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Customer Review

22 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lara's still got it!, March 5, 2013
This review is from: Tomb Raider (Video Game)
It's been 5 years since the last Tomb Raider. Those 5 years seem to have been well spent. Between Legend, Anniversary and Underworld...they came out so close to each other that it was easy to tell there wasn't enough time for that polish.

This new game is polished to an amazing degree. Even at 720p, this game is beautiful. Lara has never looked better (not even when Angelina took on the role). The environment is utterly amazing. When I had to cross a fallen tree like a balance beam and looked down, the vertigo effect was so convincing I kinda got woozy myself.

That is also the most intense first 10 minutes I have ever had in a Tomb Raider game. Scratch that. That is the most intense first I have ever had in a game...including Mass Effect 2 where in it's first 10 minutes the Normandy was destroyed and Shepard went EV. I mean...that was freaking INTENSE! And it hasn't really let up since then.

However...there is one problem. It only vaguely feels like a Tomb Raider game. You have the ledge grabs, the shimmies, the jumping and grabbing. But that's only a small part of a Tomb Raider game.

The puzzles feel less like getting through ancient death traps and more like figuring out ways to escape a cult hideout and survive in the wilderness.

The battle system is nice. It's always thrilling to keep getting headshots. But even that seems vastly different from every other Tomb Raider I've ever played. And as realistic as they've tried to make this game...these people are taking a lot of shots (that aren't headshots) before they finally drop. Unless they're all on PCP (which doesn't seem unlikely to be honest)...they should be dropping after far fewer shots.

But that's all really nitpicking. Because maybe what Tomb Raider's been needing is a complete overhaul. It could be argued that Tomb Raider Legend was supposed to be that overhaul...and it was. But it was a more minor overhaul. It gave Lara a few new abililties and updated her movements from being a tank on a grid to something more fluid. But combat and over all gameplay seemed very much the same.

Here, there's still a few things that say "Tomb Raider." Not much, but they're there if you look for them. And this is probably the first time in the past several games where I picked it up and it didn't just feel like more of the same.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 5, 2013 6:23:38 PM PST
Stormtrooper says:
Very good review and insights. I think thats one thing at least concerned me was when they were doing this reboot, how far they had already gone with the franchise. Lara toting dual pistols and all sorts of weapons and having the confidence of an elder statesmen in how she talked made you feel like you were in control of a powerful character.

This game tosses all that out and goes back to what made TR great. Exploration and Puzzles. Add in the "reboot" effect of having a Lara that is essentially "green" from not even having a notion of killing a person could have turned alot of people off. But thats what makes this game great. It has a fantastic main character, good supporting cast and some of the rawest human emotion I've ever seen in a game.

Plus it felt great purchasing this game by trading in Aliens Colonial Marines to knock the price down. (A shameful plug for that game, I know).

Posted on Mar 6, 2013 5:26:14 AM PST
R. Mcgregor says:
I really enjoyed Legend, anniversary and Underworld. Not the best games of all time, but I liked how they all tied together.

Posted on Mar 6, 2013 9:13:14 PM PST
Ranz says:
Good review. From the clips I saw it looks like good gameplay mechanics.... however I think they lost a bit of the Tomb Raider 'feel'. I like that in past tomb raiders there was a lot less combat. You felt lost in the locality. There was so much exploring that when you did come across an enemy it scared the crap out of you! ^_^ The lull was long enough to make you feel secure in the fact that you were alone. ....your mind was engaged in solving puzzles... then all of a sudden something is running after you. I think this game lost some of that.

I would imagine that it is still a great game... but just not enough of the puzzles and exploration we were used to and thus gives the game a much different 'feel'. Personally I don't believe you need to kill someone brutally for a moment to be 'intense'. There are other ways to engage the player emotionally at pivotal moments without the needless violence. There are many other games you can get if gratuitous violence is your cup of tea. I was kinda hoping this latest installment would focus more on what made the series great in the first place. Not everyone may agree with me... but that's just my opinion.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 7, 2013 6:41:12 AM PST
I'm not sure what the previous commenter was talking about. If anything, the game actually tosses out most of the puzzles itself in favor of item finding with some puzzles very loosely scattered about. Most of the puzzles are pretty straightforward and aren't nearly as depthful as previous games. However, I'm not complaining about that. They're still a blast to solve and they're scattered about the island so there's no shortage of them.

However, I think you did a fantastic job creating a summarized review, Stephen. You covered the critical elements while being able to both offer praise and site some of things you felt as short comings. It's a quick read that's very to the point and well done. Great work!
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