Before Nathan Drake came into existence and became the world’s most famous archaeologist videogame character of this generation, there was Lara Croft. Following almost half a decade since the release of the last Tomb Raider game, Crystal Dynamics has finally brought the latest game in the series, redefining everything in past entries.
Having crafted an all new story, one which takes place before Lara Croft became experienced in tomb raiding, and new gameplay, has Crystal Dynamics struck the perfect balance to make Tomb Raider one of 2013’s must buy titles? Let’s take a look at what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of Tomb Raider.
Story is Well Written
Tomb Raider is a reboot of the highly acclaimed franchise by Crystal Dynamics that takes place several years before Lara becomes an experienced fighter and survivalist. Fresh out of college, Lara and her group of friends set out on an adventure to check out the legends of the Sun Queen in the land of Yamatai, east of Japan. Stranded on the Dragon’s Island after a shipwreck, Lara and her friends must find a way to get off the island and also discover the mystery of it to uncover the legends of the Sun Queen. Apparently, they are not alone and there’s more to the island than they know.
Compared to the old Tomb Raider games, the new game offers a much wider approach to the story, where characters all contribute to molding a great plot. Each of them has a unique personality which causes fans to become attached as they watch them grow throughout the story. More cinematic cutscenes can be found in this game and, thankfully, they are all a pleasure to watch since the voice acting is superb and the emotion that the characters convey will definitely impact the player. To further explain what’s going on in the island, players will have an opportunity to uncover more of it by collecting journals. When found, you can just listen to these journals or read them. There are a plethora of journals around and collecting them all will give fans better insight into the events happening on the island.
When it comes to the plot and engaging its players, the game will get fans hooked to the story the moment it begins. Heart pounding action and suspense are always present and it will continue until you beat the game. Questions as to what kind of danger the island brings Lara will continue to get to the player’s mind and will only be answered when you complete the game. Expect a lot of twists and excitement when it comes to the story. It might seem predictable at first, but players may find themselves surprised as soon as they uncover the mystery of the island.
One of the highlights of Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider reboot is its visuals. If you enjoyed Uncharted’s presentation and cinematic cutscenes, then you will be pleased to see the same characteristics here. The areas that Lara will be venturing through have clear and crisp designs that are on par with Uncharted. It may not look as good on consoles, but Crystal Dynamics did a good job in crafting environments where players can feel Lara’s struggle as she tries to survive the treacherous weather of the island. Character models look fantastic and their emotions and actions can clearly be seen and felt through their facial expressions. Every area that players venture through always show something new and recycled textures are not common in this game.
Perfect Balance of Action and Exploration
The Uncharted series is a great game and when it first came out, but many couldn’t help but compare it to Lara Croft. While the game is more focused on action and less on exploration, fans who love the exploration found in the Tomb Raider series will find the reboot a much better game. Bringing a perfect balance of exploration and action, fans will not get bored by the core elements that the game offers. Not to mention there are a plethora of environmental puzzle you will have to solve in order to get from one area through the next one. For the most part, players will be going through a non-linear open-world map where they can freely explore the beautiful, gloomy and stormy island of Yamatai. In terms of action, it’s done in third person mode and this time, players can aim.
One of the annoying aspects of past Tomb Raiders game is the poor execution of combat. The clunky controls and aiming are among the main gripes of players, including myself. In the reboot, it’s easy to get accustomed to the new controls as it has now been derived from this generation’s common shooter controls. This time, players can aim weapons and zoom in if desired. Weapons in Tomb Raider are much better this time around and offer variety. Out of all the available weapons, the bow is sure to be everyone’s favorite as it shows a stronger side of Lara. Other weapons like pistols and rifles will be there, but overall, using the bow provides the most rewarding experience.
In addition to the action, players will also encounter interactive events, which are also known as quick time events. The frequency that they happen are rare. Don’t worry about seeing it a lot like in some games. They usually appear when Lara needs the player to pay attention in keeping her alive. Aside from interactive events, Lara can do more things aside from shooting. She can sneak around enemies and perform stealth attacks, take cover and use the environment to her advantage. Enemy AI is smart and when players are detected, expect them to bring hell. Knowing the environments is a must since it is necessary to keep Lara alive.Tomb Raider Review,