Tomb Raider


Tomb Raider was released as a reboot of the original series in 2013 for PC, Xbox and PlayStation. Developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix, it is an action-adventure game based on the protagonist, Lara Croft.

Story/Plot

Tomb Raider is the tenth installment of the game series, however instead of continuing with the regular storyline, it was decided to make a reboot of the series. This game also goes back in time to a Lara that we are not normally used to, inexperienced.
The game begins with her on a ship intending to sail to find the lost kingdom of Yamatai. However instead of progressing with the game as we're used to with all of Lara's weapons and equipment, we are crashed onto the island with Lara and her crew mates, where Lara is then kidnapped.
While trying to escape the cave that we were tied up in, we come to realise that we are no longer playing as Lara Croft from the original series, who is used to these caves/tombs and ruins falling around her. This Lara is clearly new to an environment such as the one we start off in.
So, as we progress through the game we retrieve more and more, as Lara does, such as weapons, resources, knowledge, and a few cuts and bruises to say the least.

Lara Croft aiming bow and fire arrow

Gameplay/Controls

The game runs quite smoothly in terms of movement. As well as basic walking and running around, the game also includes Lara's trademark climbing and jumping, at great heights. In my opinion, when you compare the reboot and it's movements while running around or climbing, to the original games, I think that the older games actually have a much more fluid and smooth motions. The older games may not be as realistic or detailed in maneuvering, but to me I believe they were certainly smoother, simpler and easier.

Lara scaling a ruined, falling plane

Graphics/Sounds

In terms of graphics, they have most definitely improved in comparison to the older games. That is one thing that I cannot necessarily fault as there was a lot of detail thrown into the environment, the terrain, even Lara, her friends and the enemies in the game.
Like in the progress I was talking about earlier, going through the game and watching Lara acquire more weapons and resources, she also receives multiple injuries throughout the game as well as walking, running and crawling through unpleasant areas, through all of this she progressively becomes dirtier and bloodier, with a lot of detail to prove everything she's enduring.
In regards to sounds, it has a suitable soundtrack in the background for moments where Lara is in combat, or she is sitting at her campfire while you adjust her skills and stats, or for the times when she has just escaped a dangerous place or fight and found a new area where there is more calm. The music underneath all the gameplay fits well. There was also good detail put into sounds from the environment, weapon sounds like releasing an arrow from her bow or firing a gun shot and Lara is also quite vocal in the sense that she yells out in pain, or grunts in frustration, and also talks to herself which can give the player a clue as to where they're going or what they need to do next.

The 'Definitive Edition' of the game was then also released for Xbox One and PS4 in 2014. This showed a big update of the already very impressive graphics.

Comparison of the original game on PS3 and the definitive edition on PS4

Comparison of the original game on Xbox 360 (left) and the definitive edition on Xbox One (right)

Replay Value

This installment of Tomb Raider was the first to incorporate an online multiplayer feature. For this reason it may give the game some amount of replay value but other than that, as a story based game I can't imagine many people wanting to play it again. Unless they are trying to go back to get 100% completion, including secret tombs and other achievements.

Multiplayer gameplay

Conclusion

All in all, I believe that Tomb Raider was a very good game. It was well made, it had great graphics, a phenomenal amount of detail.
However, one of the things that I was not happy about with this game, being a very big fan of the original Lara Croft: Tomb Raider series, is that in my opinion, as a standalone game, it was excellent, but to me, it was not a Tomb Raider game. It wasn't the Lara Croft that I know and love. I am not happy about the fact that it was decided to make a reboot of the series when the originals had such a big following anyway.
I think that with the work that was put into the reboot, they could have made a better game that continued on from the real, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
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