It even goes as far as dropping its tepid multiplayer in favour of challenges that return the player to the single-player game's levels with additional objectives.
However, once again, Rise is as influenced by other games - notably the Uncharted series - as other games were influenced by those original, now horribly dated, Tomb Raider titles.
It's part platformer, part shoot 'em up, with the usual open-world looting and crafting that have become tiresomely integral to most of today's blockbuster games. Powering you up relatively early in the game, you'll soon be swinging from grappling hooks, lobbing makeshift grenades and incendiary devices, and dropping out of trees onto the heads of your opponents like a lethal apple.
It plays beautifully, seamlessly blending gameplay and cutscenes, and depicting the sort of epic adventure and action worthy of one of video games' most enduring icons. It's also one of the most gorgeous games of this generation: truly, truly, jaw-stretchingly, spectacular.
Where it falls down is with the title character. The more time we spend listening to this new Lara Croft, the more bland she becomes; like a child's scrawl on a piece of torn cardboard. Unfortunately, because they're so frustratingly insistent on making us care about this reinvention of the character, it ends up damaging the game.
Don't get me wrong: I really wanted to enjoy the story in Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Uncharted does a fantastic job of making you give a toss about its characters, and giving you reason to stick with its story. Nathan Drake and Sully are likeable, funny, and those they meet en route are often memorable. What's more, I thought 2013's Tomb Raider actually did a lot right with Lara Croft.
However, this time around the main character has become a cypher, with the barest lip service paid to fleshing her out. The more effort expended in this area, the further away she gets from being an icon. It waters her down, and makes her a dull mix of conflicting traits and tropes.
I mean, I was all for the reinvention of Lara Croft. In the first of the rebooted Tomb Raider series, we saw her rapid ascension from beleaguered survivor to ruthless killer, but never lost sight of her vulnerability. This time around Lara is supposedly driven by a desire to clear her name, to prove that the events of the previous game weren't the figment of a damaged imagination.
Unfortunately, it's hard to get any sense of this in the game's many cutscenes. Lara is utterly lacking in charisma, or wit. She's boring to listen to, boring to watch, and does things without any apparent motivation. While much of the game is utterly worthy of the character's legacy, the character she has become is not.
Admittedly, few of us play action games for the story, but if you're going to feature story so heavily in your game you had better make it worth engaging with.
Rise of the Tomb Raider's story has Lara getting involved the struggles of a curiously caucasian, RP-English, resistance force - who live in a geothermal valley in Siberia - while looking for the source of immortality. Naturally, she's being hunted by Trinity, a sinister organisation every bit as uninteresting and vacuous as Lara herself.
We're expected to buy into the character in this game, but there's so little depth to her - in both the scripting and the vocal performance - that she just irritates. While in Tomb Raider her vulnerability made her feel more believable as a character, here when she's shivering from the cold, or grunting with exertion, it just comes over like an irritating whinge.
Which is the last thing you want from one of gaming's only female protagonists... and not least because all that supposed humanity will be forgotten the moment she fires off explosive shrapnel arrows, jams a pickaxe into somebody's throat, or drops an molotov cocktail onto a bear's head.
Never has Lara Croft felt more psychopathic and violent, and it serves to distance us even more from the character. The game revels in violence, and it feels strangely distasteful. Talk about mixed messages about strong female role-models.
We bought her shooting wolves to death, the wanton - and wholly incongruous - destruction of ancient monuments (while supposedly looking for archeological artefacts), because she wasn't real.
We're dealing with the uncanny valley in Rise of the Tomb Raider, but it has nothing to do with what Lara looks like.
ASIDE ORDER OF FRIES
All that aside, Rise of the Tomb Raider is a sublimely constructed game. There's little here that's original, little that we're not already doing in other games, but it has been structured with rare skill.
From the aforementioned visuals, to the puzzle-like structure of the optional challenge tombs, to the seamlessness of the action and cutscenes (343 Studios take note). You feel empowered and part of the game's most exciting sequences... which get bigger and more spectacular as it goes along.
Whether it's climbing to the top of crumbling towers, or fleeing as centuries-old mausoleums crumble around you, for the most part it's a game worthy of a gaming icon. It's just a shame that the icon herself is the weakest element.
SUMMARY: Great gameplay, beautiful visuals, but you'll be skipping those achingly bland cutscenes.
SCORE: 7.899 out of 10.111