Review by imagine606

Reviewed: 04/02/13

Wow, That's a Messed Up Start

I really didn't know what to name this review. There were plenty of paths to go. Did I make the reference to the similar path of Uncharted 2 and call it Tomb Raider: Among Thieves? Well, no, that doesn't wind up being the case by the end. There are moments where you can draw clear parallels, but in the end the game is its very own game. There were times when playing it when I drew very straight parallels to other games, even beyond Uncharted games, but even then, all it took was some thought to realize that this is a game completely its own.

The general plot of this game is to be a prequel to the rest of the Tomb Raider series. To be totally honest, this is the first game of the series that I have actually finished. I may be off, but this is what pretty much explains how Lara Croft became what she truly has become. I've played the rest of the games in the series, just never really had the will to complete any of the rest of them, so I understand the general storyline, but like I said, I can be wrong since this is the only game I have actually completed in the series.

Moving forward, there are a whole lot of things to look at when looking at the overall quality of this game, and to me, it's the same as any other game, rather it's part of a new series, a stand-alone game, or a game that's completing some sort of epic trilogy.

First off, the most general description that I can go with is that this is a 3rd person shooter with some RPG elements to it. Like I said, that's as general as I can get. To go further into it, the visual style is completely 3rd person shooter. There is a level-up system to the game that brings an RPG element to the game as well. That's pretty much where the simplicities end. However, the game never does get very complicated either. There are two ways to power up in the game. One way is with salvage. This is how yoiu power up the weapons that you have throughout the game. The other way is with experience points, or XP. This is how you power up your character's actual abilities. Understanding this would have been helpful early on, but in the end probably would not have made a major difference in the game.

The combat in the game is not very difficult. There are certain characters that require more intricate fighting, but overall, the combat is like that of a general 3rd person shooter. There is a little more to it, as there is with ever 3PS game, but as a whole the combat was unique enough to stand on its own.

The controls were very easy to get used to. They were a little bit more intricate than they usually are with games of the 3PS genre. However, that's mostly because this isn't your normal 3PS game. The general controls were very simple, use the control pad to change which gun you're using, and with secondary weapons on the major guns. The jumping and other non-combat controls were pretty much the same as you would get with any game. Certain challenges were presented with things like climbing walls due to the catching on to walls. These were not bad controls in any way, but just controls that had to be paid extra attention. To be honest, things like this made the game even better, as they were well implemented into the game. The only major problem I had was with the QTE's. In order to get a full series without luck you would pretty much need to know the entire sequence. Outside of that, the controls were pretty much perfect, just with a few new elements that really did make perfect sense.

The narrative of the game is about as good as any game that has come out in a while. Like mentioned before, this is a game that is really meant to explain the series. The game does an excellent job of that. You can tell that there was a lot of time and care put into this game. Back to the story though, this game does a great job in explaining how Lara Croft got to where she is with other games in the series. At the same time, it opens the game up to more games, even some before this game, and it gives a little more footing to the other games in the series. As a whole, it's very well done, and while I'm sure there are holes, people need to just remember, IT'S A VIDEO GAME! If you want something realistic, stick to real life. Moving on though, the story is a good story that remains very good with this game.

The aesthetics in this game are outstanding. The sound is good enough to impress anyone who is a fan of video games. The visuals are very well done. Throughout the game you're given very good visuals, and when certain specific movement things come up you're given even better visuals. The environments throughout the game are absolutey beautiful, or at least very well done. The music and sounds are also very well done. Rather it just be soundscapes, or the bells that let you know that an optional cave is close, they're very well done.

There really was not a whole lot to complain about with this game. Really, my only complaints would be the way that the game would drag at times, and that there were a little bit too many collectables throughout the game. It wasn't way too much, but it was a bit too much. This is one of those games that really does way too much, but there is a bit too much. As far as everything else though, it was close to a perfect game. There were some minor flaws, a bit with the characters (Lara comes off as beyond naive and stupid at times), but still, no severe problems at all. The game itself is a whole lot of fun to play and the story is right up there with any games of this generation. This is an excellent game that comes highly recommended to just about anyone who enjoys most of the games in the current generation.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Tomb Raider (US, 03/05/13)

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