Some Tomb Raiding Required – Tomb Raider (2013) Review

Back when Tomb Raider initially released for the previous generations of consoles, I was young and mostly skint, so I had to make the choice between two games – Tomb Raider or Gears of War: Judgement, I chose the latter option. What a fucking error. Now three years on, and a year after it’s sequel has released, I got my hands on the definitive edition.

Tomb Raider acts as a reboot to the long running franchise, telling the players the story of how Lara Croft began her life as a bad-ass adventurer. The game takes place on an island in the Dragon’s Triangle,of the coast of Japan, with Lara and her crew shipwrecked without hope for rescue. The plot has a mythical theme, which I will not delve further into due to risk of spoiling it. That being said, Smart players should have a pretty good Idea of where the plot is going pretty early on, but it doesn’t ruin the story too much.

The game follows Lara, which means her supporting cast is sort of left to the sidelines. Sam – Lara’s Japanese/American friend is crucial the plot. Roth acts as a father figure to Lars, and guides her on her journey. Grim is the token scottish man. Dr Whitman is hilariously obviously antagonistic. Jonah and Reyes play minor roles, the former being a supporter of Lara and the latter being generally miserable git. Alex is arguably the worst character, as he does nothing and his entire arc is based around his massive hard on for Lara.

That being said, Lara is the star of the show, and a much advertised point is Lara’s first kill. Lara shows great regret for her first kill, but by the end of the game is a firearms master and is calling out the soldiers she’s fighting, like some sort of Amazonian Rambo. Although this can be explained through her need for survival, there’s still a slight disconnect. Nothing major though.

I mean, in a sentence, I really enjoyed my time with Tomb Raider, even if I thought that the game didn’t actually know what it wanted to be. It took obvious inspirations from the Uncharted series, aping it’s set pieces and focus on character development. Yet the game also had XP and weapon upgrades. These additions didn’t feel out of place per say, but it makes me wonder what Tomb Raider would have been like if it was an open world game, opposed to the games string of open environments – Large areas that lead into other areas which can’t always be returned to. For example, Animals can be hunted for XP and some trophies, but provide no further benefit. Although I do appreciate the lack of crafting system (Which is replaced by the scrap system which works much better – collect scrap and upgrade at camps)

Due to the age of the game, I didn’t bother attempting to connect to the games multiplayer. I am miffed however that there are multiplayer trophies, which means I cannot get the platinum trophy. That’s not so much an issue with the game, rather an annoyance for me. That being said, remove multiplayer trophies from games. They’re dumb

Here at the end, I need to talk about how the Tombs work in this game. There are 7 of them in game, and they’re all optional. They all vary in degrees of difficulty, which is fine. My annoyance is their addition to the game. Due to the game’s Uncharted like narrative, the main game features puzzles, That sort of makes the Tombs mildly redundant, While area’s focused purely on puzzles are nice, i just don’t think they were worth it.

CONCLUSION

Tomb Raider is a game I probably should have played when it came out, because it is a solid action adventure romp, while a little predictable, is well worth the current price. It’s a solid 10 hours of fun, and gory Lara death animations, If you’re into that sort of thing. You Freak.

IF I HAD TO GIVE IT A RATING – 8.5/10

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