Legendary Reviews

Tomb Raider

Rating: 8.5

Genre: Action
Platforms: X Box 360, PS3, and PC
Rating:
Written by: Joe Urso

Related:

Assassin’s Creed 3 Review

Ah, Tomb Raider – or better yet, ah, Lara Croft. This beautiful, sexy, and dangerous adventurer as we all know her finally explains her roots of exploration in the latest Tomb Raider. Think of it as a Star Wars film, and how the story line is backwards and all. So for you Tomb Raider fans never quite understanding Lara’s origins, now’s the time to find out!

Story: The game sets off as a young Lara Croft, on an archeology ship with a crew of archeologists. Lara and the crew are headed to this mysterious ancient Japanese island in which nobody ‘really’ knows the whereabouts. Lara and her team have done enough researching to pin point some sort of region where it might be, and they head there. Basically there’s this huge storm that comes out of nowhere, and before you know it, the boat crashes on a mysterious island, and Lara’s crew is immediately attacked by the inhabitants. Come to find out, the island they crashed on, is the one they were looking for (didn’t see that one coming, now did you?). The story line is really straight forward from here. Basically Lara needs to rescue her crew members (or as many as she can) while striving to survive herself. The main purpose of this game was really to explain Lara’s roots and her real first hardcore adventure. Don’t expect a massive paradox of events that leads you to obtain dementia. As you cross this uncharted island, fighting both beast and human, you can raid hidden tombs along the way, and collect cool stuff that one could present for show and tell in their history class. Overall the story was extremely straight forward, yet I didn’t expect much from a Tomb Raider game. Naturally there will be intense moments and unpredictable events, however, this doesn’t really change the story aspect much.
Rating: 6

Character Development: Considering this Tomb Raider is about Lara’s roots, and her ‘first’ hardcore adventure, I was expecting a load of development in her personality and actions. Lara at first is this really cute and curious young women, who can barely hold a gun right. She’s never murdered a soul, and all she wants to do is find some really old stuff and have a really cool field trip. However, as events play out, Lara is tested heavily in her survival skills to escape the island and save her crew mates. She immediately needs to learn first aid to patch open wounds, she needs to learn how to wield a gun (and shoot one), and needs to learn how to escape sticky situations. Lara finally murders someone relatively early on in the game, and man does she feel terrible. She wasn’t even sure how to react, she had never spilt blood before. However, she realizes her fate and the need for her to kill and make judgments she normally wouldn’t. Lara becomes hardened, and is fine with killing her enemies. She faces tough decisions on whether to rescue or let go other people. The character development is wonderful in Tomb Raider because you really and truly feel for Lara, as her personality and emotion is expressed in such exquisite ways.
Rating: 10

Gameplay: The gameplay mechanics of Tomb Raider of pretty revolutionary. It took surviving to a whole new level. You almost feel as If it’s actually you struggling for survival (that is, if you’re a sexy young English woman out for  adventure). There’s climbing, swinging, jumping, dodging, and solving all put together. There are interactive cut scenes which may require you to grab onto something quickly, or kick off an animal or enemy. These will definitely keep you on your feet at all times, so beware. One thing I didn’t like was the shooting of the game. The game is mostly adventure, so the shooting isn’t a huge aspect, however, it was pretty bad. The gun sounds and flash were just awful. I used my bow and arrow almost the whole game because that was the most satisfying part of combat for me. The guns just aren’t realistic enough, even though the rest of the game is so realistic. The AI is pretty intense. Your enemy will wield many different types of weapons, and will sometimes switch weapons according to what would be more effective. They’ll run from cover to cover, especially if you have your weapon pointed in their direction. This makes the AI very aggressive and at points a tough enemy to face. In strong numbers Lara needs to be very careful, because health is not in bulk and like I said the shooting isn’t too great. As far as graphics go, the game is absolutely stunning. Lara is beautiful, and her body is very well made. I have to stop every now and then just to look at it. The environment around you is stunning, and the lighting is beautiful as well. Naturally there are a few things that don’t look all that good, but no game is perfect. Now let’s talk about the ‘leveling’ system. As Lara explores, she earns experience points which level her further. When she levels, she gains skill points to spend on survival. There are various campsites scattered throughout the island which Lara will sit at and can fast travel to and from. At these campsites she uses her skill points to ready herself, upgrade weapons, and potentially change costumes. The way Lara can upgrade weapons is through salvage. Salvage is scattered throughout the island, and as Lara gathers it, she can spend it to upgrade her multitude of weapons, and when she finds certain weapon parts, she can give it a complete upgrade. The whole weapon upgrade seemed very unrealistic to me, as she would turn a Japanese WWII sub-machine gun into an AK-47 with a few parts. However, as the fighting aspect isn’t too taxing, that makes up for the whole weapon upgrade. The multiplayer is relatively good. It has those generic modes and goals. However, don’t expect it to last. Games like these have multiplayer servers that will likely be empty in a few months.
Rating: 9.5

Pros:
DotGreat adventure
DotLarge emotional and personal development
DotBeautiful world
DotRealistic movement
DotRealistic survival skills

Cons:
DotStory too straightforward
DotWeapon system in need of vast improvement
DotMultiplayer improvement needed

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