I don't know if my review will contain big spoilers or not, but to be safe, that is why this review is marked 'spoiler'. Now, let's get on to the review.
I now hold this game in my hands, after a four year wait. Tomb Raider they call it, but what exactly is the purpose of naming it after the VERY first game?
Well, I'll tell you. This game, is a reboot of the franchise, upon heading into this game, it's kind of mandatory that you go in with a clear head, expect the expected, and the unexpected. Don't let the word 'reboot' fool you though, this Lara, is every bit of the Lara I grew up with, and even more so than she ever was.
So, we start fresh on a vessel called the 'Endurance' which is home to Lara, her friends, and crew members, as they head out to find the 'Dragons Triangle' a semi-quasi counterpart to the 'Bermuda Triangle'. It's Lara's idea to head east, directly into the triangle, and this is where, the game starts. A massive storm hits the ship, causing it to snap in two, sending Lara and her friends in different directions. Lara awakes on the beach, her friends Reyes, Jonah, Alex, and Dr. Whitman arms length away. It's here you think, 'oh her friends will find her, and she will be okay' nope, Lara gets knocked out, and a few seconds later, a cutscene plays, of someone getting drug into an upside down position. It's here, Lara comes too, and you find out, it's Lara hung upside down. After setting herself on fire, landing on a spike, finding a dead friend, and escaping caverns, the game truly starts, and you begin to feel more and more, with every step she takes.
Relics, collectibles, challenges, and documents, are all things you can find, collect, and do throughout the island's many structures and lands. And even better, you don't need to kick over any pots to find them!
12-15 hour gameplay means a pretty lengthy game, and it could take you up to 20-25 hours just to find everything. Though finding things aren't that hard, especially when you come across treasure maps, there is some scouting involved.
Survival Instinct is a clever feature, that acts like an aid throughout the game, if you get stuck, that is. They also introduced a way point system, which can be used to set a beacon of light onto collectible locations, which will help you find said collectible.
Beautifully rendered gameplay, and graphics, I found myself just stopping here and there to enjoy them. Action sequences aren't forced upon you, but they are there, and happen frequently, traversal has returned as well, as is more human like than ever. Lara can no longer stay positioned on vertical poles, and will instantly swing off of them when jumped too. Traversal has been lowered down to seem more realistic, and Lara now wields a climbing ax, to reach higher up locations.
Lara is beautiful, and more realistic than ever, from breast size, to attire, she feels like a person now, more than ever. You will feel for Lara more than ever now. Lara will also talk to herself from time to time, which I thought was a beautifully added feature, it makes her more human.
A Mature rating fits more than what I thought it would. Grizzly deaths have returned, meaning that there is no longer refberiating off of cliffs when you die, when you die in this game, Lara stays in one place, or ends up in pieces, depending on the death. I have experienced multiple deaths in my playthrough, such as a pole through the neck, getting crushed by boulders, and more.
Lara is more human, which means she will act human to wounds, gunshots, and more. If you fall off a high cliff, but one that is not high enough to die, Lara will bounce on impact, and flail in the air in till she hits something else, this can take loads of damage, so be careful. Lara will now slip down waterfalls, wet landscapes, and more. She will moan with pain, and sometimes fall over if you take a nasty fall, etc.
A wide range of weapons are included in the game, such as a bow and arrow, a pistol, assault rifle, a shotgun, and a grenade launcher, as well as a surprise weapon at the end of the game. All weapons, excluding the weapon at the end, have ammo limits, which makes them more realistic.
Lara's friends, and fellow crew members, are experiencing pain, anger, and all the other emotions Lara is feeling, which makes you feel for them, as much as her.
A touch of sadness in the game makes it more realistic.
Easter eggs littered throughout the game, hint at a sequel.
I encountered not one glitch throughout my playthrough.
Fast travel in base camps, allow you to return to previous areas.
Puzzles, boss fights, and tombs return, and are FANTASTIC.
Gameplay is still short, but I am happy it's as long as it is.
The multiplayer is plain aggravating, I cannot do anything within the multiplayer without dying almost instantly. The single campaign is what you are after.
Trophy support is back, but sadly, to get the platinum trophy, you must complete things in multiplayer, which suck.
Swimming wasn't included, it's sad to see it wasn't, but the game does do fine without it.