dimsey's Tomb Raider (Xbox 360) review

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A pretty good slice of action/adventure gaming and a great way to kick off the franchises reboot.

The Rad

  • Good balance of combat, puzzle solving and platforming.
  • Good characterization, voice acting.
  • Great visuals.

The Bad

  • Unnecessary multiplayer.
  • Open world and survival aspects severely downplayed.

Tomb Raider is one of those franchises that I don’t have a lot of experience with. When I was a kid I played the first game, but never got anywhere. Of course I’ve seen the movies, but the only Tomb Raider game prior to now that I’d played to completion was Legends. And that was pretty good in it’s own right.

I’m not entirely sure Tomb Raider needed rebooting but regardless of necessity, the game still turned out pretty great.

You could say that it borrows liberally from the Uncharted games, but then on the outset you’d have said Uncharted borrowed a lot from Tomb Raider - so fair’s fair. That and the 360 doesn’t really have anything comparable to Uncharted aside from Tomb Raider, so more of that is not entirely unwelcome.

The early previews implied that this would be an open world game with a heavy focus on survival. In my mind this conjured images of being somehow akin to UnReal World. Alas the world isn’t so open and survival is more a theme than a basis for any gameplay mechanics.

I mean you CAN hunt animals, but only for scrap that you’ll use to upgrade your weapons - the game doesn’t go as far as requiring you to eat or anything. This makes it more accessible but I’ve gotta say I’m a bit disappointed they didn’t take the risk of going further down that route.

And the world isn’t as open as you might want, in fact it’s rather linear.

It’s somewhat Metroid-vaniaesque in that throughout the game you’ll get new tools or weapons that you’ll need to backtrack a bit to use to access previously inaccessible areas.

And the game does offer you incentive to explore in the form of a variety of collectibles such as relics or diaries, which flesh out the games characters and story. But while there’s a little room to explore, it’s not as much as I’d have hoped.

It’s easy to belly-ache about what the game isn’t, but that doesn’t take away from what it is. And that’s a pretty fantastic action-adventure game.


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