The freezing cold winds crash upon the mountainside as Lara cautiously clambers across rocks and through deep snow.

After heroic jumps across perilous gaps and an unbelievable show in fingertip strength, an avalanche of ice and snow sees Lara racing for her life, climbing furiously as mother nature battles relentlessly against her.

It’s a breathtaking opening full of incredible set-pieces that excites, amazes and thrills.

Nathan Drake has finally met his match in Microsoft’s answer to Uncharted, yet there are enough differences to give Rise of the Tomb Raider an identity of it’s own.

The biggest difference is that open-world segments are sandwiched between assaultcourse style strings of setpieces.

These massive playgrounds contain collectibles, bad guys and more to find, kill, and have general fun with.

Exploration is excellent with no set-paths or regimental ways to do things, the player has freedom to tackle the action exactly as they see fit.

There are even optional challenge tombs for players to carefully traverse should they feel like doing so, or whether can even find the entrance.

Skill trees enable upgrades for Lara, and her weaponry is upgradeable too – there’s massive potential for gamers to craft proceedings to their style of play.

The musical score is fantastic and helps to intensify the on-screen action and drama incredibly. It’s so well fitting and doesn’t grow tiresome.

Both the dialogue and voice acting is superb, and even the background story text from documents found are spoken out loud – a nice touch which is rarely seen.

A massive amount of polish has been lavishly applied; from graphical textures to character animations, spoken story text to the massive impression of freedom – we really have found Nathan Drake’s new nemesis here.

SCORE: 9/10