Review: Tomb Raider

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of reviews about the new Tomb Raider and although they where all positive I wanted to hold my judgment until I’ve played it myself. I’ve played the older Tomb Raider games a lot back in the days, I was still a kid then so I looked up at Lara and wanted to be here when I grew up (the adventure part, not the boobs because I think I would seriously fall over all the time with those!). Anyway, back then I wanted to be her and now there is a game where she is about my age (most reviewers guess she’s about 20 so that’s pretty close). And, sadly enough, I’m not a tomb raider as I wished so the only way to be one again is to play this game. The only thing I wanted this game to do was emerge me in the world of Lara Croft again and make me feel way more adventurous then I am.

And before I begin just let me say, WAUW! I know that’s not really helpful and all but Wauw just describes this game if you want to say it in one word. Well at least I think so…

A young Lara

So as said before Lara is about 20 years in this game and not as cold and hard as she is in the previous games, all she wants is to go on an expedition with crews and people to help her. Instead, she finds herself stranded and alone most of the time. The fact that she does not always knows what to do is made obvious in the cut scenes and in the way she has to learn pretty much everything. So together with Lara you learn to shoot, kill, get food and so on. This works well, most of the time a game begins with some hero who knows what he’s doing but suddenly doesn’t know anymore when you start to play him so the game can explain the controls and stuff. But with this game you just feel like Lara is learning and you’re helping instead of it being an annoying starting part of the game. If I have to pick something that’s not great about this I would have to say that Lara learns quite quick for a young girl. One moment she’s practically barfing because she just killed a man and a few minutes later she kills them in groups and doesn’t give a f*ck. I would go barf after every kill for a long while before I would get used to that and the fact that she just turns into a killer in no time is a bit hard to swallow.

Shooting and killing

But if you look beyond this “problem” you will find great fun in the shooting that can be done. As we all know I’m a great fan of Far Cry 3, if I play single player I just love to take out enemies silently with a bow or sniper rifle and let tigers out and stuff. Well a lot of those things are found in this game, it’s not the same but it has the things I love so much about Far Cry3! For example, after a few hours of playing I have a bow and a gun. With the bow I can take out enemies silently and make them drop of a cliff so nobody will find them again. I can also throw arrows against a wall to distract enemies (kinda like rocks in Far Cry don’t you think?) or shoot arrows at lanterns to make the fire rain down on the enemy. And if all of it fails and the enemy is right on me I can always shoot its head of with my gun. Oh yeah, all of this can be seen is detail with lots of blood so be warned! But it works and makes the game more fun because it’s more all-round. You’re not just climbing and stuff but you’re also shooting and fighting which combines two things I love into one game.

Jumping, climing and crawling

But all of this shooting doesn’t mean there isn’t any oldschool climbing and jumping to be done. There is lots of that to. In the hours that I’ve played there’s been a great deal of jumping required to get to stuff I needed. And the walking slowly on a small ridge or fallen tree over a gap is also still there. But it’s actually way more fun than the previous games because you always have a goal and you have different ways to get there. Most of the time I’ve played I would have to get something from somewhere. Let’s say there’s something I need on top of the hill. Ofcourse you are going to try and get there but you can get there in a lot (and I mean a lot) of ways. In previous games I was often searching for the point where I could climb something and that took more time than actually doing the climbing and stuff. With this game I just set out and climb stuff and look around, climb some more, set some stuff on fire and climb some more. You will get there one way or the other, but the one way might get you tools and the other more ammo. So it’s not just jumping and climbing because it’s a Tomb Raider game and it’s supossed to be that way, no it’s fun and challenging and it feels way more realistic.

Searching

Also a big part of this game is about searching. First you go out to find a bow and some arrows, after that you can find arrows everywhere if you just take a good look. Collecting these is helpful for obvious reasons. After that you go on a search for food (and to kill a lovely dear, but food is food!). Also important is salvage, you can find salvage everywhere (again if you just look around well enough) and with the salvage you can upgrade your weapons at the campsites. You’re also searching for stuff like letters, these letters explain more about certain people or about the history of the island and its strange people. Beside all this you can search for the tombs that are hidden in the game (of course Tomb Raiders needs tombs and there are tombs to be explored!) or you can search for challenges that you can complete. In the hours that I’ve played I’ve been following the main storyline pretty much the whole time, but during that time I have seen enough stuff I want to look at later. After a while the options comes free to fast travel to any camp you’ve already been to and I just know I’m going to use this. I’ve seen enough crates and other things I want to get when I get the skill to get them. I think this is also a great thing about the game. It’s a free world and you can walk everywhere you want to, you’re compelled to follow the storyline to get more skills and weapons. But you’re not forced to do so and if you don’t feel like it or want to look at that strange hill up ahead you can. You can also get better weapons and skills at the end and with those you will be able to get stuff from the previous visited parts of the island that you couldn’t get before. So even after playing a while, going back will still be useful and will give you new things to do.

Conclusion

If you couldn’t tell already from all I’ve written, I will tell you now. I love this game, it works on all levels (surviving, shooting, jumping and so on) and it doesn’t get boring fast. No, I haven’t finished it yet so maybe it will suck from now on. But I doubt that. I’ve been playing for three hours straight and the only reason I stopped is to write this.
No, maybe I didn’t try to find all the bad things about this game and maybe I am being to happy about this game. But honestly I don’t care. I said at the beginning of this review that for me it’s about being emerged in Lara’s life again and wanting nothing else than find this or that and climb here or there. And this game does exactly that! If you want all the bad things go to some electronics site and I have no doubt that they can point them out. But I’m a gamer and I love to play this game and isn’t that just what we all want? Yeah, so this is my recommendation. If you want a fun game that’s going to make you forget about the time and that doesn’t have any mayor flaws to take away the fun, then play Tomb Raider and you won’t regret it.

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