I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with the Tomb Raider games in the past. As much as I enjoy immersing myself in a game that takes you exploring ancient ruins, or takes you to parts of the world that I’ll probably never see in real life, I would tend to struggle with some of the timed jumps or end up getting stuck due to a strange camera angle.
This game however totally changes everything, yes you have the exploration, the jumping, the shooting, the hanging off a cliff with a thousand foot drop below you, but this game just seems to do it a lot better. This game to me felt a lot like the Uncharted series, lots of action, but also quite easy to play.
The audio and visuals on this game were outstanding, even playing on the 360, I found myself stopping and taking in the scenery, as the island the story unfolded on was glorious to look at. The sound design was very immersive, some of the wind and rain effects made you feel like you were actually in the middle of a tropical storm.
In addition to a solid story, and solid gameplay there was also an element of an RPG. As you progressed through the levels, you gained XP for the likes of stealthy kills, head shots, completing challenges, breaking open salvage crates and a number of other tasks. This XP could then be spent of skills. Initially you can only spend your XP on survival training, but as the game progresses you unlock higher tiers and get to increase your orienteering skills, ammo capacity and dodge skills and the likes.
As well as XP, you also collect salvage that allows you to upgrade your weapons. Initially you can only upgrade your first weapon, the Bow and Arrow, however as the game progresses, you also pick up a pistol, rifle and a shotgun, which can all be fully upgraded.
Now the collectables….there are load!, if you’re a completionist , there is probably twenty to thirty hours worth of gameplay in Tomb Raider. If I remember rightly, I completed the main story with around 70% completion of the collectables, however the game is good enough to open up the world to you once completed, so you can go back for them all.
One last thing I’d like to mention, clearly I enjoyed the game, but it’s hard to believe just how invested I became in the wellbeing of Lara. This is essentially an origins story, we’ve always just seen her as a hard arse, but in this, she starts off as just a girl. I cringed a number of time as she hurt herself and had to simply fix the pain with whatever was available, I feared for her life on so many occasions, I was genuinely scared for her on some of the levels, I nearly shed a tear of joy at one particular point as she’s achieved something her colleagues couldn’t, I had a case of vertigo on one level in particular and finally, quietly smiled at the end with the homage to the original Tomb Raider games.
It’s rare that I complete a game of this size is only a few sittings, which shows just how much I enjoyed this game. For you lucky people with a PS3 and a Playstation Plus subscription, you can play it for yourself on March.
Approx Time taken to beat – 15 hours
Difficulty setting – Normal
Score – [Rating:5/5]
Games TrailerTags: Tomb Raider