Crystal Dynamics has reintroduced Tomb Raider to the world in a new and invigorating way with this newest installment to the franchise. This reboot is an origin story for one of the most recognizable female video game characters in history, Lara Croft. If you played the original Tomb Raider back in 1996 then the nostalgia factor for this game is through the roof. It is like running into your old girlfriend you haven’t seen in years and falling in love with her all over again. This new Tomb Raider makes you forget about all the franchise’s bad movies and games that have come out in the past decade plus, and is a great experience that longtime fans and a new generation of gamers will appreciate.
You start the game with Lara and her friends on a ship looking to go on an archeological adventure. However the boat subsequently becomes shipwrecked on an island and Lara has to learn how to survive if she wants to make it off alive. She undergoes the transformation from a young naïve academic to the bad-ass killing machine that you know and love, and someone you wouldn’t want to mess with. The first hour of the game is a full of scripted scenes and very intense gameplay. This hour is a better cinematic adventure then most of the action movies that have been released in a long while. There are moments of intense action but also moments of peace where you have to traverse this island and that is where the game excels. Jumping from ledge to ledge and hunting with your bow is amazing. You don’t even get your first gun until a while into the game, but once you do the action and combat really picks up and becomes even more intense.
There are tons of things that you can do during the campaign. You can follow the linear story and go through that, or you can go off and explore. There are lots of ancient tombs that you can discover and raid. The tomb raiding itself is not so much a part of the story as it has been in past games but it is still really nice. The puzzles in this game are just the right difficulty. Sometimes when following the story or raiding the tombs you really have to sit back and think for a second because the puzzle presented before you are pretty difficult. Although it is not too difficult to where you get super frustrated or where it takes too long.
The gameplay itself is extremely fluid and very exciting. Traversing the island is great, and the controls are seamless. The combat is also great, something that you could not say about most of the Tomb Raider games. A new feature that I really liked from this game is Survival Instincts. When activated important items crucial to solving a puzzle or crates filled with goodies will be highlighted. And it also shows you where you need to go with a large yellow beam at the place your objective is. This is great for not getting too lost and for finding things that you don’t want to miss.
This is by far the worst part of the game. There are four modes that you can play online and they are Rescue, Team Deathmatch, Cry for Help, and Free for All. People have been really trashing the multiplayer aspect of the game and they are partly right. I did find the multiplayer to be quite a bit of fun, however it seems forced. They could have really made it something cool and unique however it just seems like they threw it in the game just because every game has to have a multiplayer mode. And although I did not think it was too terrible, I don’t think it is something I think I would go back and play once I am done with the game, and it doesn’t really stand up to any of the other popular online multiplayer modes. This aspect of the game was definitely the weakest.
If I had to pick one word to sum up this game, it would have to be awesome. Yes the graphics are awesome, the story is awesome, and Lara Croft herself is just plain awesome. This is one of the best action-adventure games to come out in a long time and is definitely worth the price tag. The only negative is the multiplayer but honestly, you don’t pick up Tomb Raider to play the multiplayer. This game will definitely satisfy those gamers who played the original Tomb Raiders back on the PlayStation and will make a new generation of games realize why Lara Croft is a legend.