[ 1 November 2013 ]

About the game:

Without giving too much away…Tomb Raider is about Lara Croft, an archaeologist that is forced to survive on an island after being shipwrecked. Her objectives are to discover the cause of the freak storms that surround the island and find a way back home. As if that isn’t hard enough Lara has to fend off the local wildlife (that want to eat you) and other castaways (that I presume want to use your skull as a breakfast bowl).

What I liked:
I never like to think that graphics make a game but no one can deny that this game looks absolutely beautiful! I played the PC version with TressFX but I expect the console version is still going to be one of the best looking games to come out recently. The point I want to make here though is not that the game looked good because the assets were shiny, it’s the detail, there’s loads of it, EVERYWHERE! And that’s just something you don’t see much any more. 

The other thing I liked was how the characters were portrayed as human beings with emotions and all that fluff but the story is written in the way that means you notice these things without the game rubbing it in your face like a damp rag. There are hundreds of examples of this sort of player/character touchy feely rubbish that has been executed poorly (I am looking at Metroid Other M, square in the box art) but I am glad to say that Tomb Raider is not on that list.

Something that may have been noticed by anyone familiar with Tomb Raider games is that this game is a little different to its predecessors. I have to admit that I don’t often welcome change when it comes to personalities or historical events but the changes are subtle and well thought out. As a result this game doesn’t break the mould but does offer enough of a variation to keep everything fresh and interesting.

What I didn’t like:
My biggest issue with this game was inconsistency.  This is a pretty broad issue, and I will do what I can to explain my experiences. 

The common issue I fell foul of multiple times is scripted jumps. Lara cannot jump very high, however there are occasions when you can make an almighty leap if you are standing in the right place. This is normally not an issue as it is normally painfully obvious but you do get stuck every now and then thinking one of two things. 1) I can make that jump: Fall to your death 2) I will never make that: Spend 30 minutes looking for an alternative route.
The other inconsistency I struggled with (sort of) was that the games mechanics seem to swap and change. I wasn’t all that unhappy when quick time events just seemed to disappear but it did seem odd for the game to be played in a completely different way as you progress through it. Maybe this was a feature to display Lara’s evolution from softy girl to hardened murderer that I have misunderstood? Either way I thought it was odd.

The final thing I didn’t like about the game was Lara’s transition from sheltered young woman to a murder happy hard ass, or rather the lack of transition. When you first start on the island, Lara is a teary mess because she killed a poor defenceless animal so she didn’t starve to death (you only “eat” once…another forgotten mechanic) and then 30 minutes later your driving an arrow through someone’s eye socket and mowing down henchmen left and right with a skip in your step. For a game that has such a good story this seemed like a blunder…

I think a short summary is in order for this rambling review. Despite the size of my dislikes section I think this game is excellent! Buy it, Play it!