Game reboots can often go one of two ways: A disappointment that almost ruins the original or one that sends the series in an exciting direction.
Tomb Raider is definitely the latter, a tense and thrilling adventure with a strong story, beautiful visuals and fluid controls.
Set before the other eight games in the series, Tomb Raider once again puts you in control of Lara Croft. In her early 20s, Lara is a keen adventurer who becomes marooned on a strange island after her ship runs ashore.
The gameplay is a mix of survival action, exploring tombs in classic platform style and stealth. It is very reminiscent of the Uncharted trilogy of games and the critically acclaimed PS3 exclusive series seems to be the inspiration for the rebooted Tomb Raider.
The island Lara is stranded on is truly gorgeous. Water ripples, leaves flutter and old settlements are rusty and broken. It creates a world ripe for exploration. Lara is also created well, dirt and blood stick to her to skin and this helps further her feeling of helplessness and pain.
Obviously, Lara is not alone on the island. It is inhabited by vicious scavengers along with numerous animals that are surprisingly too fun to pick off with your bow.
Previous entries in the series were fairly subdued when it came to violence, however, this game, which has become the first Tomb Raider game to be given an 18 certificate, is brutal. Very brutal.
A scene early on forces you to repeatedly tap a button so Lara can pull a sharp stick out of her bleeding side. Enemy heads are blown off, resulting in Quentin Tarantino type explosions of blood. Even cut scenes when you die show tree branches going straight through Lara’s stomach.
One slight issue with the game is Lara’s sudden transformation from a girl horrified with having to kill a deer, to a hunter viciously killing hundreds of scavengers with no moral reaction whatsoever. The reality of the first few missions is soon lost after Lara, who has little weapons training, can take out enemies with pinpoint accurate headshots.
This issue aside, Tomb Raider is a triumphant return to form for the iconic series. A mix of linear missions, along with plenty of free exploration keep it fresh throughout and the excellent graphics make it a joy look at. Lara Croft has become relevant again.
– Lovely Visuals
– Fluid gameplay
– Plenty of action
– Sudden character transformation