Tomb Raider Review

Two weeks ago Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics brought us their re-imagining of Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider Franchise. Since then I’ve taken the time to play through this new origin story of such a beloved character. With compelling story and terrific gameplay, I can fully understand why this game won 40+ E3 Awards. This new Tomb Raider follows a young Lara Croft on her first adventure. Out on an expedition to discover the ancient land of Yamatai, the home of the Sun Queen. A nasty storm causes her ship to wreck and leave the crew stranded on a mysterious island. The island is situated in the middle of the Dragon’s Triangle, a location, like the Bermuda Triangle, notorious for missing ships. Immediately on the island Lara gets into trouble with group known as the Solarii. These Solarii are other stranded survivors on the island from previous shipwrecks, that follow a crazy cult leader. The story keeps you guessing from the beginning to the end, with a few twists thrown in just when you think you have the answers. Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider helps you connect with Lara in a different way than ever before, as she becomes the hardened survivor that we all know her to be. The single player story doesn’t disappoint as you help Lara try to escape this terrible place.

The gameplay and control scheme work really well with the style of game that Crystal Dynamics has made for us. It is a slow paced exploration game with a ton of stealth style action. When there are enemies nearby, Lara instantly gets down to a crouched position. This leaves you more time to figure out how to dispatch the enemies quietly rather than figuring out what buttons to hit. While the game utilizes the traditional Tomb Raider puzzle’s we’ve come to expect in the hidden tombs, the main puzzles are more about figuring out how to minimize confrontation with your enemies. The nice part is, you always have more than one way to complete those puzzles. You can sneak around and take out the guards and hostiles slowly and silently, or run in guns blazing and hope for the best.

The entire game takes place on an open world map, where you can go back to previous areas and complete various challenges. Completing these challenges will give you experience, which allows you to unlock more abilities. Along with unlocking new abilities you find salvage that allows you to upgrade your weapons. These upgrades can be anything from a silencer for your pistol to grenade tipped arrows. As we’ve become accustomed in recent years with this kind of game, there are tons of hidden treasures to find in the form of artifacts, documents, and more. Which you’ll need to find all of if you want to get that elusive 100% game. All of these gameplay elements hold well with the single player, but unfortunately fall short with the multiplayer. Its not that the multiplayer is bad, it just doesn’t hold up to the standard the game set in single player. Having been done many times before, there is nothing memorable about the multiplayer except maybe it’s mediocrity, and I don’t see myself venturing back in. It just feels like it’s there as a filler to keep the player playing as new DLC areas get released.

The amount of time that the Crystal Dynamics took to release Tomb Raider really shows, and that isn’t a dig at them. There are a few glitchy moments during the game, but there wasn’t anything that ruined the experience. The single player was really fun, and I cannot wait to explore any possible new DLC tombs that may be released. While the multiplayer falls short of what it could be, that shouldn’t hinder your single player experience or negatively influence your desire to play this game. Everyone should take the time to play Tomb Raider, and see why this game is part of such a beloved franchise. Tomb Raider is one of 2013’s must play games, I promise you will not be disappointed.

Tomb Raider


Developer: Crystal Dynamics

Publisher: Square Enix

Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC

Released: 03/05/2013

Reviews On: Xbox 360

Verdict: A fantastic new take on an old school beloved franchise.

Score: 7

is our note taker, resident rager and rage quitter, and also occasionally writes stuff on One-Quest

You can Email Richie or follow Richie on Twitter @B_Walnuts or Facebook

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