Top 10 Games Of This Generation – Honourable Mention – Tomb Raider

(Original Review)

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve held a lifelong disdain towards the Tomb Raider franchise. At the time, I hated the fact that it played a major role in gamers adopting the PlayStation One in droves, which did not sit well with my Nintendo fanboy self. I also just thought that the few experiences I had with a few of the games in the series didn’t strike me as anything interesting or special. The last time I tried to play a Tomb Raider game was Legend on the Xbox 360, which I grew bored of after an hour of playing the demo.

Regardless of the validity of my claims against the Lara of yesteryear, they don’t apply here. The new Tomb Raider is awesome.

In this second attempt at a reboot, Crystal Dynamics draws heavily from the Uncharted playbook, from the heavier emphasis on gunplay to action-movie-style setpieces that provide many of the game’s most jaw-dropping moments. Even during more quiet segments, such as Lara crawling through a narrow tunnel, the action is framed in a way to bring drama to the screen.

From there, it takes many of those core concepts from the Uncharted series and makes them its own. The bow and arrow is finely tuned and intelligently upgraded throughout to make it your go-to weapon all the way through. You’re given all sorts of great tools and setpieces to make traversing awesome. Even the puzzle-solving elements of the game have been streamlined in a way that makes sense within the context of this new world, are easier to solve while still feeling satisfying to work though.

Tomb Raider isn’t just a great reboot. It’s one of the best action games to date with enough nods to the source material to satisfy that crowd. Despite my dislike of the series going in, this is the video game equivalent of Rachel Leigh Cook coming down the stairs with her new look in She’s All That.

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3 thoughts on “Top 10 Games Of This Generation – Honourable Mention – Tomb Raider

  1. Matthew Thompson November 21, 2013 / 10:35 PM

    Personally I was disappointed by this game. It got too far away from the platforming and puzzling that made me love the series in the first place. Crystal Dynamics seemed downright petrified of challenging the player in any way. It barely felt like a Tomb Raider game at all to me.

    Having said all that, it is a pretty good title in more of an Uncharted meets Batman Arkham series kind of way and I can understand why people dug it. I liked it well enough because of that. Lara’s newest design is really awesome too. Obviously our feelings on the series coming in to this reboot are much different and therefore we reacted much differently.

    • Jett November 22, 2013 / 8:01 AM

      Thanks for the comment!

      Perspective going in can have a huge impact on how you ultimately judge a final product. You’re not the only person I’ve heard say that they didn’t like how it strayed away from its roots, so I totally get that. With the recent tease of a sequel, do you think Crystal Dynamics will try and infuse it with more of that original flavour?

      • Matthew Thompson November 24, 2013 / 11:49 PM

        I hope so. I think a sort of mix of old and new could be really amazing. I liked the improved combat, gear-gating (Metroid-type progression stuff), singular location, and new graphics/artstyle in this latest game. I think some of her old platforming abilities (wall-bounding, grapple, swimming) would fit in well with the gear-gating aspect. I think you add in some bigger tombs focused more on platforming and puzzles in with all that new stuff and you could have a game that’s really awesome for both old fans and new ones.

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