on February 6, 2014
I've never been a fan of Tomb Raider because of the art direction previous developers have taken with it. However, when I realized Square Enix was the developer for the new Tomb Raider, I decided to give it a try. First and foremost, though the gameplay mechanics are very true to the classic installments of the title, this is not the Lara Croft you remember from your childhood. I loved the way the character was portrayed as a relatively average looking female with fit features and a mind for history and exploration. This is a heroine you can fall in love with.
I read another reviewer comment that this game was like Call of Duty with a Tomb Raider skin. This couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, I picked up this game thinking this and was pleasantly surprised to see that the main feature of the game was Survival. You have very little resources throughout the game. Every arrow you shoot is precious, Ammo isn't littered all over the place, and at any moment - without warning - you could be called to let loose a few to protect yourself from wolves and other fiends.
This game is about exploration, and it rewards the player for doing so. If you go off the beaten path, you'll find large tombs. The object is to discover a lost relic which is just out of reach. By solving puzzles, and finding ways to manipulate the environment, you can reach the objective and be handsomely rewarded. While you're there, you might notice a few other places to explore - but you don't quite have the tools necessary to get in. So, you have to resign the opportunity for later. This let's older environments be reused, and re-explored by the player which is an awesome thing!
Finally - and this is very important to note - That game is dark and gritty. I was not expecting that when I purchased it. The game literally puts you in the most dire of situations. One wrong move can mean death - and I LOVE that! Lara, unlike other video game characters which are supposed to be human, is not super by any stretch of the imagination. She can and will make mistakes often - you as a player will be caught off guard, and if you aren't prepared to defend her, you will watch a very graphically realistic death that seems to satisfy some strange twitch I have in the back of my head.
Great game! It really shows off the graphics the XBOX One is capable of putting out. Voice Controls are spot on - Unlike N4S:Rivals, the voice controls were very accurate, only responding to my voice when I was actually issuing the command to the box. It also makes interesting use of the Kinect.
This is truly the first game for XBOX One deserving of the 5 out of 5 Star Review (Please ignore my other XBOX One Title Reviews - I was wrong!).
on March 15, 2014
It took me long enough, but I finally played the Tomb Raider reboot in its Xbox One version, and I was not disappointed. Though there has been some talk that the PS4 version is visually better than this one, that doesn't change that this is the best looking game I've ever played. Tomb Raider nails every important aspect of an adventure game and a video game in general. It has a great balance of exploration and focused level design. It gives plenty of optional areas to find and explore, with lots of tools to locate where you're supposed to go, and very clear indicators of what the game will let the player interact with. It also features thrilling fights, with multiple ways to approach combat.
The mechanics of the platforming are amazing. The game is very much on the player's side. In so many games, if you don't do a jump with unrealistic precision in the exact way the game expects, you tumble to your death and have to try again. Tomb Raider, on the other hand, assumes you're not an idiot and tries to do what you wanted to do. If you jump toward a ledge at a slightly wrong angle, the game is going to smoothly turn Lara and latch you onto that ledge regardless of your being slightly off center or whatever. The game is clearly doing its best to interpret the player's controller inputs in a way that makes sense. It never feels like it's too much, either. It's not like if you try to jump off a cliff the game won't let you die. You'll die, and you'll die a lot. It's just that you won't die when you did the right thing in a slightly different way than the designers expected. If you did more or less the proper jump, chances are the game will let you land that jump rather than being a jerk about it and making you redo sections for a slight error in interpretation. It's a 3D world presented on a 2D screen, so there's no way you can be sure of the depth of the jumps. It's nice when games realize this and don't judge the player too harshly for making a slight miscalculation of the exact space of the jump. Tomb Raider is the best game ever when it comes to this. I appreciated it a great deal.
In combat, you can try to be stealthy, go in guns blazing, or even try hand to hand combat. The great thing is that all methods of combat are viable. I took out the final boss primarily with dodging and counterpunching, with the occasional shotgun blast. If the game lets you do it, it's probably worth doing. That's the greatest achievement a game can have, really. Everything in the game is just absolutely worth using.
I was also impressed with the voice acting and sound. The story is presented just beautifully, and the storytelling is incredible for a video game. Video games usually don't handle this aspect anywhere near as well as they should, even in story-driven games. Tomb Raider's story isn't exactly a replacement for a big budget movie, but it's told well, and it breaks a lot of cliches. You're a strong woman surviving, overcoming, and saving others. The people who survive alongside you are not the ones you'd expect, either. I wish I could spoil it here, but let's just say that this game will surprise you.
This game has virtually no negatives to speak of. The only thing even remotely less than stellar in this game is the multiplayer, but that's not the main draw of the game. Even so, the multiplayer is still on par with other third person shooters on the market. It's certainly playable and fun in its own right. I give this game my highest recommendation. If I could choose to give one game 6 stars, this would be it.
on January 30, 2014
I've never spent much time playing the "Tomb Raider" series, but this reboot did all the right things, and it drew me right in. This modern take on the famous franchise takes inspiration from many great sources- my first impression, oddly enough, was of "Resident Evil 4" (a classic so significant, it's still influencing the gaming landscape). The early goings of "Tomb Raider" have a distinctly "survival horror" vibe that is masterfully conveyed, interspersed with just the right amounts of Quick Time Events, cinematic showpieces, character development, story telling, and gameplay tutorials. Additionally, it reminded me of the fantastic island of the TV show, "Lost" (complete with freaky natives and bunkers!).
The most striking comparison, of course, is that of the "Uncharted" series. "Tomb Raider" obviously existed long before "Uncharted", but it's equally obvious that it drew inspiration from the mechanics of climbing, combat, and cinematic storytelling of one of this generation's most successful series. And I'm not complaining at all- I wish there were more games like "Uncharted"! For the most part, "Tomb Raider" does a fantastic job implementing these elements, resulting in a game that is a blast to play and easy to pick up. Everything is very responsive, the settings are visually vibrant and interesting, and the island is begging for more thorough searching. The inclusion of TONS of unlockables is a genius notion, including documents (which help to further unfurl the mystery of the island), artifacts, and salvage (for weapon and gear upgrades), and it means crazy amounts of replay value... plus the online multiplayer aspect, if that strikes your fancy.
The only thing holding "Tomb Raider" back is that when pitted up against the unrivaled production values of "Uncharted", it falls a shade short. The characters are noticeably lacking compared to the likes of Nathan, Sully, and Elena, and the presentation just seems a bit "off". There's such an emphasis placed on (literal and figurative) darkness and grittiness, I oftentimes had difficulty seeing what was going on around my character, and it actually had something of a demoralizing effect (particlarly when compared to the bright, tropical locales of "Uncharted"). That's not to say that "Tomb Raider" is a bad game- it's not. In reality, it's a very good game- it's just not among my top favorites.
Final note (MINOR spoilers follow): The producers of this game must be huge fans of the movie "The Descent", for there are many nods to the horror film, including Lara's affinity for the climbing axe, the "bone scramble" toward daylight in the opening moments, and the slow emergence from the red pool of ichor in "the pit". Additionally, Lara's psychological transformation closely mirrors that of "The Descent"'s protagonist. It was an excellent source to draw inspiration from, and the developers of "Tomb Raider" did a fine job of subtly paying homage to it.
on February 26, 2014
I'm playing on xbox one and never played tomb raider before and I love it, its a great game with outstanding graphics, probably the best game so far on xbox one in terms of graphics, fun to play very interactive and challenging.
on January 28, 2014
This game is a lot more dark and gritty than any of the past games and keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time. A game that can do this gives you the exceptional gaming experience that you want in a game. I think the Uncharted Series is the best way to compare this game , but even though those were some really good games this one blows those away.
The game mechanics are very similar ( just about exactly the same ) to those of uncharted . Shooting , climbing , jumping , scaling walls ,etc , etc. I am not trying to down play the uncharted games but this game seems leagues better. I think its the dark gripping gritty game play and story that sets it apart.
I don't know what this game looks like on the Xbox 360 but it looks absolutely amazing on the Xbox One. The game really looks like it was made for the next gen system and not just a port of the 360 game. There really isn't anything negative I can say about this game , I love it and could possibly be one of my favorite games.
This game is one of those that leaves a lasting impression in your mind and one that you have to make yourself put the controller down. Even though I paid the premium price of 59.99 for this game , I have no regrets , its just that good. If you have already played this game on the 360 or ps3 I'm not sure you would want to spend an additional 59.99 just to have the Next gen version , but if you have not , I highly recommend this game even at the premium price tag.. Solid 5 out of 5
on November 10, 2014
While I already have the PS4 version of the game a friend of mine was wanting to play the game while on vacation for a few months and after awhile I felt the urge to play the game luckily for the price and being able to play this copy made it a nice choice. Overall the graphics and framerate pretty much match up with the PS4 version no problem though with my new headset for this console maybe I'm not entirely sure but it sounded exceptionally better then what I was hearing through my headset on the PS4 console. Though that's not to say there's really a major difference in that area between the two more as the headsets used regardless both versions match pretty much evenly.
As said before this version(PS4/Xbox One) far surpasses the PS3/Xbox 360 version for obvious reasons as the texture and character details have improved greatly. The game itself is a great new look for our iconic Tomb Raider and her history before she became so famous as well as the tragedy and triumphs she endures to reach her goals. Part of me also feels the reason I bought this version is the sequel is a limited exclusive for the Xbox One and I've pretty much a compulsive need to keep game series titles on one console even though you can get them multiplat. So for fans of the Tomb Raider series or just those looking for a good action adventure game this is a must have to add to your game library.
on April 14, 2014
I'm not the typical gamer and as a guy that recently turned 58, my tastes aren't the same as the teenage and 20ish crowd. I tend to like role playing games where I can explore and where I can build my character's abilities and arsenals. Games that I enjoyed include Skyrim, Far Cry 3, Bioshock Infinite, Resident Evil 4 (and, to a lesser extent, 5), and a few others. I had some trepidation when I ordered Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition but was pleasantly surprised. The graphics are nothing short of stunning, the story line is engaging, and there are just enough options for exploration to make this a truly enjoyable game and experience. FWIW, I haven't gotten into any of the mufti-player games as yet; normally, those aren't a big attraction for me but the one time I did try to get in, TR wasn't able to locate any games for me to join.
- As noted, the graphics are really something to behold.
-The story line is fun and engages you from the beginning
- The controls are well laid out and easy to master
- The weapons while limited are fun to customize as you stumble across components and earn credits
- During the game play, there are side quests for most areas of the island on which you find yourself stranded to include optional tombs to explore each with its own puzzle to figure out.
- As you progress, you will encounter "camps" where you can rest up from the battles and from which you can freely travel back and forth between areas that you have already explored. This allows you to go back and work some more on the side quests (finding artifacts, area specific challenges, and so on), do some game hunting, or just explore. (At the end of the game, you can also go back to the island to freely explore and work on the puzzles as well.)
- The battles are mostly fun though see my Cons for a couple of annoyances. Aiming is easy and intuitive and selecting weapons is mostly logical and easy.
- Some of the battles are tough to get through but TR does a number of automatic saves so that if you get killed (and you will), you don't have to go back to the very beginning of each encounter.
- My biggest gripe was that some of the challenges are solved by split-second timing of pressing this button followed by that button trying to match on-screen prompts. Fortunately, the buttons that you have to press are always the same allowing you to memorize the sequence as you invariably get killed if you aren't quick enough to respond to the on screen prompt. HINT: pressing the button just a little before the on screen prompt is okay and helps during the melees later in the game.
- While mufti-player action usually isn't a big draw for me, I did try to get into the multi-player area once and kept getting messages that Tomb Raider was unable to find a game. I don't know if that was a temporary server issue or if that reflects not a lot of players available.
- I think most of the replay value of the game is likely to be in the multi-player area along with going back to the island to locate as yet unfound artifacts and solve unsolved puzzles. I have no desire (for now) to play the game over from the beginning.
I had already won this on the 360, but wanted to see how it played on the Xbox One. The achievements wouldn't hurt, but not being an achievement hunter, that wasn't much of a factor.
Game play is pretty much identical. The hair is finer, and more detailed, the water scenes seemed a bit better, but all in all, not having played them next to each other for direct comparison, I really didn't notice anything that jumped out at me otherwise.
But past the comparisons, it's still a fun game to play. I like the paths for advancement, and weapon upgrades. It's nice to get to decide where you want to focus your abilities, since I know some people prefer guns, others prefer the bow, so you can pick what you want to improve first.
Sound is well done, the surround working well on my system. The controls are fine once you get used to them, although I've never been a fan of cinematic movie scenes where you have to press A at the right time, etc...
The puzzles aren't too difficult, so sometimes things are just a bit easy, but the fact that you can wander freely for a lot of the game helps offset that. It's linear where you have to go, but you're not locked in having to follow only the storyline directly, you have freedom to wander.
The landscapes are pretty impressive in some places, amazing detail and it's just visually astounding when you're up on something high looking down.
All in all, if you haven't played this on another system, it's definitely worth getting. If you have, you can easily pass.
on July 14, 2014
The graphics are great, the storyline is surprisingly deep and well-developed. A rarity as in todays game market few games are well-developed in any respect. This game portrays Laura as she was before she gained fame as an twin-gun-wielding bad ass. It starts with what is claimed to be her beginnings and from the way it ends, it appears there are likely more tomb raider games yet to come. The story starts off a little dark and you have to fight to survive, once you get up to speed, you start to get some weapons that can take down most foes. The game mechanics are very good, while some of the enemies are a bit dim-witted, most of them have decent A.I. and put up the right amount of challenge, while the story and excellent graphics keep you engaged. Just for fun, they threw in a few "tombs" which give you some rewards, but nothing exceptional, and offer some additional puzzles that must be solved. The puzzles have just the right amount of complexity, at times being challenging, but never so much so that you feel tempted to toss your controller. All things considered, this game is probably one of the top 5 next-Gen titles that I have played so far, and I have played most of them. I would recommend this title, don't pass it up because you aren't sure, give it a try and you may be surprised just as I was. Hope this review proves helpful.
on May 20, 2014
I dislike giving games a perfect 5, but Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition absolutely deserved it.
I'm a n00b to the Tomb Raider series, and my best friend has been begging me to play them. I figured I would start myself off easy with the reboot (plus I was interested in the next-gen graphics.) One of the best decisions of my life.
You can really feel the leap to next-gen with the graphics of this game. The island, although chaotic, is absolutely beautiful. Cut-scenes means so much more because characters look extremely realistic. The definitive edition looks spectacular.
The gameplay is phenomenal. One of the best things about this game is that you feel that you are ACTUALLY in all the action. My pulse quickened every time I was attempting to stealth my way through a level. The sequences where everything is falling apart around you and you have to keep moving are incredible. Never have I been so a part of a game. Button pressing sequences are brought back in this game, and I think they are done correctly. Combat is great in this game, but it wouldn't be Tomb Raider without tombs, right? Everything to do with tombs was done perfectly. The look of the tomb, Lara's dialogue regarding it, and the puzzles you have to solve in order to get to special chests. The island is littered with tombs, relics, documents, and so much more; get out there and explore!
The storyline was riveting and engaging. I didn't want to put my controller down. The characters are well written and definitely interesting (villains included.) I think they did a fantastic job on Lara. She is everything she should be; intelligent, resourceful, brave, strong, resilient, and of course a total badass. Sam is another character I adore. VOICE ACTING WAS PERFECTION.
I strongly recommending renting this game. Whether you are new to TR or not. It's great for old fans and newbies. This reboot looks incredibly promising. I'm absolutely hooked. A great way to introduce new players and welcome back old vets. Well done, Crystal Dynamics.