Tomb Raider Review
Coming into this, all I was armed with were my memories of past Tomb Raider games. So put in a cool tomb with dual pistols and shoot some occasional tigers. Well none of that happens here but that is not a bad thing by any means. This game is meant to be an origin story and does it connect you in a way I didn’t think would be possible. The start of the whole game shows your decisions to go toward this island and the wreck that occurs afterwards. It spreads your fellow shipmates out pretty far and you of course are looking for them. The first hour is a decent amount of scripted events but once out of that this game spreads its wings. This made me think Crystal Dynamics ripped off the pilot episode of Lost and changed the plane out for a boat. Hey if it works then run with it.
As I mentioned the connection you will gain with Laura Croft over this is something that was refreshing for the action adventure genre. It was more about tension and less about combat. Sure there are plenty of areas where you will be in combat but the arch of the story is front in center the entire way. The way she reacts to her kill that she has to do or the seeming constant self-doubt she has in herself at the beginning really helps you look at her in a different light. Sadly this game does have its areas that make you wonder what the thought process was. The fact that Laura is so disgusted with her first kill and then is fine with being killing machine when needed is off from what is originally presented. This is all addressed by a throwaway line she has saying you don’t know how easy that was. The trials you go through on this cursed island of the Sun Queen are how you will see Laura grow, along with some cool discoveries.
Combat is fun and the Bow is a great addition to your small arsenal you have at your disposal. There are not a ton of areas where you will find yourself in combat but when you happen upon them there will be an ample amount of dudes to deal with. You can stealth around and take people out that way, or go in guns blazing. Both work fine, I just found that the bow was best for me, as I was just trying to sneak around and jab arrows into people.
Once an enemy is down be sure to loot them for ammo and some salvage which you can in turn use to level your weapons. This is a simple mechanic to use and better yet simple to accrue the needed materials as they are everywhere. The salvage is in crates, cargo nets, and more crates. Sure by the end of the game you have some ridiculous arsenal that make you laugh at anything that tries to attack you but until then you work with what you have.
A huge point over other games (AC) is that when climbing you go where you move the analog stick. Something I was shocked that I was happy about but I see why. The fact that the game is responding to my input instead of jumping at weird angles to my death, make me and my sanity happy. The way that climbing and traversing rope lines is done well to make some of them feel extremely dangerous. Although unless you miss the, you barely made it, button prompt your good. Traversing the island feels exiting and slightly dangerous at all times. You never know when something will break or collapse on you and that makes it enjoyable to keep you on your toes while exploring.
While the game does not feature a giant tomb that you are raiding it does sprinkle in a few here and there for you to raid. These are all equipped with some rather simple puzzles and once done will unlock locations for all the collectibles in that area. Unlike uncharted finding these is actually nice, as there is a comment to go with almost everything. That little touch I believe is the sole factor for me collecting everything the game had to offer. Think that is crazy? You beat the game and then be given the option to go back in and do whatever. Fight that temptation and lose, but know that you will still be having fun hearing and seeing more of the game.
Now to multiplayer I will say this is the weakest part of the game. While combat is solid in single player it just feels off in here. Teams often feel as though there is no balance at all and it leads to much frustration, well at least on my part. Other dude didn’t have a mic, that shock you? That aside Tomb Raider has set a new bar in its single player. Crystal Dynamics even threw in a cool horror movie reference that you’ll know when you see it. Well that is if you have seen the movie. Watch horror movies damn you…. Where was I oh yes, Laura has never been as interesting as she is to me now. If this is following the diamond games and this is just the starting point. Then I will be waiting in line for the next Tomb Raider.