This time last year, Tomb Raider fans were up in arms when Microsoft and Crystal Dynamics announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be a timed exclusive. It was a move that threatened to tear the Tomb Raider fan community to shreds as one of their beloved game series fell victim to the scourge of “console exclusivity”. Petitions were launched, angry tweets were tweeted, and updates on the official Tomb Raider Facebook page turned into “Console Wars” battlefields overnight. Hell hath no fury like a Tomb Raider fan scorned.

Now that the dust has settled and we know that a PC and Playstation 4 release is definitely on the horizon,  I feel like I can finally let myself be swept away by the wave of hype that has been washing over the TR fandom since we got our first few glimpses of Rise gameplay at E3. And today’s Gamescom stage demo has swept through the fan community like a tsunami.

I will save my comments on the demo for another post (look out for that in the coming days) but all I can say is, Rise of the Tomb Raider is shaping up to be one of the best-looking Tomb Raider games of recent years. And I don’t just mean that from a graphical point of view. As visually stunning as the game looks so far, it’s not so much how it looks but *what* I’m looking at that has really caught my eye.

Tombs. Lots of them.

But you may be wondering, what tombs? The stage demo focused on Lara’s attempts to infiltrate a Trinity base camp in Siberia (I’m assuming it was Siberia due to the surroundings and the Cyrillic text on some boxes she hides behind) and if you saw the same incomplete upload I stumbled upon on a random YouTube channel, you’d be forgiven for thinking there was nary a tomb in sight. It wasn’t until I saw the full demo a couple of hours later that I realised I’d missed what was possibly the best part of today’s stage demo: the outro trailer.

The trailer, while brief, featured scenes from the Syria demo we’ve heard so much about and has given me hope that we will finally see the return of the puzzle-centric and awe-inspiring tombs and ancient ruins of the older games. This screenshot says it all: there will be tombs aplenty in Rise of the Tomb Raider. And, boy, am I itching to explore each and every one of them.

So many tombs...
So many tombs… (Screenshot by Kelly M)

More Gamescom news and views will be posted on the blog as the week progresses. Head on over to Amazon to pre-order your copy!

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