Developer(s): Crystal Dynamics
Publisher(s): Square Enix
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release date(s): March 5 2013 (world wide), April 25 2013 (JP)
Genre(s) Action-adventure, platform, survival
If you’re looking for the latest Tomb Raider game to feature a globe-trotting, artifact hunting, gun totting Lara Croft with mad athletic skills then forget it. This is not that Lara Croft. Crystal Dynamics’ reboot gives us a fresh start on the gaming’s first lady of adventure (Samus Aron doesn’t count since you didn’t find out her gender until the end of the game). Tomb Raider centers on a young Lara Croft who is fresh out of college who is in search of lost treasure deep in the Dragon’s Triangle. The explosive opening sequence is the most beautiful I’ve seen since God of War 3’s titanic raid on Mount Olympus. Her ship is suddenly capsized by a violent typhoon and she and her crew are marooned on an island. It is not long before Lara is captured by the locals. She awakens in a cave strung upside-down. Looking around she sees that she is not alone. However, her company has been there a lot long that she. Immediately, you’ll realize this not going to be like any of the previous titles. When you gain control, you have to shake Lara free from her confines and then, once you’ve done that, find a way out. As Lara makes her way through this darkened, damp network of tunnels, she soon realizes that she is not alone. When she finds the exit, she is attacked by a feral person. Lara fights free from the person’s grasp and makes it to the night skies. Now we enter the heart of the game. This is fight for survival.
Tomb Raider steals a page direct from Assassin’s Creed 3 where Lara must actively hunt for food and make fire. She starts off with a bow and arrow taken from an unlucky fellow strung up in a tree. This is her primary weapon until later. That night, Lara makes contact with one of the members of her crew thanks to a radio she found. She now has to find the rest of her crew who are still alive somewhere on the island. Along the way, Lara will have to contend with a small band of soldiers who seem to also be on the hunt for the artifacts. Hmm, uncharted island, militia soldiers everywhere and your weapon is a bow and arrow. Sounds like a certain show I know. Anywho, Lara must save her crew while uncovering the secrets of the island.
PRO: Character development is a plus for me when it comes to games and Tomb Raider does not disappoint. Lara has been stripped of all the bravery and courage that has made her a household name since her first treasure hunting adventure over 15 years ago. Now as a young lady, she must learn the necessary skills if she wants to save her friends and exposed the island’s secrets. But she is not tough, she is fragile. She is vulnerable. She is inexperienced. Simply put, she is a girl. There will be moments where a decision is made that will break her spirit resulting in Lara breaking into tears. I like it when the human factor is placed into the character; it gives them that believability; that you want to feel for this character. Also, the game is graphically amazing. Right from the opening, the details are not spared in making this environment come to life. The lighting and fire effects are close to the real thing.
CON: The only gripe may come from fans of the series who are looking forward to shooting guns while flipping through the air.
OVERALL: Tomb Raider is an action, adventure title with thrills and suspense that will keep you on the edge of the controller. Camilla Luddington does a wonderful job voicing the new Lara Croft, making her a believable character with emotions that will make you feel for her.
Tomb Raider gets 4.5 out of 5.
Lara’s back, baby!!
Until then, see you on the next level!
Tomb Raider opening scene!