A student with a passion for game development and all things Japan.
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So, this game was recommended to me by my good friend HellyonWorks. If you don't know her, I urge you to really check out her art, and give her a commission sometime. The odd thing is, I knew of Tomb Raider: but it was through the Angelina Jolie movies. I barely remember theme, but I can say they got Lara's personality spot on. But this is a very different game to the one older fans may know.
Rules as always:
1.Spoilers are abounding, and depending on the game, can spoil the experience. While not super story heavy, be warned going into the review.
2. I will not put aside any bias, but will try to be fair for games I do not like. This is my personal opinion. If you want to send your opinion, please do so in the comments below.
3. I am reviewing the PC Version.
So, what does the reboot have in store for us? This is my review of the rebooted version of Tomb Raider.
Tomb Raider begins with Lara Croft(now a lot younger) heading on expedition into the Bermuda Triangle, and her and her crew considering of Sam, her best friend, Reyes, a mechanical expert, Jonah, a New Zealand cook, Roth ,Lara's Father figure, Grim, the ship captain and Dr.Whitman, the tag along, head to the Bermuda Triangle, and their ship(The endurance) get wreaked, leaving Lara captured and having to find a way to her crew. After this they try to escape twice and fail, Lara realises 2 thing: Himiko is controlling the storms and Whitman is a traitor. This is very obvious, but to play up the Drama, Sam is the soul needed to revive Himiko. This involves Lara running into a man named Matius, the main villan who we only see a few time, and only wants to review Himiko for the sake of reviving Himiko. Anyways, Matius is defeated, Himiko is destroyed and Lara is prepared to look for the truth. More on that when I get to Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Overall, the story was enjoyable, you can really tell this is a younger Lara Croft who is not experienced at staying out in the wild. There is also a lot of death in this game, but the only one that meant a lot was Roth. Grim we only see once before his sacrifice, and I didn't mention Alex(since he is really insignificance), but his is at least somewhat meaningful, since he wants to be a hero, so he sacrifices himself on the endurance shipwreck. However, Roth means a lot to Lara. Remember, he when he dies, Lara has lost both her father and father figure. I felt very sorry for Lara. Speaking of, compared to the older games(or what I have see of them), she is much more emotional and I think this makes her a better character compared to the old Lara, just because it gives a lot more range than just her being a badass. Though I do need to play the older games.
We have a lot to get through, so buckle up folks. The basic mechanics now involve your bow and arrow, instead of dual pistols. This was my go to weapon, and this because you can get some great upgrades through the salvage system. Salvage can be collected from fallen enemies, but for this and other skills you have to buy this with skill points, which is earned by killing enemies. Honestly while I should be mad about not having this from at the start, I'm not, because of the fact this game takes place in the wild, you have to learn all these skills. Though skill points do take a while to stack up.
Another thing I like is that you don't have buy the extra weapons from a shop, you get them early in the game, and upgrades come through finding parts, or entering secret tombs or challenge tombs. These are small puzzles that shouldn't be too brain taxing, and you will need them for a 100% run of the game(which I wasn't going for, so I missed a lot of them). There are a lot of documents to find, if 16 hours of main story content is not enough for you, but I am satisfied.
You can still climb walls, they have marked paint, and with your axe you can climb certain rocks and attack enemies in close range.However, I don't like the melee system in this game, it feels very sluggish. I get that's the point(more focus on the shooting gameplay), but I think some good melee is also helpful in the wild.
Still, the guns you get are really nice. A shotgun(my go to in a shooter...when I play them), assault rifle that gets a grenade launcher, and a pistol, with the option to have a sliencer on it. You get FIRE arrows and GRENADE ARROWS. That's awesome. There is a focus on using stealth to get past, and enemies are very aggressive when you go all gun-ho, so go all out with caution.
Finally, their are costumes(which are DLC) that while purely cosmetic, give a different look to Lara depending on what one you are wearing.
Looks, Sound and Final Thoughts
This game looks amazing on PC, though GeForce Experience messed up on giving me the best graphical settings. I will warning you though, the game has a lot of blood and gore, though it makes sense here, considering that this game wants to be more darker than the others. Like I said before, I love the cutscene cinematography in this game. However, in game, there is a lot of quick time events and situations where you are given partial control of Lara. This happens WAY too many times for my liking.
The soundtrack is amazing, but I wouldn't find myself listening to any of these in the street or while working on a project. Still, it works, it's just fitted to the atmospheric. A bit odd.
Overall, I found this to be a great game bar none. Older Tomb Raider fans may find this a bit alienating, as a lot of new elements may leave them alienated, but for new fans, or some one looking for a great game to play, I recommend this game to you. You can get it on Steam, PS3, Xbox 360, or the Definitive edition on PS4 or Xbox One.
Sorry that this took so long! The games I'm currently playing are Action games or RPG, and that does not mesh well with school! I do plan on finishing more games this summer!
Either way, Thanks for Reading, have a great night, share if it's not too much trouble for you, and take care.
Written By Nana Marfo
Tomb Raider(C) Square Enix