Press Start: Tomb Raider (2013, PC)

‘Press Start’ is a new series I will be writing giving in-depth reviews on games I have just completed. This time, I’ll be talking about the first of the reboots in the Tomb Raider franchise, aptly named Tomb Raider. It is, for all intents and purposes, an origins story for Lady Croft (i.e. prequel).

IGN Rating: 9/10
My Rating:
6.5/10

I enjoyed playing – I don’t want, what I can already see will be, my negative review to distract from that – it was a nice bit of escapism and I liked seeing Lara again.

Plot: The biggest issue for me was the plot. Some may say that the Tomb Raider games are formula in the sense: you go somewhere expecting one thing, you find another, lots of people die, you find a treasure, you destroy the evil creature guarding it and the competition that have been tracking your every move and, last but not least, you escape by the skin of your teeth. That’s all well and good but, the entire plot was you, Lara, trying to find Sam, your university buddy, and escaping the island. Useless Sam gets captured not once but twice, and all your other useful close friends die.

So, saying the least, I think there was a lot that could’ve been improved on.

Another issue I had with the companions was that the game didn’t make me want to invest in them. I barely knew any of them and I didn’t find myself caring to. I did grow some attachment to Roth and Grim but, both die early on. Sam annoyed me but, Reyes had a stick so far up her arse she could’ve been classified as a kebab. The Kiwi guy was alright though, already forgotten his name and I watched the end credits literally 5 minutes ago.

Gameplay: The action was kickass and I really enjoyed getting long streams of headshots as well as killing in stealth which was by far my favourite; Lara’s finese is clearly a talent from birth. However, the ‘puzzles’ (i.e. optional tombs and missions to get from a to b) were really really REALLY fucking easy. The term ‘challenge’ did not come into it, ever.

Weapons were, as per the Croft style, awesome. I liked how you could upgrade them and get mods, realistic or otherwise, to really get a firefight started. The key prompts for quick kills, as well as when you’re escaping collapsing buildings/mountain slides, were pretty cool too.

I loved the dual-pistol moment right at the end when you send Mathias straight to hell. I was gutted they hadn’t come in sooner but, that scene was the best in the entire game; and I’m not entirely sure if that was only because he was such creep.

As far as controls go, they were easy and very user-friendly. Using the ‘campsites’ to upgrade gear and skill points again, very easy to use. Collecting units of ‘salvage’ to upgrade said weapons was a little irritating but, understandable. The mini ‘side quests’ (i.e. GPS Caches, Relics, Documents, Minesweeper etc.) were awesome for the completionists out there, of which I am one.

Graphics: It might just be me but, bearing in mind this game came out in 2013, I expected better graphics. And, before you ask, yes I had everything on the highest setting possible. Mass Effect 2 was borderline better, and that came out 3 years previous.

Other: Camilla Ludington I am sure is a lovely person but, I miss Keeley Hawes. Lud’s accent kept going really strange, I know she’s English which is why I’m confused. Some words really did sound almost… Australian? I don’t know. I just wish they’d kept Hawes. I don’t much care for the total redesign but, whatever floats the Square Enix boat.

That’s it from me! Love to hear all your opinions too, and again I do want to reiterate, I did enjoy playing but, it wasn’t the most enthusing or addicting experience of my gaming career so far.

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