we attended a VIP Microsoft event. There, we went hands-on with multiple games and took advantage of a lack of line-ups in order to watch the impressive Rise of the Tomb Raider demo.
Microsoft didn’t start off by showing us the beginning of the sequel, nor did it mince words about it. Instead, we jumped ahead to a moment in the story where Lara is stranded and apart from her allies. She’s shit out of luck, destitute and alone, and must worry about survival. This means looking for firewood and attempting to make fire. Did I mention that this demo took place during a blizzard?
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Now, while gaming’s most beautiful and most iconic Tomb Raider has survival skills up the wazoo, she’s still human, and it’s that humanity that we love about this rebooted series. Thankfully, that aspect of the character is very present here, and even in the short demo that we saw, it certainly came through.
If we’d have been able to go hands-on with Rise of the Tomb Raider, things would’ve been a bit different, but the demonstrator did a very solid job as Ms. Croft’s controller. He did die once at the hands of a ferocious bear, but our navigator quickly returned to take it out and reveal a pivotal path that the animal had been blocking.
The demo actually concluded once the bear was killed, so we can’t say much more. However, what we did see was quite beautiful. Not only that, but it all appeared to be pretty realistic. Lara definitely looks a bit different since her time on Yamatai, with altered facial features, but she’s still the same badass heroine we know and love.
Honestly, the only real downside that we noticed during our live demo of Rise of the Tomb Raider was its snow. It seemed as if there was a delay in-between when Lara would walk through knee-deep snowdrifts and when the pathway she took would actually show. Otherwise, everything looked fantastic and it seemed to play very well, with a cool weapon crafting system, different coats/clothes for Lara and upgradeable weapons which derive their requirements from scavenging and hunting.
Needless to say, Rise of the Tomb Raider is shaping up to be a must-by for Xbox One gamers.