Rise of the Tomb Raider

(18) Xbox One, Xbox 360

Boobies. Despite a fair mix of puzzle-solving and third-person shooting, the first outing in 1996 for heroine Lara Croft will probably be best remembered for her well-endowed chest.

Her return in the (second) re-boot of the franchise, has thankfully seen the focus move away from her breasts, and concentrate on Lara's humble beginnings.

Rise of the Tomb Raider is the sequel to Crystal Dynamics' 2013 title, pretty much picking up from where that story left off. For her latest adventure, Lara has got her winter outfit on as she's digging about mostly in Siberia.

Out in its chilly climes, Lara is in search of possibly the most the greatest treasure of all - immortality. But as you would expect, she's not alone in wanting to it; a group known as Trinity have also got wind of its whereabouts, and are keen to get their grubby mitts on it before Lara does. In fact, they'll stop at nothing to find the treasure before Ms Croft does, and if it means putting her six feet under (even in the snow), then so be it.

Although Lara appears to have had more comebacks than Take That, the first instalment in her most recent reboot was a welcome one. 2013's Tomb Raider managed no mean feat by actually making Lara Croft relevant again. It was an adventure that would have Nathan Drake quietly mumbling platitudes under his breath. Of course he would also mention that she was pretty much a version of himself but with boobs, and that would be a fair comment.

boom reviews - Rise of the Tomb Raider
When they said i'd meet a bear, i presumed it would be Grylls!

The fact is, although the game didn't actually do anything new - and let's face it, very few games do these days - it excelled in what it did do. They did such good job with it, that it would prove difficult to beat. And that's proven to be the case.

Rise of the Tomb Raider ultimately feels like a larger chunk than usual of DLC; many of the fun elements of the first game exist here, but this title struggles to add anything new to it. Not only that, it feels like it may even have taken the franchise a step back.

Lara is a renowned globetrotter, getting more stamps in her passport than David Attenborough. Unfortunately, as nicely rendered as the Siberian locale is, trudging around in the snow gets repetitive real quick. Lara crawls up an ice wall here, plods in the snow a bit, pops into a cave, pops out to be greeted by more snow, oh look, another bloody ice wall to climb. It would be like having Attenborough do an entire series in a tiny allotment just outside Reading, and no-one wants to see that.

There was a chance for the developers to claw back some kudos with some cool set pieces, but they don't, as there aren't any. Even the annual Call of Duty title, with many not even touching the solo campaign ever in favour of the multiplayer, even manages a nod of respect at least once or twice with a respectable set piece, so if they can do it, Crystal Dynamics have no excuse.

And to rub salt into the wound (and you'll need it with all out that darn snow knocking about), they've also decided to drop the multiplayer this time around, so you're paying the same as the last one, but for less of a game.

boom reviews - Rise of the Tomb Raider
One day i'd just like to hang out in Top Shop with a skinny latte.

There was an opportunity to build on the brilliant work done with the first game, but this sequel reeks of complacency. It's far from being bad, but there's no denying it's a disappointment. And as it's released as a timed exclusive for Microsoft consoles, PS4 owners shouldn't feel let down at having to wait, as they're not missing much with this effort at all.

This Tomb Raider is less of a rise and more of a lazy lean to one side, with Lara clearly going through the motions. Hopefully she'll get her mojo back for any further adventures she has planned, for all our sakes.

Lara may well have covered her bits up, quite rightly, from her early days, but it doesn't stop this game from being a bit of a booby in itself.

we give this three out of five