Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013

Game Review


c01GAMEPLAY : 9         STORY : 9.5         PRESENTAION : 9         GRAPHICS :  

Lara Croft has been the icon for a great deal of time in the hearts of many gamers. Not many people ever expected her to be at any point a girl who was scared to even hold up a gun, let alone kill someone by loading them full of bullets from her trademark dual-wielded pistols. But this reboot takes you through the roots of how an innocent but resourceful and intelligent girl is pushed to her limits in an effort to survive when shipwrecked in an island bustling with not only hostile characters but also the dangers that come with the fury of mother nature itself.
The game starts out a little cliche, as you’re a survivor of a shipwreck stranded on an island with your fellow colleagues and the game initially lets you play through a series of beautifully executed set-piece events that sometimes do feel a little constrictive but definitely worth it after the game lets you loose after maybe an hour of handholding you through the gameplay and an avalanche of buttonmashing quick-time events. The freedom provided in the game does feel a little restrained at the beginning as it feels like the game makes you try to follow its own path by limiting you to only a select number of tools for exploration. There’s total freedom in exploration (once you have the aforementioned tools required, of course) and you can fast travel if need be back to previous locations after completing the game. The freedom of movement is where for me, the game really shines. Its a beautifully scripted story which includes from the range of infiltrating fortresses to jumping out of burning buildings. The game offers an amazing amount of eye candy and not just for the sake of it as a battle for survival turns into an epic action sequence all in the timeframe of a few minutes.
With an amazing overhaul in terms of a refined gameplay which Crystal Dynamics’ has definitely learned for the better from its past Lara Croft games, it is safe to say it was all for the better. Although Lara is restricted to five things and their alternate attacks while it should be stated that the beloved swan dives aren’t available anymore. The jumping and freerunning mechanics have improved for the better and feels much more akin to the games of the modern generations and competes with the likes of the Uncharted series. The game allows you to take the path of a silent assassin or go all guns blazing, but sometimes it necessitates the use of all that and more so that you don’t miss out on any possible combo. The hunting and foraging seems to be promising at first but is quickly forgotten over the course of the game. The classic Tomb Raider tombs also make a grand return but do leave a little to be desired as there are not many as you’d like them to be since it’s so much gratifying.
As for lasting appeal, after you finish the main story you can’t help but explore the whole island as it is now your playground which offers quite stunning views. Tomb Raider sets out to be an origin story, to reboot the franchise and it has completed that goal above and beyond. Although Lara’s quick transformation into a killer is at odds with the narrative, it’s the only set back in an otherwise beautifully crafted game that is a must buy for every Tomb Raider and action/adventures games fan alike. It’s a game that will provide an experience that you shouldn’t miss. Out now on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.