Last November, Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix teamed up with Microsoft to release their highly praised Tomb Raider sequel as a holiday exclusive on both Xbox One and Xbox 360. Rise of The Tomb Raider isn’t just merely an improvement over the first game, but it’s also undeniable proof that the developers aimed to please the fans and in doing so have created a deeply personal Lara Croft story worthy of being called the best in the series.
With all that being said, there is still a growing perception that the game didn’t quite live up to everyone’s expectations as far as sales, promotion, and hype goes. As someone who has spent some extensive time with the game, I wanted to dive further into this topic and address why a lot of these concerns are valid. So without further ado, here are a few of my thoughts on why Rise of the Tomb Raider is the most underrated game of 2015.
First and foremost, one of the main reasons why Rise of the Tomb Raider is classified as underrated is because of the lack of clarity regarding substantial sales numbers. As stated by Corporate VP of Marketing for Xbox Mike Nichols over on the official Xbox Wire blog, Microsoft’s greatest games lineup of 2015 sold over 1 million units. These overall sales numbers included games such as Halo 5: Guardians, Forza Motorsport 6, and Lara Croft’s latest adventure. The problem with using a metric like this is that it doesn’t exactly state how many copies of each game were sold and easily gives the impression that the numbers might not be quite as compelling. Tomb Raider also failed to chart on both the November and December NPD lists, another sign that the game possibly didn’t sell as well as it should have.
Another significant reason why the game is underrated lies in the approach Microsoft took by releasing this game on the same day and date as Fallout 4. In an interview with Kinda Funny Games on their Gamescast podcast, Xbox Head of Marketing rep Aaron Greenberg said that he hoped fans would buy both games at launch. Considering the $59.99 price tag attached to pretty much every video game release today, it’s a bit short sided to think that consumers can realistically afford every game that they want at full price. Both games also released close to the holiday season and alongside other popular titles like Call of Duty: Black Ops III and Star Wars Battlefront. This is notoriously the most competitive time of the year when it comes to game releases and I would say Rise of the Tomb Raider definitely got overlooked for that very reason.
Of all the video game remakes and reboots out there, Tomb Raider has certainly hit its stride with this sequel and everyone deserves to experience it. The simple fact that The Writers Guild nominated this title as one of the best written video games of 2015 only further validates that Rise of the Tomb Raider is worth both your time and money. Hopefully the game gets more attention when it comes out to PC later this month and PS4 this fall. Then and only then will players and fans alike truly see why this title gives the Uncharted series a run for its money.
Do any of you agree that Rise of the Tomb Raider was one of last year’s most underrated games? Please feel free to let us know your thoughts on this and more in the comments section below.