I Played A Game Today… Tomb Raider

tumblr_mjpn5lFl1q1qk2poao1_1280So… this is new, eh? And I’m very excited about it. For a long time I have wanted to branch out and review video games on this site. For one reason or another, the few times I’ve attempted to, I’ve had to abandon the idea. But now, it’s on. Until I get halfway through this and decide to stop. In which case you’ll never read this. But in case you are, I’m really excited that Tomb Raider is the first game I’ve reviewed. It’s one of my favorite series in gaming and this reboot was well worth the wait.

Now, if you are in a gamer than more than likely you know the gist of this revamp of the origins of Lara Croft. The tale begins quite abruptly aboard the Endurance, a research vessel setting out to find the lost kingdom of Yamatai. But out of nowhere the ship gets trapped in a storm and begins to sink.

Now the crew, an interesting assortment of people, must survive on a uncharted island. But they’re not the only ones on the island. It is populated by men who have crashed there and over time have developed a sinister cult. If Lara expects to escape this Lost-esque island, she must quickly learn to adapt to a world that doesn’t want her to.

In the last few years the adventure genre of video games has received a consider revamp with the release of the amazing Uncharted series. But Ms. Croft has always been one to break the mold and she does so brilliantly in this re-imagining of her origins. It is one of the best video games of this generation of gaming and quite possibly of all time.

It’s a very cinematic game, one with exquisite cutscenes and button-mashing. I can only image the days and weeks of work that went into mere seconds of scenes. Not to say that there isn’t more than plenty of action. Much like the aforementioned Uncharted series, this game is a well mixed combination of exploration and shooter. Fighting hordes of men are unrelenting events, events that with one slip-up can leave you waiting for the load screen to finish.

Although unlike that series, Tomb Raider is better laid out. Less running in circles and figuring out “what the hell am I supposed to be doing?” and more “right, what’s the best way to get from point A to point B”. Solving puzzles and the like are smoother, less confusing in the right areas. Problem solving is more the key instead of trying to figure out why something wont stay in place. The same applies to fighting dynamics, which I’ve always believed to be one of the pitfalls of Uncharted.

Going back to the aesthetic beauty of this game, one of the oddly beautiful aspects is the dirty and scarifying changes Lady Croft goes through. Make no mistake, Lara is a punching bag in this game. She gets stabbed, beaten, burned, falls from great heights… I’m sure I’m missing something else. At the end of the game she looks like hell, with muck and cuts and blood and bruises, and all the more beautiful for it. She truly is a heroic and driven character, one that proves to those uneducated that women do indeed hold a place in gaming outside of eye candy and objects of sexuality. Which has been the whole point of Lady Croft since she was created in 1996. Well, mostly.

I’ll admit, I was very disappointed when it was announced more than a year ago, when Tomb Raider was originally meant to be released, that the game was getting delayed. It is a series I’ve grown up playing. But I’m glad to say it was well worth the wait. Not for younger gamers for sure, unless you’re just a parent who doesn’t care. In which case, you suck.

So, this was fun, eh? Branching out on this site is the mission for this site this year. Film reviews will still be the main focus but it’s both fun and challenging to do to step out of that realm. Hope you feel the same.

Verdict: Buy it!

*Rated M for Mature (+17) for Blood and gore, intense violence, and strong language. Available for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC.

**Was played on XBox 360.

***Poster by 187 Designz

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One Response to “I Played A Game Today… Tomb Raider”

  1. Great review!

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