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Destructoid's award for Best Xbox Game of 2015 goes to...

2015-12-23 12:00:00·  2 minute read   ·  Brett Makedonski@Donski3
0

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Before Nathan Drake, there was Lara Croft. This is important to note because recently, for a good number of years, Nathan Drake was Lara Croft. Shrewdly, developer Naughty Dog took the cinematic action baton and ran far, far away with it. The Sony subsidiary was so effective in copping from Tomb Raider that it actually made Lara feel like a relic of a bygone era, just as old as the treasure she was always chasing.

Square Enix eventually reinvented the Tomb Raider property under the tutelage of the Crystal Dynamics studio. Ironically (or maybe just fittingly), this was done by, you guessed it, copping from the Nathan Drake Uncharted formula. So, if you're keeping score at home, the Uncharted franchise was hugely successful for being better Tomb Raider games and then Tomb Raider later took that influence to become even better versions of Uncharted games. Crazy, eh?

The parallels between the two aren't exactly tenuous either. Just a month back, Steven was moved to write an editorial wondering if the newest Crystal Dynamics game, Rise of the Tomb Raider, is simply the best Uncharted. It probably is, because, if nothing else, it has the benefit of coming out a few years after the latest Uncharted. That's how cyclical this relationship will likely be as long as both franchises continue to see success.

It's enough to make you wonder why exactly Crystal Dynamics isn't held in the same public regard as Naughty Dog. It's certainly making games that are the same quality. The pedigree is there. That's nowhere more evident than in November's Rise of the Tomb Raider, the developer's best title yet.

We're giving Rise of the Tomb Raider some hardware as the Best Xbox One Game of 2015. In a year where so many of Xbox One's best experiences could also be found elsewhere, Rise of the Tomb Raider is a true (timed) exclusive that helps justify owning the big black box. It's not just good under the qualifier of "...for an Xbox game;" it's one of 2015's standouts, period.

It seems right to saddle Lara, an adventurer who spends so much of her time after fortune, with the treasure of an end-of-year award. And, because Uncharted 4 doesn't come out until 2016, this is one of the few times Lara Croft and Nathan Drake won't have to jockey for position.

[Incomplete products like Steam Early Access titles and episodic games that are not fair to assess as standalone experiences, without a full episode count, were not eligible for this year's awards. The cutoff for entry into Destructoid's 2015's Game of the Year awards is December 4, 2015.]




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On Destructoid: Rise of the Tomb Raider   (64)   From our database:

  • Rise of the Tomb Raider's VR mode is great for fans, okay for everyone else - Chris Carter
  • New Rise of the Tomb Raider footage shows hella zombies - Chris Carter
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider's PS4 port seems fine - Mike Cosimano
  • Pre-ordering Rise of the Tomb Raider on PS4 nets you the previous game - Chris Carter
  • If you still want it, Rise of the Tomb Raider hits PS4 in October with VR - Chris Carter
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider gets its last DLC next week - Kyle MacGregor Burleson
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider's first month PC sales nearly tripled Xbox's - Brett Makedonski
  • First Rise of the Tomb Raider PC patch mostly just makes sure you can go 'sploring - Brett Makedonski
  • Cheap XCOM 2 & Rise of Tomb Raider in Weekend Deals - Dealzon
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