Review by DarknessXSeeker
"A nice addition to the Tomb Raider series."
This is a spoiler free review
Note: The following is my opinion and should not be taken as fact.
Tomb Raider is a series that I am sure almost everyone knows about and has played before. Now I know many people were not looking forward to this reboot, because they did not like the new Lara Croft. But listen don't let nostalgia ruin the experience for you, this is a really good game. I completely understand people missing the old Lara, I mean I miss the old Dante, but sadly there is no going back and it's best we enjoy what we got. But luckily the new Lara is a very likeable character, and is one you can easily relate too. Now the big question people want to know is, is this game worthy of the Tomb Raider name? And I believe it certainly is.
Tomb Raider's story is enjoyable and interesting, however after playing it for a while it starts to feel a little dragged out. Now the story is good don't get me wrong it's just that it feels like they could have done more to keep you interested in the story then what they did. Also Lara's transformation from an innocent archaeologist to a brutal killer feels sudden and out of place. One minute she is sad because she had to kill a deer for food, then goes to killing people left and right with zero remorse. But I digress, the story kicks off with Lara and her archaeology crew on a ship called, The Endurance. Lara believes she has found a clue to the lost kingdom of Yamati once ruled by a woman known as "The Sun Queen" and believes it lies within the Dragon's Triangle off the coast of Japan. Her partner James Whitman, is hesitant about going, but Lara eventually convinces him to make the trip. However things take a turn for the worst, the ship is struck by a large storm while in rout to the island and causes it to crash near the island. Shortly after this Lara wakes up alone on the island and sets out on a journey to find her friends and escape this horrible place.
All of the characters in Tomb Raider feel real and are fun to watch, however it feels to me like Lara, Sam, and Roth are the only characters in the game they put a lot of thought into. The other characters in the story feel like side characters with no real relevance to the story, not to say I didn't like them I did, but I didn't feel any connection to them like I did with Lara, Sam, and Roth. When something happened to them I wanted them to be okay, but I didn't really care what happened to the rest of the characters, they are barely in the story at all so it's hard to get as attached to them as the others.
Lara Croft: A young woman who dreams of being a famous archaeologist, and believes with all her heart that she has discovered the location of the lost kingdom of Yamati. But after she is stranded on a dangerous island alone, and with no supplies, her survival skills are pushed to their limits and in the end a survivor will be born.
Samantha Nishimura: Lara's best friend and descendent of the Sun Queen, her family decides to fund Lara's expedition in hopes of discovering more about their families history. She records the entire expedition for a documentary and is always there for Lara when she's feeling down.
Conrad Roth: Longtime friend of Lara's family and a mentor to her. He is a retired Royal Marine who has decided to accompany Lara on her expedition. He always encourages Lara to keep going no matter how dark or hopeless the situation may seem.
The graphics in Tomb Raider are great, from the beginning scene of the game you can tell how great the game looks. The island looks amazing and all of the environments and wild life of the island look fantastic. There are some slight texture glitches but these are so small they really aren't even worth mentioning
The gameplay is where Tomb Raider truly shines. It is a mixture of a Third-Person Shooter, Action-Adventure, and a little bit of survival added in. When you first start out the gameplay seems a bit scripted at first, but this isn't a bad thing at all. The opening is extremely fun, very exciting, and serves as a good preview for what the game is going to be.
Lara can find several weapons throughout the course of the story. And each weapon can be upgraded to do more damage, hold more ammo, etc.. And the best part of all of these cool features is that you don't have to drop any of your weapons. Now obviously you can run out of ammo, but that weapon is always there when you find more ammo. To upgrade each weapon you need to search each area to find salvageable parts to upgrade all your weapons. Now of course you don't have to go in guns blazing all the time, while Lara's bow is very effective in a gun fight it is also good for stealth killing enemies. However you won't be able to stealth kill all enemies, but it is a great way to reduce the amount of enemies you need to fight. Whether you are stalking your enemies or in the middle of combat Lara can get behind cover to protect herself or hide from her enemies. But the best part is when you get next to cover she automatically gets behind it, you don't have to press a button or anything.
When you are not getting into gun fights and stealth killing your enemies there is plenty of climbing and exploring to do. Lara can scale mountains, building, and more, but she can also use zip lines to get from place to place in certain areas. There are also optional tombs to explore, these tombs can give you many useful items and artifacts, but are totally optional and not necessary to continue the story. So if you are a perfectionist like myself you will have a blast finding and completing all of the hidden tombs throughout the game.
There is definitely an Open World feeling to Tomb Raider, when you get to a camp you can: save your game, upgrade weapons, or fast travel. With the fast travel option you can go to any area that you have previously explored. This comes in handy if you have missed some artifacts, or for finding the optional tombs. Now I have encountered a glitch before where I couldn't fast travel to a certain spot I had been to, but it was only one spot and really it wasn't that big of a deal. However I find it a little disappointing that we were limited to just one island. Now of course I liked the concept about being stranded on an island trying to escape and it was fantastic. Because of all the great combat, exploration, and good use of fast travel it makes me hope that in future Tomb Raider games we won't be limited to just one place.
Overall Tomb Raider is very good game, and is definitely worthy of the "Tomb Raider" title. It has a few problems but all games do and these are all minor problems. I loved the combat, exploration, and the graphics, I just wish the story could have kept me as interested as I was in the gameplay. As stated before I like the story, but it feels dragged out after a while. Whether you are a long time Tomb Raider fan or new to the series you will have fun with this reboot/origins story. In a world of First-Person Shooters, games like Tomb Raider keep showing just how great they still are
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/10/13
Game Release: Tomb Raider (US, 03/05/13)
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