Monday, 27 May 2013

Tomb Raider Review

So, I'm a bit behind the times with games these days. While people are having fun playing the sequel to one of my all-time favorites (Metro 2033), I'm just finishing up with Tomb Raider.

Anyway, here's the gist of it. The game is good. If you've ever played Uncharted, think that. Lots of climbing and shooting and environments blowing up and breaking apart and last second jumps to salvation - basically, it's like playing a Hollywood blockbuster action flick.

Is that good? Well, sometimes. But the game really got away from the original adventure aspect of it, with pretty much nothing I could consider a "puzzle" in the game. At most there's 2 switches or some object you need to use your rope-pull on, but it's all pretty obvious and this is a complaint I've heard from many.

On the flipside, the game takes you through a pretty neat environment, an isolated island with constant storms  that demolish any nearby ships or planes. The so-called enemies in the game are mostly all survivors of said crashes, but who are brought under control of a pretty psychotic leader. Basically, the island used to be home to an ancient Japanese tribe with an immortal leader who could control the storms, and now that she (the Queen) is dead, the storms are raging crazily. The psycho survivor leader thinks he needs to perform the ancient sacrificial rituals involving any women he finds, in order to appease the Queen and get off the island.

Our hero, Lara Croft, is quite young in this game - in fact, it's her first big adventure. The character development is quite well done, as she starts off as a scared and poorly equipped survivor looking for help. In the end, she's quite the bad ass and is dead set on her mission. Overall, it's quite enjoyable and fun to get through the campaign.

There's collectibles and the like to be found, but only the Scrap is of any use - the rest is just busy work to hit 100% at the end. Scrap can be used to purchase/construct weapon upgrades. In addition, you occasionally find a weapon part in the scrap boxes, and with 3 or 4 weapon parts you can upgrade the whole gun. For example, the scrap might let you put leather on your wooden bow for better grip/accuracy, but with the upgrade parts you can turn the wooden bow into a composite bow (all upgrades carry over).

My final thoughts are this: it's a well made AAA action adventure video game, but lacks the gameplay depth I was hoping for in the form of some complex puzzles and secrets. It's a nice, casual, and entertaining romp and certainly worth playing if you enjoy cinematic 3rd person shooter games, but it doesn't do anything special and will probably be forgotten by the time we get to our year-end top 10 roundups.

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