7 March 2013 | rebecky14
A gritty reboot of the classic franchise that will delight both new fans and old
Console: Xbox 360
Estimated gameplay time (main story): 12-15 hours
When the news came out that the classic Lara Croft: Tomb Raider series was being completely rebooted, I was a little nervous about how they were going to pull it off. As a die-hard fan of the series and an avid collector of everything Lara Croft, I was hoping against hope that this game would be awesome. Turns out, all my worries have been completely put to rest by this amazing new game.
Tomb Raider is, essentially, the origins story of Lara Croft and the story is this: she's on an expedition looking for the lost kingdom of Queen Himiko and the Yamatai when the ship she's on is wrecked on a mysterious island in the Dragon's Triangle (pretty much the Japanese version of the Bermuda Triangle). So begins an epic struggle to escape the island's mysterious inhabitants, rescue her separated crew and get off the island.
Tomb Raider is one of the most enjoyable games I've ever played and arguably the best game in the Tomb Raider franchise. It's the first Tomb Raider to be rated 17+ (MA15+ in Australia) and it certainly shows. There are BIG amounts of blood and gore in this game, and some parts will make you cringe like nothing else (people who've played the game already will know what I'm talking about).
The visuals are utterly gorgeous, pushing the Xbox's capabilities to the limit. There is a simply stunning amount of detail as well, from the dirt and blood that coats Lara at times to the sheer scale of the environments.
Character development is top-notch, especially for Lara, showcasing her dramatic journey from frightened young woman to hardened survivor. She's also far more realistic than she was in previous games, with more believable proportions and skills. Her movements are much more realistic as well, and for the first time she really shows emotion, not just in cut scenes. Voice acting is pretty good across the board, with Camilla Luddington in particular doing some great work for Lara. She really suits the character.
Combat is, frankly, awesome. To start off with you only have a bow and arrow, but even this is a lot of fun. Later on, a pistol, rifle and shotgun are also added to the weapons list. Unfortunately, no unlimited ammo this time around, but that only makes the game even more realistic.
The game is pretty evenly spaced between exploring and combat. And relax, there ARE tombs to explore in this game, but they're not a big part of the main story. A good feature of the game is you can go back to past locations and explore tombs or the general area for more rewards, which unlock weapons and skills.
Overall, Tomb Raider is an amazing, well-written, exciting, realistic and gritty reboot of the classic game franchise. Die-hard fans and new fans alike will love this great game, which is easily one of the best games of 2013 so far.