Tomb raider has long been a gaming icon in the gaming industry. Not only did it show hard-core gamers that woman characters can play a pivotal role in a game, but it also showed the male gamers that it can be fun to be a being a busty action hero that can take care of business with dual wielding Desert Eagles.
The new tomb raider, rebooted by Crystal Dynamics, sees Lara croft in an entirely new light. The games setting is based around Lara’s first adventure where she is shipwrecked and stranded on an island. The game features array of death-defying action sequences defined by quick action events, bloody battles with man and the beast on the island, puzzles solved through manipulation of your physical environment, and open areas to explore. But can this new Tomb Raider save the series?
Shipwrecked on an island Lara must battle the elements to overcome her fears and doubts and become the legend that is Lara Croft. In the early parts of the game Lara is a baby faced adventurer that stumbles around her environment not knowing how to survive. With her friends lost, Lara must quickly adapt and find them. As the game progresses the story starts to pick up pace but it is not the most memorable of stories and is easily forgotten by game’s end.
Tomb Raider is a magnificent game on the Xbox 360 right from the very first cut scene to your last battle.The massive and beautiful world is an experience, but once again, due to the ageing console graphics hardware, there are some slight graphical flaws. But all in all Tomb Raider’s presentation is spectacular and Crystal Dynamics should be applauded for pulling it off on such old hardware.
Previous tomb raider games have always been known for Lara’s ability to jump to ledges and battle her way up treacherous cliffs, often challenging players to press the right button combination, punishing them if they should fail by sending Lara on a bone crushing fall to her death. In the new tomb raider, climbing is exciting. Lara moves naturally and confidently in her environment, but it still feels excitingly dangerous.
The game offers a new skill tree where players can upgrade Lara’s skills and weapons throughout the game. The game also introduces ‘Croft’s Survival Instincts’ vision, which thankfully is completely optional after it is first introduced, as it makes the game much too easy by providing hints to show one which walls to climb on, ropes to climb, and with which objects one should interact. This makes navigating the island and its puzzles extremely easy.
Death-defying action sequences throughout the game make for an interesting ride but often don’t feel original enough, while in other scenes felt it felt like Tomb Raider was taking inspiration from other great action games of this generation, like Uncharted on the PS3.
Combat throughout the new Tomb Raider is satisfying. Whether one uses a bow, a shotgun or a pistol, fighting is fun but can sometimes get a little over board, as fresh face Lara mows her way through enemies and the ever increasing body count mounts up.
Tomb Raider is a well written, exciting and beautiful game. Fans of the series will not be disappointed with the remake. It is not the most challenging of games and, as a fan of the originals, I was expecting it to be more difficult. The game is still one of the best in the series.
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