on 6 March 2013
1 Player Offline
2-8 Network players online
Requires: 6MB Minimum of free Hard drive space
Developed By Crystal Dynamics & Eidos Montreal
Published By Square Enix
Difficulty rating based on menu, controls and overall level design. 7/10 (Above average gamer)
Shipwrecked on a savage island surrounded by animals, mercenaries and huge Samurai warrior's; the Endurance crew find themselves tortured and killed for the sake of the island identifying the next ruler of its Kingdom. With Sam now being chosen as the lead vessel to transport the Sun Queen, Himiko over; Lara Croft must do what ever it takes to try and save her and get the crew back to safety. Lara Croft must endure countless enemies, rough terrain's with varied heights and then endure wet and cold weather left over by the storm; but it will take guts and sheer determination in order to overcome it.
We first see Lara Croft in an underground cavern after the whole shipwreck thing; So one of the things I noticed was how vulnerable she appears. No longer do I see a tough & confident Lara, but I now see her as being fragile and over emotional. So that being said; the characterisation of Lara has greatly improved from the past Tomb Raider's, however the secondary cast are not much different in personality to that of Winston, Alistair or Zip featured on Legend & Underworld, respectively. The story its self is played out in its basic form, only by its current history; so don't expect Lara's fully changed back story to be explained in this because the majority of it is left out. One of things you may of noticed, when you select new game is the "Turning Point" trailer being used in the opening sequence; this for me, wasn't good because I would've liked to see Lara's background being featured, maybe showing her being at University and then meeting the crew of the Endurance and then followed by a step by step of what happened during the Endurance disaster. Different meeting's that took place on board the ship would be explained during game progression and through various memo's or log's found throughout the island. Anyway the story has you hooked from the minute you play this game, so it's awarded 9/10.
The graphics take on a more darker tone in quality, with there being a lot of dark colour's being applied to paint and textures like dark greens and dark browns for the forest elements, etc. Lara Croft looks more grungier than in previous iterations, as she now looks roughed up, battered and bruised. The fire and water though can be identified in quality as to what you would've seen already in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. So the graphics in this game are great altogether; so it's awarded 8/10
Gameplay: Lara Croft
Lara Croft in balance, is more sturdy than Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series because she doesn't float about when walking and she would never slip off the edge like he will or like what Lara did previously in her other Tomb Raider game's. Her ready stance is much more improved than Nathan Drake too i.e. she would automatically take cover when she's sees danger approaching, however you still need to direct her to a low wall for her to do this; but the way this was designed, was to hopefully take some pressure off the gamer. With Lara being an over-emotional wreck, you would often hear her say "I can do this" which is a tell-tail sign that the gamer can probably do it too, which is good. Practically anything you thought you would do in this game... can be done providing you're not daft with common sense ie making her jump to a platform 5 miles away. Lara Croft can open objects for no apparent reason, just to gain points to upgrade her self and her weapons and she can hunt animals just for the sake off tormenting the WSPA and to beat the high score set by Bear Grylls for the total number of animals slaughtered, seriously though; this is primarily used to gain more points too. Certain collectibles can be part of challenges to i.e. shoot down so many lantern's which would award Lara with extra points after completing the overall challenge. So gameplay sees Lara Jumping, Climbing, zip-lining, hunting, fighting and escaping from freaks that try to kill her. So overall, Lara sees a score of 8/10
Lara Croft has so many weapons, but her primary weapon she'll always switch back to, would be to her cross-bow. The cross-bow is perfect for stealth kills, pulling, setting things on fire and for creating zip wires; However the Cross-bow is least effective during routine combat, as its slow loading mechanism would slow you down and cater to the enemies advantage. One good tip if you're left with this weapon; is to always aim for the leg first and then go in for the axe kill, provided you've got an axe at hand that is. Other weapons include: an assault weapon, handgun, Grenade Launcher and Rifles. Lara Croft's hand to hand combat is non-existent, but when an enemy is kneeling over after being shot in the leg, they provide an opportunity for Lara, so she can kill them instantly, by you pressing triangle, it would involve strangulation, stabbing the enemy or shooting the enemy at point blank range. On various cinematic cutscenes, there are times when Quick Time Event's are used; these are buttons that appear on screen and you must press the desired button at the right moment, otherwise it could result in Lara dying. So with combat being good but without having hand-to-hand combat, this element of gameplay has scored 7/10
Gameplay: Tomb Raiding
Ah... where would Lara be without tombs? In this game apparently. Yes; tombs have been shoved to the bottom of the suggestion board, after a long stint being centre stage in previous Tomb Raider's. The tombs are pretty much a side quest now rather than being the centre focal point of the story, but with that being said, they're still not that good. As seen in Assassin's Creed II; the tombs feature some sort of puzzle in which you solve, this is basically Lara rearranging the room, so she can get from point A to point B, B being a room with candles and nice looking chest with some measley points activated after you open it. Assassin' Creed II applies the same elements but in a more extravagant way with the tombs looking more polished and more tomb-ish. For the end result in Assassin's Creed II, Ezio even pull's out of the chest a missing disc used to get his costume later on; but with Lara in Tomb Raider, she doesn't get anything out. The whole process of doing tombs in this way and on this game is just sheer pointless. Hell even Resident Evil 5 does tomb raiding better; so after that bombshell, Tomb Raiding is awarded 2/10
Everywhere, every couple of inches or practically near her feet, These extras are used to collect points which are then used to upgrade Lara, her weapons and to progress further in the game. You smash them open with an axe, some you'll have to burn them to set them free and still smash them with an axe or you'll come across some random challenges i.e. kill a load of animals, light a bunch of Buddha's or collect flowers. Lara doesn't gain anything other than points so don't expect Lara to show you what she'd picked up... "Any treasure, Lara"; no there isn't any. Some may welcome this element with open arms, but others might see it as complete distraction, like me.
Collecting various objects can be alright when they're scattered across the island, but everywhere you look; that's too much. so I'm split down the middle on this part and it's awarded 5/10
The campsites which you'll come across, act as a checkpoint for the game to auto-save, a place to upgrade Lara, weapons and on the majority of campsites; fast travel. A way to upgrading Lara is found in the skill section. The Skill section features both survival upgrades and Lara's personal upgrades. Various survival upgrades can be purchased through how many of skills you've earned, on things like: Increase survival instinct which is used to identify enemies, animals & collectible items. Lara's Personal upgrades feature things like: Increased stamina or survive longer in combat. Whilst weapon upgrades are primarily used to do up existing weapons for things like: Stronger bow, increase ammunition and to give the weapons more power overall. The fast travel found at most but not all campsites can be used to navigate the island quickly, though not used much during the actual game, you may want to use it more when you come to visit the island after the main story has finished to collect items that you've missed. This gameplay element is good, so it's awarded 9/10
The game features pretty much what Uncharted: Drake's Fortune had, and that's with Lara being bomb-barded by a sheer number of ruthless intelligent enemies that come out of every orifice, turning a nice game that has potential into another generic Third-Person Shooter. The game likes to think of its self as a Survival-Adventure, but it's more survival Horror than any Action-Adventure I'm used to seeing because the story is dark, somewhat scary and overwhelming at times leading me to go into panic mode, whenever I see an enemy dodging, running or multiplying; terrible I know, but I never thought I'd see Tomb Raider this way. When I think Tomb Raider; I think animals large or small, I think beautiful tombs, I see Artifacts and I see a beautiful Lara Croft, but all of that mentioned weren't visible in this game apart from the animals that suddenly disappeared after being present one moment in the game (Near Beginning), so for a game that's called Tomb Raider and with the game not featuring any tombs; it results in the game being rubbish, When in actual fact it was pretty good but for the reasons of being an entirely different game to what it says on the box. If the majority of people who gave this game 5 stars actually said "Tomb Raider" over and over and then looked at this game, they would say "This isn't Tomb Raider" some of the reviewers on here have done exactly that and I'm not gonna' change that fact. I mean how hard can it be to give us a game with same combat, same level of innovation that went into the story, longevity with great graphics and most importantly to centre the game around artifacts & Tombs. Tomb Raider has to mean something... right?
Earning 3 Stars overall