My name is Froseph and in this review I will be reviewing Tomb Raider, Now this is a far cry from our heroins PlayStation roots but Lara Croft gets a shiny new updated both to her graphics and to her game mechanics putting a new spin on our pistol wielding vixen.
Now this game is a prequel to the original Tomb Raider games placing Lara Croft just out of university and we join up with her just as she is striking out on her first archeological dig The game fades down to a shot of the ship called the “Endurance”. Lara isn’t her usual lone wolf self as she is following the lead of a seasoned archeologist a Dr. Whitman. Lara does some research and feels that they are looking in the wrong areas and joined by best friend from university Sam, they bring it to the attention of Dr. Whitman who quickly blows them off but the crew of the endurance the captain, who is an old friend of Lara’s dad named Conrad Roth. Who I feel most closely resembles Hannibal from the A-Team decides that they will follow Lara’s lead and enter the dragons triangle. After a huge storm and a very dramatic ship sinking cut scene Lara ends up beached on a mysterious island hoping to find a way for herself and the crew to be rescued. Only to realize they have landed on the island of Himiko the Sun Queen.
Now I am not going to hit any major plot points of the story as I feel that it should be experienced first hand and in a way the plot flows better then most movies. However before I go in to what I like about this game I must say that the one thing I feel this game is lacking is the puzzle aspect of the original tomb raider games. Now while I understand a bit of the reason for this, I feel it is a bit of what the tomb raider franchise is built on. Now they do throw you a bone and throughout the game. They have optional tombs that can be explored, however they feel as if they have are way to basic so that you can move past them quickly and back on to the plot of the game. In these tombs you will find maps of areas and upgrades to your weapons as well as a brief history of the island.
Along Lara’s journey you will also find stand alone relics some will be fake, others real and one of the things I enjoy about this is the relics have real historical roots. Now while this game is a pretty straight forward you can take detours to look for relics, gps coordinates and side objectives, such as lighting fires of statues or shooting hanging lanterns you come across. All of these will gain Lara experience which will allow you to buy skills from carrying more ammo, fight dirty, jump farther all the way to taking less damage from weapon fire or fall damage. Lara’s skills are not the only thing to upgrade along the way you will find the island is full of junk from the destruction of many other ships, so you will find boxes of salvage allowing for you to upgrade your 4 weapons the bow, the pistol, the rifle and the shotgun. Now I feel these are spread out a bit to far, however that being said it does give you a feel of accomplishment when you finally get them. The weapons also have uses to get passed some previously unassailable barriers so back tracking will be needed and can be done from camp fires that have quick point access.
Now I find the music for this game to be one of its highlights, and whoever composed the soundtrack for the game gives you a music that matches the moment. So whether you feel triumph or sadness or just a feeling of urgency to kill the bad guys. The music never disappoints and this along with the graphics which flow seamlessly between the cut scenes and game play allows you to feel enamored with Lara’s trials and tribulations so much so that when you die you actually feel bad and try harder to avoid dieing in some gruesome and sometimes very graphic ways.
Now before I give my closing thoughts I have to touch on the multi-player because rarely does a game have a both a good single and multi-player system. That is the case with Tomb Raider as I found myself playing the multi-player function, and trying to collect the pieces to unlock better weapons and skills while trying defeat my opponents in pvp. I will admit the changing of factions between each round can get confusing at first but once you figure out that you have to equip both factions with the weapons and skill you want it is fun and can be easily forgotten.
In conclusion Tomb raider is a game worth getting, The game play, story and graphics alone make it something you will enjoy but add in the multi-player and even if you only want to play through it once the multi-player alone will bring you back and make this a purchase you won’t regret.