Mini-Review: Tomb Raider – Oh Yes!

tombraiderIt isn’t 1996 any longer. While there have been many Tomb Raider games since then, none have lived up to the standard set by the first two games. And with Uncharted coming to take the torch, how precisely can a reboot live up with the legacy of both UC and TR? By doing precisely what they’ve done in this game.

And Uncharted IS important because it took a formula and perfected it. Its second entry is probably my favorite game of this generation. Its third iteration, however, didn’t live up to the standard set by the first two games. Sound familiar? (Plus, we’ve talked about thistwice!) As Lara Croft scrambled to safety in the 2013 reboot, I was a character who was real. No more one-liners after murdering two dozen swarming enemies. It’s not that Nathan Drake is unlikeable; it’s quite the opposite. It’s just that by the third time, it was all expected. We knew we’d be dangling by one arm at least six times. Every action sequence felt familiar the intensity was thereby reduced. When Lara first killed a person, it was a big deal. The intense moments in Tomb Raider were intense! The entire journey was a remarkable one; even if it felt like UC a few times (which itself felt like TR a few times).


Lara was a mess. She was hurt. Her pain felt real. The visuals in the game were positively incredible, the sound outstanding. The gameplay was impeccable and FUN. The weapons were powerful. Their customizable evolution was perfectly executed. I felt a draw to the history, the lore. The locales were lush and vast. I listened to the audio logs. The collectibles fit within the world created. I went back to collect GPS caches, using my new-found abilities to unlock new paths. More than once during my adventure I stated, “This represents everything I love about videogames!”

This review is pretty simple. The game absolutely rules and is one of my favorites in a long time. In retrospect, I’m stuck trying to find a weakness. Perhaps more diverse enemies would be nice. I guess the biggest problem is how to deal with a sequel but who cares about that now? Tomb Raider has somehow returned to form, copying and trumping a game that copied and trumped it in the first place. This is just about perfect; it cannot be praised highly enough.

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