Decided to finally tackle this franchise after my recent Uncharted series replay. Tomb Raider doesn't match the polish of those games, or even approach it, but the game is fun in its own right.
Traversal is fine, though not nearly as smooth as more modern games or as the UC series. Gunplay is fine, getting better later in the game. I enjoy using the signature bow.
The environments are great and the setting is enjoyable. The plot outline and the island concept are fun, but the story loses me in some of the details. The characters are pretty lame, even fan favorites like Jonah don't have much to them. They feel like C-list movie characters. Again, compare that to the wonderful characters of Uncharted. Lara isn't even that interesting in this game.
The tombs are fun but WAY too small and far between, with rewards that aren't very exciting. The reward is solving the puzzle itself, which means they ought to have more complicated puzzles. At least offer a basic puzzle to introduce the tomb concept, then a challenging take on that concept. It shouldn't be Zelda dungeons but it would have been better with more design effort on the tombs.
I wish they had leaned more into the Metroidvania aspects. You gain new methods of traversal but you don't really do much in the way of travelling back over the map to access areas you couldn't before, you simple start seeing new obstacles that require the new skills. That's not really very interesting.
All-in-all a solid adventure to introduce the new take on the legendary Lara Croft. Some tweaks could have helped, especially to characterization and tomb integration. The game feels kinda like Uncharted 1 in that it hasn't come into it's own yet and needs more polish. Boy oh boy do they deliver with the sequel, just like Naughty Dog did years ago.
Played December 2020