So much like the previous Tomb Raiders, this reboot of the series is an action/3rd person shooter jumping game with added gameplay elements like QTE (Quick-Time Events). I felt like this game was uncharted done right, the cameras were all positioned correctly it was a mix of QTE’s, scripted events and jumping puzzles. On top of that the combat was done really well for more modern cover based shooters. Instead of sprinting into cover whenever Lara got close to something she would get behind it naturally. For example if you got close to a ledge she would start to crouch when you got near it but unlike other cover based shooters, you didn’t stick to the cover so you could move about freely. This made walking around and fighting very seamless and a lot more enjoyable than hitting a button to get from cover to cover.
Also there is a small upgrade system for both Lara’s skills and weapons. Throughout the game you can pick up salvage that if you have enough can upgrade her weapons to benefit them in some sort of way. Her different skills vary from getting more from salvaging, being better with a certain type of weapon or getting different abilities during dodging. They don’t overload you with too much but still there is enough here to make the singleplayer last a while without even touching the multiplayer.
You are Lara Croft, the famous Archeologist from many of the other games and movies but a much younger version. This is before she became what she was in many other games and she has lots of companions from a reality TV show with her. They are out in the southeast Japanese sea looking for where princess Himeko was lost and what happened to them. When Lara’s group gets close to what they call the “Dragon’s Triangle,” The ship is wrecked by a strange storm. Lara later finds out that those storms prevent anyone from arriving and leaving the island at all. So in order to survive and leave Lara must find what mysterious power is holding them there. To make matters worse there is another group of men there that are some sort of cult that are trying to escape themselves and Lara must fight them to find out about the mysterious of the past.
What really adds to how well this game was done as a reboot is that Lara isn’t sexualized at all. She is a strong, independent character that gets absolutely beat up half the time but keeps pushing on. You watch her get thrown every which way and all you can think is “how can she keep getting up and pushing on like that.” Well she has friends to save which is a very enduring quality that hasn’t been seen in a female protagonist in games in a very long time.
This is one of the better looking games to date and it looks absolutely stunning on PC especially with the new feature called TressFX which allows Lara’s hair to move around like each hair strand has a mind of its own. Unfortunately it is still a bit buggy and can allow for some hilarity as the hair goes crazy some times. The game even has its bugs on most Nvidia cards and if you have older drivers it can be even worse. But otherwise this is a very pretty game, there are a lot of graphics options to choose from and I hope it is a standard when it comes to how PC games are ported from now on.
The music in the game is all orchestral composed and it really adds to the whole “movie in a game” feel to Tomb Raider. I enjoyed listening to the various tracks and it really set the mood where ever you went during the game. This game also sounded really nice on my 7.1 G35 headset (buy at your local amazon.com, just kidding) and I would recommend if you have a nice headset or system to let the game go free in what it plays.
Overall this game was really well done and it seems that Squarenix has done really well with their western releases as of lately including Deus Ex: HR, Hitman and Tomb Raider. I would say that if Squarenix decided to release more western games through their Eidos acquisition you should seriously consider getting that game.