Rise of the Tomb Raider

Microsoft played host to Rise of the Tomb Raider in its E3 booth, showing some familiar gameplay from Lara Croft’s latest adventure as well as a look at what she does best: raiding tombs.

Lara is climbing a mountain with her comrade Jonah, when everything falls apart. An avalanche tears the pair apart, and soon Lara is alone. From there, she trudges through knee-deep snow and establishes a small camp,  building a fire and gathering materials to put together a bow. Her fire attracts some unwanted attention from Trinity, a sinister organization that has patrols near Lara’s position. She manages to get the drop on them with a combination of stealth and smarts.

Those tactics don’t work on a grizzly bear, which manages to be a deadly pest. Her attempts to flee are all for nothing, and one mighty swat from a giant paw knocks her off the edge of a small cliff. She’s relatively OK, but she gets a discouraging look at the massive camp that Trinity has set up in the area. Whatever it was that she was looking for here, she’s not alone, and she probably won’t be able to find it without further incident.

The next part of the demo showed a tantalizing glimpse of a tomb, in this case The Prophet’s Tomb. In an earlier mission, she encountered some kind of mystical phenomenon. If Lara’s instincts are correct, that could point to other so-called myths carrying a kernel of truth. With that in mind, she heads to a tomb hidden in the desert.

Lara reels from the heat, finally finding respite in a nearby cave entrance. Walking deeper, she trudges through a shallow stream. It gets dark, and she lights a blue glowstick to illuminate the passageway. It eventually opens up into a larger area, which is filled with artifacts. For an archaeologist like Lara Croft, this is a breathtaking discovery.

She walks around the area, interacting with several points of interest. One mural reinforces a pet theory of hers, and she gains language XP. As players explore more of the world and interact with more objects, she’ll become more adept at deciphering ancient text for clues. For example, a nearby obelisk is meaningless for Lara at this point – she’ll have to return to this place later to determine its full value.

Upon spying shafts of light peeking from behind a wall, Lara tears it apart. There’s a hidden passageway behind it, leading to a hidden courtyard. The ruins of a temple are nearby, and it’s filled with vegetation – a stark contrast from what we’ve seen in the area so far. Unfortunately for us, this is where our journey ends for the time being. Don’t worry; we plan on returning to this tomb as soon as we can.

Rise of the Tomb Raider is coming to Xbox One this November 10.

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