I’ve never played any Tomb Raider games longer than a few hours. Nothing against the franchise, but it never really piqued my interest to continue playing. I understand that Lara is now a house hold name, and the influence she has on gamer girls out there is viable, but my reaction to every game was; meh. Now Crystal Dynamics have rebooted the series, remodeling Lara Croft by giving her a new origin and, in doing so, have quite possibly made the game of the year.
The plot follows the ship Endurance as its crew is out to find a lost Japanese kingdom whose leader was a legendary shaman that many referred to as the Sun Queen. Our young adventurer, Lara, believes the information they need is somewhere in the Dragon’s Triangle. She couldn’t be more right, and they now all wish they never went there. Stuck by strange forces while being hunted by mysterious men who worship the Sun Queen, Lara must try to save her friends before its too late.
When it came to the story I found that it was kind of predictable. I knew what was going to happen before it did, but I wouldn’t say there is a problem with sticking to the basics. If you are going to reboot something don’t go over the top with it, save that for part eight. I loved Lara, though, because she has always been known as a stone-cold bad ass. In the reboot she doesn’t want any of the violence or adventure around her. She is scared, but she is a fighter, and will do what it takes to help her friends.
The gameplay has you using Lara to travel the island while battling enemies, exploring lost caves and surviving the harsh environment around you. When you first begin you have nothing but a bow and frail-looking Lara. By the end of the game, you have a variety of different weapons and Lara looking like a beast ready to pounce on you (which I wouldn’t mind). You gain experience as you play, which you can use to put your points into Lara’s three tier tree to upgrade her fighting skills and use her surroundings to her advantage. This is action packed, and they actually use the quick time events better than other titles that put them in just for the hell of it. The multiplayer is exactly like the campaign using all the same methods as Lara would but you get to play as the other survivors and maniacs from the island.
Graphics were amazing and some of the best I have seen. And the sound quality was great as well. I will say, sadly, that the only thing that annoyed me in this game was that the music was too high, often over lapping the vocals. I needed to put the subtitles on in order to make out what they were saying.
Overall I enjoyed this game, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this will be my game of the year. I could not recommend this enough to you as it would be a shame if you miss out in it. If they continue to go this route I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes one of my favorite series. Pick this up when you can because you won’t regret it. Not only is the single player exciting, but the online is tons of fun with good replay value.