Also arriving on March 1st are Oxenfree, Resident Evil Revelations 2, The Final Station, Sonic CD and Euro Fishing.
Rise of the Tomb Raider – Featuring epic, high-octane action moments set in the most beautifully hostile environments on earth, Rise of the Tomb Raider delivers a cinematic survival action adventure where you will join Lara Croft on her first tomb raiding expedition. Explore Awe-Inspiring Deadly Tombs – Huge ancient spaces littered with deadly traps, solve dramatic environmental puzzles, and decipher ancient texts to reveal crypts as you take on a world filled with secrets to discover. Woman vs. Wild – Conquer a world fiercely protecting its secrets, endure perilous conditions and unstable landscapes, face dangerous wildlife that act as guardians to ancient tombs, and explore huge interactive environments. Guerrilla Combat – Use the environment to your advantage, scale trees and dive underwater to avoid or takedown enemies, configure Lara’s gear, weapons, and ammo to suit your play style, craft explosives on the fly to sow chaos, and wield Lara’s signature combat bows and climbing axe.
Super Lucky’s Tale – A delightful, playground platformer for all ages that follows Lucky, the ever-optimistic, energetic, and lovable hero, on his quest to find his inner strength and help his sister rescue the Book of Ages from Jinx. Jinx is the scheming and mysterious villain trying to reshape the world, but for what reason? Along the way, encounter a hilarious supporting cast of friends and adversaries. Lucky must confront the nefarious Kitty Litter, Jinx’s mischievous kids – self-taught villains who might not be getting Jinx’s plans quite right. Lucky meets friends and allies along the way too. He meets misplaced Yetis, Kookie Spookies, a village of farming worms, and other colorful friends inhabiting the Book of Ages. Test your skills with puzzles and nerve-wracking obstacle courses. Explore hidden secrets of new worlds with Lucky’s signature burrow move. Dive into unpredictable foxholes, or try devilish side scrolling challenge levels to unlock additional rewards. Check out Greg’s review of Super Lucky’s Tale!
Oxenfree – A supernatural thriller about a group of friends who unwittingly open a ghostly rift. Play as Alex, a bright, rebellious teenager who brings her new stepbrother Jonas to an overnight party on an old military island. The night takes a terrifying turn when you unwittingly open a ghostly gate spawned from the island’s cryptic past. How you deal with these events, your peers, and the ominous creatures you’ve unleashed is up to you. YOU determine every aspect of Alex’s story while exploring Edwards Island, uncovering the base’s dark past, and changing the course of your friends’ lives. You can read our Oxenfree review here!
A full list of all games in Game Pass can be found here.
In a not so cryptic tweet yesterday, Xbox Live’s Major Nelson hinted that eight new games are winging their way to the Xbox Game Pass service. However, in the accompanying picture its quite clear that one of these eight will be Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Rise of the Tomb Raider was originally released in November 2017 and follows Lara Croft as she ventures into Siberia in search of the legendary city of Kitezh, whilst battling a paramilitary organization called “the Trinity” that intends on beating her to the city’s promise of immortality. As of November 2017, the game has sold nearly 7 million copies. In 2017 the game was updated to be Xbox One X Enhanced so X owners amongst us can now play in glorious 4K!
A smart move by Microsoft as the new Tomb Raider film is getting it’s theatrical release in March also, so interest in the franchise will be heightened, and I guess they hope that movie goers will head home to their console and maybe pick up a Game Pass subscription in order to continue their time with Lara.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is getting some awesome new content as part of it’s 20th Anniversary celebrations and here is an 11 minute gameplay video.
On October 11 you’ll be able to play the new The Blood Ties DLC. You will get to explore Lara’s backstory, discovering more about her parents. You’ll also get to explore Croft Manor in an attempt to refute claims by her Uncle Atlus, who believes Lara should hand over the manor to him.
Lara’s Nghtmare sees her trapped in Croft Manor against a host of deadly, zombie-like foes. With lots of weapons and items to help you defend yourself, this could end up being lots of fun to play.
I’m a huge fan of the game and the DLC, so I’m looking forward to getting my hand on this.
Join Greg Giddens, Steve Peacock and special guest Steve’s squeaky chair, for a new episode of the This is Xbox Podcast – episode 22 2.0. In this episode we say goodbye to Neale Jarrett and hello to Steve Peacock, who is joining the podcast family. The new duo discuss Bethesda’s announced E3 conference, the potential for XCOM 2 to come to consoles, as well Rise of the Tomb Raider, Pneuma Breath of Life, Had of Fate, Factotum 90 and a bunch more games amongst the usual silly banter you’d expect.
Join Greg Giddens, Neale Jarrett and special guest Peter Willington, Producer at Auroch Digital, for a new episode of the This is Xbox Podcast – episode 21 Hi I’m Peter W… In this episode the threesome discuss Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and the series in general, Fallout 4, Rainbow Six Siege, Rebel Galaxy, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Resident Evil Zero HD Remaster, before talking about Auroch Digital and their Games Workshop games such as Dark Future: Blood Red States.
There’s also a competition to win backward compatibility codes for the Gears of War series, Rainbow Six Vegas 2, and Just Cause 2. All you have to do to enter is create an image of what you think Greg looks like. We encourage you to use the back catalogue of podcasts to help paint the picture, such as Greg’s MGS V robot arm, and many more titbits shared over the last 21 episodes. Send your image to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight 6th February and Neale will choose a winner on the next podcast.
Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch, the first story-focused downloadable content for Rise of the Tomb Raider, will launch Tuesday, Jan. 26.
The new DLC will feature Lara Croft entering a strange new tomb, where she will encounter new enemies, solve puzzles and fight through some wicked hallucinations, all while battling a seemingly supernatural force.
If you own the Season Pass the DLC is free otherwise you will need to pay (there isn’t a price available yet).
The year is coming to a close and so it’s time once again to take a look back at all the great games that have been released in 2015.
Every day up until the end of the year we’ll be revealing our top three games from a number of different categories, all the way up until the coveted Game of the Year reveal.
Next up is Action Adventure Game of the Year.
Third Place – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Greg Giddens (me) started off his review of MGSV: TPP with:
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is excellent. It’s hugely ambitious with sky high expectations from it ravenous fan base, and yet it still manages to surprise, even astound us with its excellence.
And truer world have never been said, if I do say so myself.
The Phantom Pain offers a tactical open-world to experience that is abundant in emergent gameplay opportunities. You can approach missions practically however you like, and with the huge amount of equipment you can research you can then replay these missions dozens of times and experience them completely differently.
Greg goes on to say:
…its open-world design is unmatched in the action and/or stealth genre, offering extreme freedom that offers oodles of replayability, and the story is intriguing, profound and subtly spun with a focus on action rather than words.
And indeed with such strong mechanics, such an enticing open-world, and of course the classic Metal Gear story driving the experience, it’s no wonder to see MGS V grace our list of top action adventure titles from this year.
Techland learnt their lessons from Dead Island and put them into practice with Dying Light. The result is a scary and intense action horror title that’s oodles of fun to play, alone or with friends.
Richard Berry said in his review:
Dying Light is huge, it’s loaded with challenges and collectibles with enough missions to see you easily rack up in excess of 50 hours game time. It’s certainly the most fun I’ve had in co-op since Borderlands 2. For me the dynamic day/night cycle is the stand out feature with the night cycle offering a completely different change of pace.
The terrifying night cycle, the exceptionally fun parkour movement, and the stiff but well-balanced challenge, makes Dying Light a superb action adventure game, and one that so very nearly took top spot in out awards.
Action Adventure Game of the Year – Rise of the Tomb Raider
Crystal Dynamics have sussed out Tomb Raider. They’ve rebuilt Lara as a more human and relatable characters, created stunningly beautiful and complex environments to explore, and giving player precisely the mechanics they need to fully engage with Lara and her thirst for exploration. It’s a hugely impressive reboot of the long running franchise, and this second instalment since the reboot improves on the first in every way.
Dave Moran said in his review:
The story this time is much better than the previous game, it feels more gritty and every time I thought I was nearing the end, something else came along. The different locations are excellent, and the game looks stunning
And indeed it’s this exceptional design and ultimately hugely enjoyable experience which places Lara’s latest adventure top of your action adventure list.
Rise of the Tomb Raider will receive its first piece of DLC at the end of December.
Endurance mode will test your survival skills to see how long you can keep Lara alive. Starting with nothing, you must scavenge to survive the harsh environments and fend of man and beast, while keeping Lara’s hunger at bay and keeping her warm at night as temperatures plummet.
The new mode arrives December 29th and includes a new weapon and an outfit – let’s hope it’s something warm!
In early 2016, the first piece of single player campaign content will arrive – Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch – is a hidden forest located in Siberia. The mystery of a lost expedition will lead Lara into a new tomb with more puzzles to solve, enemies to defeat and some pretty trippy hallucinations to contend with. The DLC also includes an outfit and a new bow.
Cold Darkness Awakened hasn’t been given a release window in 2016 but will take Lara to a decommissioned weapons research base where beasts and men have been turned into mindless killers – this horde style mode will pit your combat skills against increasingly difficult odds, so be sure to scavenge for equipment and stay on your toes – it’s going to be a rough ride for Lara.
There are challenges to complete and even a way to stop the madness unfolding at the base, but it may not be a simple solution – here’s hoping that this mode takes some influence from Call of Duty’s excellent zombies series! Like the other two pieces of content, there’s also a new outfit and weapon included.
I enjoyed the last Tomb Raider game so much that I bought it for the Xbox 360 and then again for the Xbox One. Unsurprisingly then, I’ve been a little bit excited about Rise of The Tomb Raider. After just under 20 hours of climbing, crafting and exploring I can finally give you my thoughts.
Rise of the Tomb Raider starts in Siberia with Lara and her friend from the last title, Jonah. They are on another adventure looking for an ancient city hidden somewhere within the snowy mountains. In typical Tomb Raider fashion the tension is high as the blizzard around them causes them to become separated. Here you’ll get a taste of how the game plays out with some dangerous jumps as you scale the sides of a mountain.
After the excellent intro the game goes back in time to fill you in on why Lara and Jonah are in Siberia. You’ll head off briefly to Syria where you’ll get your first look at a what the new tombs have to offer, as well as a new gameplay mechanic – translation.
In true Tomb Raider Tradition, exploration is key, whether you are filling in parts of the story by picking up tape recorders that have been dropped, or hunting for wood to be used to create more arrows to use, there is always something to discover. Different locations have ancient tomes, notes, tablets and art that Lara can read that reveals extra information such as locations on maps. Read as much as possible, some items require a certain level of language knowledge to allow Lara to translate everything.
After making your way through the different puzzles that include all the different skills expected from Lara, you’ll end up back at Croft Manor to discover just why she needs to be in Siberia and once back in the snowy wilderness, the first thing you’ll notice is the way Lara has to wade through the deep snow, it slows her down and reduces what she can do, leaving you to look for different way to move around your environment.
Throughout the game I stuck with my trusty bow, not only was it useful for silently taking out enemies, but it helped me create new opportunities by pulling apart weak structures and was also central to certain puzzles. There are plenty of other weapons to use during the game, all of which can be upgraded as long as you have the resources available. Just like the previous Tomb Raider, the action revolves around a hub area – the campfire – each one acting as a gateway to story sequences and optional challenge tombs. It’s here you can upgrade your weapons, and Lara herself. There are three abilities to upgrade, Brawler, Hunter and Survivor. Everything you do in-game, will earn you XP and each time you level up you are rewarded with a skill point to invest into one of your abilities.
The abilities range from being more resistant to fire and explosions to being able to craft resources more efficiently. Crafting is vital to your survival in the game and it’s handled in a very efficient way. Without having to pause the game or wait to go back to camp, you can use the right trigger or button to create extra ammo, including smoke grenades, Molotovs and explosives. You can also craft different types of arrow including fire, poison and explosives. The game almost forces you to try the different types out at first, but as long as you hold a combination of them in your invenmtory, you’ll have no problem surviving.
The combat isn’t vastly different from the last game. Enemies are easy to defeat at first before they get wise to Lara and start to use shields and extra amour, but it’s nothing she can’t handle. Lara relies on stealth far more and has some excellent takedown moves. There are plenty of places to get into cover within the environment, although it can be frustrating if you are found no matter how far away you move from the enemies – they seem to have a knack of hunting you down – it’s kill or be killed.
The different puzzles you come across are great. Clicking on the right stick will highlight everything around you that you can make use of and Lara will give you hints if you get stuck. It was rare I actually needed her advice, it would have been great to be able to turn them off within the settings. The different tombs are fantastic and are well worth taking the time to play through.
The story this time is much better than the previous game, it feels more gritty and every time I thought I was nearing the end, something else came along. The different locations are excellent, and the game looks stunning – the screenshots really don’t do the locations justice. The subtle movements Lara makes when getting out of water, or warming her hands as she stands near fire help show the attention to detail, making the game feel like a living thing. Of course some of the action sequences are a little predictable – that ledge was going to crumble as I leapt over to it – but it never reduced my enjoyment or failed to highten my anticipation of falling. The game clocked in at around 16 hours, with a completion level of 61%. After the game ends you can fast travel around the different camps to collect anything you may have missed.
There is no multiplayer in Rise of the Tomb Raider, but there is still plenty to do away from the campaign. Expedition mode is an excellent way of playing the different chapters of the game while earning bragging rights against your friends as you score the most points.
There are four modes to play, Score Attack, where you have finish in the quickest time possibly while chaining scores by killing enemies and collecting items. Then there is Chapter Replay and Chapter Replay Elite, the latter allowing you to carry over your upgraded skills and weapons. Finally Remnant Resistance sets you five objectives to complete in different areas. All the modes can have cards applied to them. Challenge cards set you tasks such as not dying or taking damage, or for scoring a certain amount of head shots within a certain time. There are also modifiers that increase Lara’s abilities, giving her extra weapons and there’s one card that gives everyone a massive head! Coins can be earned that can be used to purchase more card packs to use across this mode.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is a fantastic game, with a much improved story, some great new mechanics and it’s set in some superb environments. Expedition mode is a great addition and I’m already excited for the next game – it’s easily the best Tomb Raider ever!
Microsoft had a decent showing in their booth, with Rise of the Tomb Raider the standout game for me. Lara’s latest adventures have been expanded somewhat from the trailer of a cold and unforgiving climb in her latest escapade and I can thankfully announce that along with a definite refinement of the control systems used on the reboot, we have actual Tomb’s to explore this time. Rather than the small-scale “shrine” style tombs of its precursor these ones feel particularly more in line with the tombs of the original series, with a sequence of puzzles and traps to navigate to succeed.
Combat and Stealth have also had a distinct overhaul although the trusty pick, bow and handgun all make a return for her adventures looking for the lost city of Kitezh.
With enhanced combat and stealth moves, as well as an improvement to what parts of the environment you can interact with, this looks to improve on the reboot on all counts.
Being built specifically for the current gen has allowed Crystal Dynamics to expand not only on the game mechanics themselves but also the look of the game as the visual effects and environments look a good deal cleaner and crisper than the previous incarnation.