Tomb Raider Review

Tomb Raider is a 2013 action-adventure video game developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix, released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, OS X, and Linus.  Serving as the tenth entry in the Tomb Raider franchise and as a reboot, the game follows an untested and not yet battle-hardened explorer Lara, who must save her friends and escape the island of Yamatai while being hunted down by a malevolent cult.


Positives:

  • Good story
  • Good characters
  • Great voice performances
  • Great soundtrack
  • Great graphics
  • Awesome combat
  • Extensive campaign
  • Tons of replayability

Negatives:

  • n/a

Campaign:  Very extensive gameplay experience with a really engaging story as well as a roster of great characters.  Lara is just a great character.  She’s strong yet vulnerable and all around likable.  The supporting characters filled with personality.  Is the campaign challenging?  Yes, but it is fun as hell.  The world is expansive and the exploration keeps the campaign from being linear as players can choose to continue the story whenever they choose. (4 out of 5)

Gameplay:  Gameplay allows players to take control of the lead character Lara from a third-person perspective.  Combat is fast paced with challenging NPCs. Players utilize close quarters, stealth, and free aim with their weapons to take on their enemies.  The bow is probably the best and funnest weapon in the game.  The RPG elements include leveling up Lara’s hunting, combat, and exploration skills.  Weapons, equipment, and items can be upgraded. (4 out of 5)

Graphics:  Visually the game is brilliant.  The cinematics give a very life-like appearance to the characters and the way they are shot helps the dramatic effect.  The environments are massive with great background scenery that are just a beauty to behold.  There are so many moments where I just stopped and watched the ocean, or the clouds, or the mountains and forest in the distance. (5 out of 5)

Score:  The score is just fantastic.  Camilla Luddington does a fantastic job as Lara Croft.  The environments have a very vibrant sound that maintains an immersive atmosphere.  The combination of nature as well as the animals make the environment feel vibrant.  The music is just epic.  When the action is going the soundtrack reinforces it. (5 out of 5)

Replay Value:  In addition to the main story, players can revisit locations, search for hidden tombs, complete multiple side quests, and explore the island.  Also, players can search for salvage to upgrade weapons, earn experience points to upgrade skills and abilities.  There is more than enough to content to keep players engaged whether they take to it during the main story or after it. The game can be played on a harder difficulty for players who enjoy a challenge. The multiplayer modes (Team Deathmatch, Cry for Help, and Private Rescue) are pretty fun.  Team Deathmatch focuses on players against players in two four man teams. Private Rescue the “survivors” team must take medical supplies to a specific point on the map, while the “scavengers” must reach a certain number of kills, both within a ten-minute time limit.  Cry for Help involves the “survivors” exploring the maps and retrieving batteries for defended radio beacons while being hunted by the “scavengers”. They could’ve been better had it been utilized for co-op during the main campaign or better missions.   (4 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, Tomb Raider is definitely one of the best reboots in video game history as well as a great game.  Fans of the franchise will definitely appreciate the new game elements.  The game features great voice performances, a good story, extensive campaign, tons of replayability, a great score, and great graphics. Tomb Raider gets 5 out of 5.

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