The New Tomb Raider

Just finished the new Tomb Raider for the PC and loved it! I’ll admit when it comes to my PC game collection I’ll start it up, sink a few hours into a game and never play it again so imagine my surprise when a game managed to hold my interest!

Now I went into this not knowing what to expect. It’s a reboot and a game that’s been put out for consoles. This normally spells disaster in the shape of a stripped down dumb rehash of a classic. However the direction the developers took with this reboot was spot on. I loved the journey of taking Lara Croft from an excited young explorer and watching her grow into a fully fledged hardened survivor.

The Gameplay

Well lets look at the gameplay. Over all it was exceptionally well done. I loved the way Lara handled, it all felt very natural and the way combat worked was pretty good. 

The exploration and climbing and jumping around was great fun. The problem was there just wasn’t enough of it. For a franchise that is based on “Tomb Raiding” there wasn’t really much of it. Yep there were a fair few tombs to explore but they felt a little unnecessary which is a shame but nonetheless I really enjoyed the puzzles. The environments were stunning. Some of the places you get to walk around were absolutely superb. The levels were exceptionally well designed and great fun to fight through.

The gameplay was good fun and entertaining. My thoughts are that during the middle of the game there was too much combat. It reminded me a little of Resident Evil 5 where you would walk into a clear area, explore it a little bit then bam an army of enemies would appear. You clear the round then walk into the next clear area then repeat.

My biggest gripe with this game was that you would literally scale the side of a cliff, dive over crumbling bridges and arrive at a location thats swarming with enemies. How did they get there? Also how did my allies move from A to B without ever encountering enemies? Oh well it was still fun.

The Story

The story is pretty good. I wont spoil anything for anyone but its a good mix of realism and super natural. It really focuses on Lara’s journey, watching her turn into a survivor. It’s a dark and gritty story and throughout we watch Lara get bloodied, battered and bruised but grow stronger as she does. 

Not only is she emotionally tormented but physically. As the game progresses she doesn’t stay the same immaculate “babe” we are used to. She gets torn up and muddy, throughout her clothes get torn, she gets bruised and cut and the character model reflects this. 

Her relationship with the other characters has depth. Throughout the game I enjoyed the scenes where she would interact with them and I liked the way she found their notes and journals throughout the game which helps to give them more story.

Its a good all around story which draws you in making you hunger for more.

The Graphics

Amazing. Thats the only word that can describe this game. I had everything bumped up to max on my PC and my graphics card over clocked so I could enjoy the game the way it was meant to be played.

Everything looked stunning and the graphics really brought the amazing level designs to life helping settle into the immersion. The character models looked great, the main characters all well designed and individual.

The hair was… Wow! It’s always a bugbear of mine in games. You get super character models with hair that looks like a lifeless plastic hat. In Tomb Raider the hair is top class. It reacts naturally to the surroundings, catching in the wind and when Lara jumps and falls. It really is an exceptional feat.

Overall

Just play this game. I’m normally not a fan of this style of game but after reading some great reviews of it I decided to take a chance and give it a shot and I’m so glad I did. As I said at the start I never manage to complete an entire play through of a game so the fact that I managed with Tomb Raider speaks volumes about how good it was.

Available from Amazon on:

Xbox 360 

http://amzn.to/16YYbGV

Playstation 3  

http://amzn.to/10aEjMi

PC  

http://amzn.to/Xdb8v6

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