Friday, June 14, 2013

Tomb Raider

Lara needs an adult!
I have loved the shit out of this series since it's premier a million years ago. A strong, intelligent protagonist that also happens to be female? Sweet. It's the only video game I've ever played that manages to keep me seated and entertained while simultaneously making me want to get off of my ass and get some exercise.

Up until Tomb Raider 4, I'd say the franchise was easily my favorite. Beyond that point the controls got hopelessly convoluted. Once the series moved from Playstation to newer gen consoles the game also got away from puzzle solving and dove head first into action, explosions, and shooting bitches in the face. Thing is, if I wanted to shoot some bitches in the face, I'd just play Halo, CoD or one of the trillion other shooter games that are flooding the industry right now.

For my birthday I got me the new Tomb Raider game on the 360. Until now, no one has been able to recapture that feeling of adventure and accomplishment you felt playing through the originals. Unlike the previously mentioned games post Revelations, this is really fun and I'm actually enjoying it quite a bit. Even if Jude likes to get me killed. A lot.

It doesn't play like the old classics, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. There's more of a plot here while not losing a sense of adventure. I think any hardcore fans of the old, old Tomb Raider games will like this. When you're first starting out, you feel a sense of hopelessness. When you first encounter bad guys capable of sentient thought, you feel a genuine sense of dread. These are bad mother fuckers. When you need to sneak around without being seen, you may find yourself holding your breath trying to be as quiet as possible. That immersion and feeling of attachment is the sign of a well designed game.

On top of that the script is well written though not quite as quippy as its predecessors (which could be good or bad depending on your opinion of quipiness), the music is fitting to the scenario, and the graphics are beautiful and gritty. Also, Lara's accent isn't quite so canned. My only dislike thus far has been that there is no "Lara's Home" tutorial stage, like in the old school Tomb Raider games. I understand why that is, as learning as you go is sort of the theme of this game, but still -- I miss it.

I've only just begun, so all I've got is my trusty (read: crappy) bow, and I've spent a good deal of time just sneaking around killing animals and hunting achievements and that alone is adding up to a lot more fun than it should. As I progress I keep waiting for that moment of disappointment I've felt with the other games but what I find instead is myself liking it more and more. Color me surprised and thrilled! A new Tomb Raider game that's enjoyable for old Tomb Raider fans!

1 comment:

  1. Debating getting it. It was (or is still) on sale on Steam Sale for the PC and I loved the originals as well. No home tutorial? Sad day, but I have heard NOTHING bad about this game and want it something awful.

    Thanks for the review!