Review: Tomb Raider

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“A survivor is born!” is definitely a well-suited title for this prequel of the Tomb Raider franchise. At first I was a little skeptic about remaking the beginning of the “Tomb Raider” – series but I’m glad to see that the game turned out to be an absolute must-have for every person who loves to play games with a cinematic touch.

Tomb Raider is an adventure game where players get inside the body of the young and beautiful archaeologist, Lara Croft. Each episode of the Tomb Raider franchise puts the player in an action- packed setting that was fun to play but also challenging. The whole concept of the game is the following: Lara Croft visits places that her father marked in his journal for investigation, in the hopes to  find lost relics of the ancient world. When Lara gets to the scene to start her investigation, she notices that there’s more going on that meets the eye and so she’s in for an adventurous and mysterious journey.

Tomb Raider- “ a survivor is born” is the prequel to the series that starts off with the inexperienced twenty-one years old Lara Croft on the boat the “ENDURANCE” in search of the Japanese Kingdom “Yamatai” that was led by a mysterious shaman named “Himiko”. The boat shipwrecks in the waters of a mysterious island full of other survivors who lost their mind to the cult “Solari” where Lara and the other team members get separated and captured by these cultists. Lara tries to find her team to get off this island and starts to notice that the way off this island isn’t going to be a walk in the park. The survivors of the island are being contained by unnatural storm. You find out that these storms are being created by the wretched feelings of the soul of Himiko until she’s released from her incapacitated body. Mathias, the leader of the Solari, will do anything in his power to get released from this island and he thinks that Sam, a good friend of Lara, is the perfect sacrifice to fulfill his wish. Of course, Lara isn’t going to let him.

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What makes the story of this game compelling, is the fact that innocent Lara changes into this survivor of the fittest, a product of what the island throws at her. It actually learns us how a person can change his actions and perspective, not because he wants to but because he needs to! There were times in the game where I actually said to myself: “Damn, she’s really going through a lot and she still manages to get upon her feet! ”. This is a perfect example to say that I felt connected with Lara. Not every game accomplishes this but I do have to say that Lara was the only one I felt connected with. She really had a goal while the other characters were “just” there to make the crew complete. I definitely loved the accent of Lara Croft. I must say, I’m more found of young Lara in this game than Angelina Jolie in the Tomb Raider movies.

In normal Tomb Raider games, you always start off with a pistol in each hand and just fire away but In this game it is entirely different. You start off with a bow and an ice ace, while shooting an arrow in the head of your opponent is very fun to do, you were very limited in resources which is a good thing. It makes you think about different ways to approach your enemies. There are some new actions implemented in the game like stealth kills and finishing moves. Each action in the game gives you experience for example: killing enemies, finding tomb entrances, looting and retrieving relics. Each time when you level up, you gain a skill point to upgrade Lara’s abilities. You can choose between different themes like survivor, brawler and hunter. The survivor abilities are about looting and movement, the hunter tab is about ranged combat while the brawler theme is all about closed combat.

The game is all about adapting to your situation and putting new learned abilities to the test.

Next to your experience points, you’ll find lots of corpses to loot certain items like ammo and wooden boxes to retrieve salvage parts that you can use to upgrade weapon that you find throughout the game. You’ll also be motivated to find certain collectibles in the game. A couple of reasons: it gives you experience that you can use in-game to upgrade abilities,  you’ll also learn a lot about certain characters and the story. These collectibles give more depth to the game.

The game is all about adapting to your situation and putting newly learned abilities to the test. Throughout the game you find new equipment that opens the way to different locations. So it makes you go back to old locations to discover new places and relics. Lara croft is also about solving puzzles to clear the way, some were really challenging while other puzzles were very easy to do. You are also never stuck in the game since you have your instinct ability. Instinct ability lets you see the world in a  different perspective to help you out. If it’s to find directions to your goal or to find hidden enemies.

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Sound and weather effects are all top notch, although the voice acting of some characters are really dull. The graphics suits the game perfectly, because it gives a certain realism to the game which makes you feel really connected to the world and the story.

Conclusion:

Tomb Raider is a must have game for console players and even more for PC players. It gives you a lot more standing ground to follow the story throughout the whole Tomb Raider franchise. It was also very polished with almost no bugs. I loved the cinematic approach of the whole game, which makes you feel like you’re playing the head part in a action packed movie! Beside the story, there’s a lot to do in the world which makes the game worth all its money.

 

Pro’s:

–          Cinematic story and experience
–          A lot of content
–          The adaption of Lara Croft
–          Different ways to approach the game

Cons:

–          Some dull characters
–          AI wasn’t always the best

8.5/10

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