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How Rise of the Tomb Raider became the best game of the series

If you still think that Tomb Raider is a mundane puzzle platformer, famous only for its heroine’s super short shorts, you’re deadly wrong. In recent years, the franchise strived hard to distance itself from this once appealing concept and moved towards more thoughtful and complicated gaming experience. The latest installment is an obvious success in this path. Now, Rise of the Tomb Raider is capable of competing with Assassin's Creed and other high-brow RPG titles. Gradually the game became more serious and dark, transforming to a grown-up version of itself, with brutal fights, heavily motivated vicious enemies and meaner heroine. 

That said, there’s plenty of reasons to call Rise of the Tomb Raider the most immerse and mature game in the series. 

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Lara Croft you didn’t know

With a big deal of survival context added to the gameplay, Lara has become tougher. She attacks her enemies brutally, fighting for her life and goals no matter what. As the title hints, we encounter Lara at the beginning of her journey as a treasure hunter. We watch her changing over the course of the story, as her youthful idealism disappears under the weight of gritty reality, and the classic plot of Lara against the bad guys gets a fresh twist. Overall, new Lara Croft is  strong, capable, and quick-witted — the type of a female character that modern games lack. 

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Gritty twisting story 

The plot of Rise of the Tomb Raider perfectly accompanies the overall feeling of gritty complex RPG. Written by Rhianna Pratchett, the story leads us to snow covered open spaces of Siberia, the place where the lost city of Kitezh, Lara’s father life-long obsession, is situated. As Lara scavenges Siberian hostile environments, a shady organization Trinity is putting obstacles on her way, seeking the powerful treasures the city of Kitezh might hide. 

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Striking Graphics

The game has a strong aesthetic feel to it, with every landscape carried out in a breath-taking manner. When you get enough of intense action and visceral fights, take your time to enjoy the glistening water, mighty snow peaks, the play of Lara’s hair in the wind and the light that looks like in real life, only prettier. It’s like that with Tomb Raider: sometimes it’s just you and the world, either vivid woods or ancient graves, and it’s really important to enjoy the environment. In Rise of the Tomb Raider, the gameplay graphics is barely differed from cutscenes, making you believe you’re a part of this adventurous world.  

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Open world with living environments 

As you immerse into a hostile ecosystem of Siberia, you’ll find out that those trees, snowdrifts, and mountain peaks are here not only for a visual delight. As you craft gear, ammo and weapons and hunt animals, you’ll see that nature is a part of the gameplay. Your experience depends on day-night cycle, as well as weather conditions, which helps to truly bond with this incredible place. Besides, the game is not linear, as you could pause with the main story and explore locations in any way you like, with side-missions tucked here and there along the way. 

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Being Crafty

The range of things Lara could use for the craft is astonishing: bottles, cans, ore, saplings, feathers. So is the lift of stuff she could produce out of it: weapons and weapons upgrades, ammo, clothes, nail bombs, smoke bombs, Molotov cocktails, poisons… Everything comes in handy when you need to survive and fight. Thus, scavenging is an important part of Rise of the Tomb Raider, gameplay. And it’s entertaining, as you have to deal with micro challenges and organize stuff in order to create things that lately would be rewarding in combat. 

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The real challenge

The game doesn’t let you breathe out with relief, always offering diverse challenges. First, you climb up a mountain, then you beat your brains over a puzzle only to get into a combat as soon as you finished with it. As you progress and grow your skills, the game doesn’t become easier. Bosses are really hard to accomplish even with all the upgrades, so don’t overlook the importance of the craft thing! 

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Multiplayer

The game has a multiplayer, so-called Expedition mode. It offers a handful of challenges you could customize and then set for yourself or your friends. Using the money you made withing the game, you could buy a pack of cards with advantages or debuffs, that make gameplay more complex every time. The mode is integrated with Twitch streams, and the viewers could pick a card for you! 

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