Almost a year ago the world was introduced to a brand new Lara Croft. I was one of the people who ran out that day and threw down my $60 to see Lara's new adventure for myself. Here I am nearly a year later having invested another $60 into the game along with numerous hours.
It was all worth it. As soon as the credits rolled I was so ready to adventure more with Lara. I think the reason I enjoy the game so much is because for at least me the game does such a good job at selling Lara as a character. Her character arc is pretty good going from a naive scared relevantly inexperienced archaeologist to a confident survivor who rescues her best friend Sam from the clutches of an absolute lunatic. Now I'm sure you'll argue about "Narrative Ludo blah blah blah" and yes Lara's body count by the end of the game does in fact go against the story that the narrative is building. It is sort of a shame but its never been anything that bothered me too much.
Now if you didn't already pick up on it I played through the Definitive Edition. I got to say its REALLY weird to me to see old pictures of Lara. Her new face is so improved over the previous one. She looks so off in the old version.
Speaking of Lara I might as well address something that people have talked about a lot. The incredibly violent deaths that Lara faces. I know I've been told by some friends that the graphic nature of Lara's deaths is the thing that put them off from playing. Which, I think is a shame. On the other hand if these violent deaths disturb you then well bravo you're not a psychopath. They are supposed to.
I think that the violence is uncomfortable for sure but I also think it IS necessary. I don't think the narrative of Lara's arc works as well without them. Hear me out. This story's pretty obvious thematic element is one of survival. By the end of the journey your almost as tired and mentally beat up as Lara is. They put her through absolute hell and I think that is why Lara as a character works. If we don't see what horrible end can befall us what is the impetus for survival then? It helps drive that point along.
The other discussion surrounding this game has been the XB1 vs PS4 debate. And let me tell you I think 60 frames does matter a whole lot. I found myself being able to aim much more smoothly than in the PS3 version I had played previously. Sure, some of that could be due to the DS4 being incredibly superior to the DS3 however higher frame rate does allow for smoother aiming which is key as you are gunning down dudes on a regular basis.
The game also just is a real looker. I won't get into the debate vs the PC because obviously the PC will win the resolution and frame rate war with no trouble at all. However, there are physics and small details that do appear in the Definitive version that don't in the PC that are pretty impressive and when you add it all up are up to par with the PC version on most things.
I've also dabbled in the multiplayer and that well I guess is there? Its not horrible but I'm not sure that I think its all that great either. The characters move really weirdly compared to how lara's movement feels in the main game. This isn't horribly surprising considering that two entirely different studios did each part of the game. I think it has potential though. If a sequel does hit I think they could polish the multiplayer to the level where it might be that something that mattered.
I'm sort of sad now really because I've beaten the game 100% collected every trinket and done every single single player trophy. I'm also going to go ahead and say if you've enjoyed this game at any point you should really look up and watch the entire "Final Hours of Tomb Raider" that Geoff Keighly put together. Its a really good look at the making of the game. Also, I think Camilla Luddington is an absolutely amazing voice actress. I do hope she makes her return as Lara in the future. Really optimistic for the future of this franchise.