stealthmaster86's Tomb Raider (PlayStation 3) review

Crystal Dynamic's reboot of the Tomb Raider series is a success.

It's actually risky to reboot an iconic character. Not only do you need to bring fresh ideas, but to make sure that he character still has those traits that make the character memorable in the first place. Ninja Theory's Devil May Cry tried to reboot the Character of Dante with mixed results. Now Crystal Dynamics attempts to reboot Lara Croft in Tomb Raider.

For the first time in 17 years, Lara feels like a real person. She is unsure of herself, cares for others, and feels pain as the events of the game pans out. Very few games allow having the character abused as much as Lara has. Past games from the series have Lara escape death, and she doesn't even have a scratch. Not even Nathan Drake gets a cut. You see the damage Lara gets throughout the game. Not only does Lara get through a blender, but we feel her pain as well.

LAWSUIT ISLAND

Tomb Raider has a lot of homages to The Descent

The set pieces are a sight to be seen, it even rivals that of the Uncharted series. From escaping from a burning building to parachuting down a tree infested mountain side. Her will to survive allows her to come back stronger than ever. By the end of the game, Lara Croft has never been this bad ass. There is not a lot of weapons to choose from, but the weapons you do get you will use. There is not a weapon you will not use. There are ways to upgrade your weapons and deal out more damage.

Finding salvage and weapon parts will maximize your weapons. Finding relics, journals, and GPS caches will give you experience to upgrade yourself, by the end of the game, you can deal melee damage.

The combat is fast and exciting; the game is challenging, but never frustrating. Each fight that comes with it feels hefty and real. Each bullet and arrow that flies passed your head feels earned. It's a thrilling experience that most games strive for. The light stealth is excellent and very satisfying. You can complete full section using only stealth. Cover is the best around. When enemies are nearby, Lara will cover down automatically and it has a sense of realism. No button is needed. The enemies will do the same. They will flank you or rush you and it never feels old.

PLACE HERE AND THERE

Lara Croft can survive almost anything.

As you progress through the game, you will come across tombs. There is not as much as I hoped for, but they do allow a mixture among action and puzzles. There is a focus mode called Survival Instinct, but a part of finding the way point, I hardly used it. The Survival Instinct provides the pieces to the puzzle, not the solution. In the game you can explore the whole island. While the game is leaner, it doesn't feel like it with its many places to find. Moving around is fast and fun while using the pick axe is a blast to do. Lara movies as you would expect someone will do, if she trips her body will have a response to it. Lara Croft's story to protégé to Survivor is an interesting one; it's not about looking for tombs, but her will to survive.

The side characters are not the most fleshed out, but they are interesting. The parallel between Lara and Mathias is interesting and the focus point of the game. As one goes mad with the will to survive, the other finds themselves stronger than ever. What helps this new Lara is the new actress playing her. I hope that we see more of her as Lara in the future. This is a rare game where the guns have power behind them. The game is not the most detailed, but it still looks great.

THE WALLS ARE COMING DOWN

Don't expect anything like this.

Not every game is perfect, there was this one moment where I died because the platform I was on did not load properly, and another where I got lost and could not find my way out. That happened in my second play through. It was after I met Grim, and I had to start over again. There is a lot of Quick Time Events in the game, but it becomes less so as the game continues. There is a weird save system where the game saves all the time, but you cannot do it manually. Nearly everything you do, the game will save. I would have liked it more if the fire camps was the save point like in Dark Souls.

The biggest problem with Tomb Raider is the lack of Carry Over. After you beat the game, you cannot bring your stats with you into a new game. If this had carry over, then searching for all the little trinkets the game has would have been worth it. Some of the problems are glaring, but they do not detract the overall feel of the game. The length of the game is awesome clocking around ten to 13 hours, more if you decide to find everything. Crystal Dynamics has not only given us a refreshing take on Lara Croft and Tomb Raider, but a fantastic Action Adventure game. It's too soon to tell, but I can see this being in my Game of the Year list by the end of the year. A worthy entry to the series.

5 Comments
Posted by Lysergica33

Cool article! However, I just thought I should point out that Tomb Raider's and Dark Souls' save systems are basically the same. You don't save at the bonfires in Dark Souls, it autosaves 30 seconds or minute or so, just as it does in Tomb Raider. If you were to quit out of Dark Souls without being at a bonfire and reload the game you'd find yourself at the exact same place you were before..

Aside from that, awesome read. :)

Posted by JazGalaxy

I have one question that no review I have read answers.

I hate Uncharted. Should I play Tomb Raider?

I only played uncharted 3, but in the short time I played it, I felt frustrated and annoyed. I wasn't in control of Drake, I was guiding him to where the game wanted to, and if I ever stepped off that path even a few inches, even if it LOOKED like I could go that direction, the game reset and forced me back on the right path. Specifically the section where Drake is running from rooftop to rooftop and dodging goons. There were plenty of directions I could go that had no villians blocking my path, but the game would reset FOR NO REASON just because "no, that's not the way we want you to go, go this way".

Is Tomb Raider like that? because I love TR but have no interest in playing a game like that ever again.

Posted by dr3day

@jazgalaxy don't waste your money bro that's exactly the type of experience you're going to have with tomb raider... It's very much modeled after uncharted.

Edited by cloudnineboya

@dr3day: false answer this tomb raider is far more open than uncharted 3 @JazGalaxy so you should give it a go if not rent to find out if ya like it, i really enjoyed this TR . plus regards to uncharted 3 it was the worst of the series 1and 2 give you much more freedom and are excellent games

Edited by Neurotic_X

@jazgalaxy:

I really enjoyed Uncharted 1 and 2, UC2 being the best of the series but I did not enjoy Uncharted 3. Does that answer your question. :P x) UC2 was fantastic. UC3 didn't hit home with me.

Tomb Raider is darn good. I would rate it a 9.0/10.

@stealthmaster86

Nicely done, mate!

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