50 Days Of PS VR #20: ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’ Gives Us a Taste Of Being Lara

by Jamie Feltham • September 23rd, 2016

20 days to go until the launch of PlayStation VR! We’re counting down to the release of Sony’s VR headset on October 13th by highlighting one game a day for its anticipated release. Today we’re stepping into the shoes of one of gaming’s most iconic characters with Rise of the Tomb Raider.

I remember once having an entire week off from school due to illness. It was not a productive week; I spent pretty much the entirety of it curled up in my parent’s bed, a bucket next to me for the semi-occasional bout of vomit and a toilet 10 steps away in case of… well, yeah. But, despite my nausea and bowels that can best be described as challenging, I have fond memories of that week. Why? Because I really spent it in Croft Manor.

Rise of the Tomb Raider (1)

Or, more accurately, I spent it with Tomb Raider II. In between sessions of illness I had a PlayStation pad in my hand, and I was practicing my back flips, jumping from pole to pole, and locking my clearly struggling butler in a refrigerator. Yes, it’s fair to say I had a lot of fun exploring the iconic home of the equally significant Lara Croft during that week, but I sadly haven’t revisited the grounds since. You can be sure I’m going to do just that with the upcoming PlayStation 4 version of Rise of the Tomb Raider, however.

Crystal Dyamics’ latest addition to the long running series is soon to make its debut on Sony’s console, and it brings with it an exclusive feature in the form of a PlayStation VR-compatible ‘Blood Ties’ mission. This isn’t part of the main game, in which Lara tumbles down mountainsides in between sessions of shooting people and raiding ancient ruins. Instead, it’s a much more considered, calmer, explorative piece that revisits Croft Manor, making for something that’s perfectly suited to Sony’s headset.

Blood Ties lets you take yet another trip back to Lara’s home, but this time brings you closer to it than ever before. For the first time, you’ll step into Lara’s shoes in VR (though a third-person standard option is also available). You’ll trek through the many rooms, discovering ancient artifacts collected over the years.

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But this isn’t simply just a VR sandbox; it’s actually set during the main campaign for the game. Lara returns home to reclaim her dilapidated mansion for herself, and you’ll need to help her do just that.

It might not be the full game, but it’s going to feel great to visit the Tomb Raider franchise in VR for the first time. This is one series that’s supported the PlayStation brand from the beginning, so it’s fitting that it should be here to help usher in a new era for the company as its VR journey gets underway. Perhaps, in the the years to come as VR design challenges are solved, we’ll be able to play a full adventure in VR.

Rise of the Tomb Raider‘s VR support will be included for free in the PlayStation 4 version when it releases on October 11th. You’ll have to wait two more days to actually play it, though, as the headset arrives on October 13th.

50 DAYS OF PS VR COUNTDOWN

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