A reboot of the original series looking at the origins of Lara Croft. You will start the game struggling with basic skills but by the end you will be an arrow shooting mass-murderer (who of course is on the side of justice).
As a massive fan of the original Tomb Raider games I was kind of excited about the thought of a new one with more modern graphics and game play. The fact that it was an origin story was kind of ho-hum because it meant a lot of grinding to gain skills that you were just used to having when playing as Lara, but still the thought of this game filled me with excitement. That said, with the price of it and the various reviews, I didn’t end up buying or playing this game until 2015.
Here’s the thing about playing games on Steam (or most modern systems) compared to the old days of CD’s and the like. Steam tells you how long you’ve played a game. Even with my 100% completionist mentality and refusal to leave the forest until I’d found that one last charm, I have clocked exactly 16 hours in this game. Story finished. Most areas cleared of most collectables (one or two exceptions that I just gave up on because they really weren’t making collecting things worth the effort). I will admit I only unlocked half the achievements, again because they just don’t seem worth the effort it would take to do it.
16 hours. I put 49 into Plants vs Zombies before I gave it up as entirely repetitive.
This isn’t really saying there is anything wrong with the story, or the game play, or the visuals, or anything else, but when I purchase a game, particularly an adventure game, I kind of expect to be adventuring for a bit longer than 16 hours. So that’s my major issue with this experience on the table.
However, this issue stems from a slightly deeper issue. The game is too easy. I openly admit to not being good at computer games. I enjoy them, but I die, a lot, even in games that aren’t Dark Souls. I died once while playing Tomb Raider. Once. And that was because of outside interference (cat jumped on keyboard). Okay, there may have been a second death when I missed a quick time event. If I’m smashing through this game with almost no challenge, there’s a real issue with the difficulty of the game. The original Tomb Raider games were brutal (or at least for my skill level). Death could occur at any time and it could come from the most pathetic sources imaginable (though mostly lack of depth perception and timing).
Nonetheless, this game isn’t bad. It looks great, the controls are responsive enough, there’s a variety of settings even though you are essentially stuck on an island, and you upgrade weapons and equipment at a steady enough pace so you don’t feel like things are being withheld for the sake of it. At the same time, upgrades might be too easily accessible and I never really seemed to run out of items or have to look hard for them.
Lara is a little bit of a hard character to like. She isn’t the confident and overly cocky character we knew from the old games but is finding her way there. At various points she seems to take charge and tell the other survivors what they are going to do or volunteers to be the one to do something when you have to wonder if there is any reason it has to be Lara other than she’s the protagonist. Still, it is kind of awesome watching her find her feet in the situation she finds herself in.
As to the actual story itself, it works. It does. I just can’t recall what the overall point of it was because it was also fairly forgettable. Mostly you are on an island and stranded but the other inhabitants of the island keep kidnapping and trying to kill you or your friends. There’s a greater mystery that Lara is trying to unravel but that is really all there is to the story.
I think fans of the original games will get a good nostalgia trip with just enough novelty to make this worth while, but you need to go in knowing this is not a challenging game nor is it going to be one you can settle in to play for months because the story is going to come to an end and replay value is minimal.
What are your thoughts on this game?
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