Rise of the Tomb Raider gets underwater action and an avalanche (of awesome)

Crystal Dynamics has shown off a sequence of gameplay from the Xbox-exclusive Rise of the Tomb Raider (pre-order it here) during Microsoft's E3 press conference and it looks absolutely sensational. The segment showed the icy mountain area seen previously in screenshots, where Lara and her colleague Jonah from the first game are attempting to reach some ruins.

While this area could be criticised for being light on actual interaction besides some QTEs and a few snatched seconds of climbing and running, the overall effect of the sequence and its breathless action is stunning. Xbox One's graphical prowess is demonstrated with some exceptional shadows in a caves interior (lit up by one of Lara's famous red flares, of course), and some of the iciest-looking ice I've personally ever seen. And that includes real ice.

Then there was the small matter of an avalanche which started to break the mountain path (with Lara sprinting along it, of course). If ever a game was like playing an action movie, this must surely be it.

After this sequence, there was a brief montage of other gameplay sections, which revealed underwater swimming sections (they're new) as well as dynamic water flooding out of gaps around Lara's feet (also new), more deer-slaughtering action – complete with a new bow - as well as a pushable mine cart… AND A BEAR.

If you played the 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider, you'll know what to expect from this sequel in terms of gameplay. But this certainly looks like a significant step up even from that barnstorming adventure. In case you can't tell, I am very impressed. And best yet – it's going to be with us on November 10, 2015. Yes, that is the same day as Fallout 4. Better buy both, then.

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