When we last saw Lara Croft, she had just survived a harrowing experience on a deserted island with a fanatical cult trying to eliminate her at every turn. She was young and new to the wilderness, but in Rise of the Tomb Raider we once again see the Lara Croft we?ve come to love. She?s strong, she?s cunning and she?s more adept than ever before.
Her best survival tactics clearly lie in her crafting skills, and upgrading her weaponry and fires for her base camp with ease. We see her make and upgrade clothing, bows and enhanced arrows. The poison arrow spews a wide swath of gas, killing multiple enemies at once. We?re told that dozens of crafting-item types are scattered within the game?s massive areas, but they might not always be available when Lara needs them. Resource management is just as important as crafting the perfect weapon, and players will learn that rather quickly.
Even better is Lara?s new ability to craft items in real time without needing a base camp or a pause menu. In one area, we see her hiding from a group of enemies and finding kerosene and some cloth. With a few button presses, she?s made a Molotov cocktail and those enemies are no longer a concern. This ability allows for on-the-fly adjustments to strategy and quick thinking that makes her an even more potent tomb raider.
Rise of the Tomb Raider will bring us the Lara Croft experience we?ve wanted since the glory days, reintroducing us to giant tombs with mazes and puzzles to spare. The heroine herself is more poised, more resourceful and more intelligent than she?s ever been, and the wilderness doesn?t stand a chance against her. This is a new Lara Croft, and we can?t wait to play more when Rise of the Tomb Raider launches on Nov. 10 on the Xbox One and Xbox 360.