Tomb Raider PC Review
Combat, Exploration, and Puzzle solving, 3 defining elements of the Tomb Raider series, lately a fair few gaming franchises has gotten themselves rebooted, DmC, and X COM amongst others, and it’s time for gaming’s sexiest, adventuring, tomb raiding, heroine to take a shot at her own revamped, and reimagined adventure, enter Tomb Raider.
Tomb Raider is the story of a young Lara croft heading out for her first adventure, but things go awry as the ship she boards sinks and leaves her, and a few of her friends and crew members stranded on an island that makes Jurassic park look like Disney land. The story mainly focuses on Lara’s transformation from frightened young college graduate to badass adventurer, along the way we see her as a real human being, bruised, battered, scarred, and tormented, getting the same amount of punishment as any overly manly men of today’s gaming protagonists, but not shrugging it off as easy. The story balances well on Lara’s character development and the mystery held within the island, where the plot goes from simple survival to bat shit crazy cults and mass murdering samurai warriors, but crazy in a good way, as in interesting and still keeping it with general logics, sort of.
The gameplay side of things doesn’t really synch with the things Lara experiences, the ‘surviving the island’ stage just takes up about an hour of the meaty campaign, after that point on, it’s all about finding a way off the island with mass murdering goons fitted in between, you no longer need to eat or drink or anything else, that is all in the cutscenes, so survival is clearly not what you’re dealing with here, since you can go days without killing wildlife for food and can still survive a rain of bullets from an AK. The gameplay also suffers from linearity, where obeying to Lara’s instinct is rewarded with beautiful and flawless gameplay, and disobedience is awarded by frustration and a lot of dying, so that means that when prompted to kill a room full of gun wielding goons you should just stick to what the game is trying to tell you. The platforming is complimented by the smooth and realistic character animations, and as well as some light puzzle solving that doesn’t really present much of a challenge as long as you listen to your-ahem-Lara’s instincts. The combat is varied and fun, constantly changing from epic fire fights and stealthy killing, your arsenal progresses in a way that mirrors Lara’s own character development, early on you’ll start with a make-shift bow and animal hunting, to grenade launcher wielding, pick axe swinging, shotgun pumping, heroine that can kill a man twice her size and a the army that goes with him. Not that all of this isn’t fun, it constantly feels like the design of the levels discourage creative input from the player, and just tells us to do as the game says and watch all the marvelous stuff happening, which really is marvelous, but could’ve been better had it just been more interactive.
The graphics are truly beautiful, the island’s many tombs looking amazing, and the island itself basking in its own natural beauty, which is also complimented with the treesFX, that somehow makes Lara’s hair look more realistic. The PC version also has it’s necessary options, textures, anti aliasing, all the good stuff is here and accounted for as well as ‘Hair Quality’ for all you people who love shampoo ads, the game is well optimized, as in ‘I can run it in my crappy rig’ optimized, and overall a good PC game graphically.
Lara Croft is back and kicking, showing more life than it has been for a few years, with a completely new Lara, and a new exciting adventure. For me, the game was a spectacle, showing me a different Lara than the buxom sex symbol I used to know, and giving players the stuff that made Tomb Raider the genre defining game that it is, it might suffer from constant linearity but I’m sure it won’t have any problems getting some old, and new fans ready to take on the island.