Tomb Raider Review

Tomb Raider Review

Even though the Tomb Raider franchise hasn't always been at the forefront of gaming, nobody can deny its sheer power. Sporting the most recognisable female protagonist around in Lara Croft, it's been able to go through numerous changes in direction and brand, while also having a change in studio in the middle. Lesser franchises would have folded, but Tomb Raider is rather resilient. And it's something which Crystal Dynamics have been keen to showcase with their plucky, younger version of Lara Craft in the latest iteration of the Tomb Raider franchise.

Previous Tomb Raider games have focussed on a hardened, confident version of Lara Croft, but in this reboot, there's a strong emphasis on her youth. This is a story about how Lara Croft became who she is.

Trying to follow in her father's footsteps, Lara sets out on her first expedition. They're attempting to find the lost Japanese kingdom of Yamatai and if all goes well, they hope to sell their expedition to TV channels. All doesn't go well though, and after entering into a part of the sea known as the "Dragon's Triangle", their ship is ripped apart and they become stranded on an unknown island.

This island turns out to be the exact place they were looking for, but they aren't alone. There are a group of people living on the island who're lead by a man named Mathias. The super natural also comes into play and the story revolves around Lara trying to stop Mathias, while attempting to uncover exactly what's behind the freakish weather.

It's a decent plot and the introduction of a cast of characters makes the experience feel more complete. Not everything goes to plan and although the game doesn't delve too much into the back story of the other characters, the situation lends credence to what they have to go through.

In the early stages of the game, you will find yourself just trying to survive. After washing up on shore, you're captured and forced to escape from a rather grimy part of the island. It sets the scene in a fantastic way, as you're lost, alone and clinging to life. It's ironic really, because once you manage to meet up with one of the other survivors, it becomes more a mission about rescue than survival. Lara makes a quick transformation from someone who seems rather scared and out of her depth, someone who feels terrible remorse about killing a deer for food, to someone who has little problem taking down a horde of psycho killers.

It feels as though the game lost its way a little bit with this - the transformation of Lara Croft feels a little fast-tracked somehow.


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