Review by ServantOfErieos

"Rehash, Recycle or Rebirth????"

Ah the tomb raider franchise we meet again...

Introduction
This is a franchise, I grew up with a lot of respect for as I watched it blossom from the first tomb raider to the third game on the PS1. From then on, I never really paid attention to what was going on. So when I heard news of a Reboot of the original, I was ecstatic and then witnessing the first glimpses of game play, I couldn't wait to try it out. So was it worth the wait? No and yes.

The great
The non-linear aspect was great, the platforming was great, the zip lining never got old. The puzzles got you thinking. I liked the lost references in the game, at one point I expected an appearance from the smoke monster but oh well, still awesome. Oh yeah, the graphics on this were really good, lighting effects on the tombs were superb. I would say the first quarter of the game was a great, exceptional ride until problems arose which leads me to the next section.

The problems

1. Unnecessary quick time events and glitches galore
This game had so many problems, that I find it worrying when some professional "review" websites gave this game perfect scores and highly inflated scores 9s etc. You have glitches everywhere. (Invisible soldiers, crouch glitch) You have unnecessary, annoying, gore death scenes from failed QTEs - Quick Time Events. (Didn't add anything to game play, just unnecessary mess)You have poor AI, seriously I'm in a gun fight and all of a sudden wolves come out of nowhere, ignore the enemy and zero in on me as if I'm the only living organism in the woods. NOTE: These are STRAY wolves, not trained pooches, lol

2. It takes itself too seriously and the AI could have used more development time
The problems above wouldn't be so bad, if the game never took itself so seriously and unfortunately it does which is a shame because when you notice such things, you are reminded that you're in a game, which immediately breaks you out of that immersive environment. Other nuances include, cheap AI which is even worse than the game it borrows inspiration from. Poor, shockingly awful character development for the characters around Lara, resulting in a domino effect where her screams in desperation for her crew members in danger turns into irritation as we the audience really just don't care about those characters as they've been very poorly developed. Then the domino effect after that, the game feels like dragged on its feet and overstaying its welcome.

3. Character development
Lara's development although great was also not handled with great care, after her first kill, she starts taking out people left, right and center without care. it would've been nice to see how it affected her psyche for EVEN her first kill in dream sequences, as she wasn't brought up to do such things and a resolution to her character. (Even if done in her dreams would've made things better which would suit this game since it kind of takes itself so seriously, in the reality of the situation.)

Conclusion
This game has serious problems and raises the question should we as fans of gaming really be rewarding companies for taking shortcuts in development by giving this game a lot of critical acclaim when it doesn't truly deserve it just for the sake of fanboyism, I think it's irresponsible. I also, think in doing so, It really devalues the rating system, when you have far more polished products in the shelf like uncharted 2, placed in the same arena as this game when this is a glitch fest that borrows a lot from it, the good and the BAD.
Based on all my experiences, if I were to give this game a score, with all things considered, it's a rebirth, it draws inspiration from great sources, devs may be figuring things out like getting properly acquainted with the engines, I would rate this game a deservedly:

7.5/10

Though admittedly I haven't factored in the multiplayer, I only played one match and it was extremely laggy and the frame rated dipped to what I assumed was probably less than 20 frames per second, so I just didn't bother. In doing so, I didn't factor in the multiplayer to my final score.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 08/05/13

Game Release: Tomb Raider (Digital Edition) (EU, 03/08/13)


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