Wednesday, 23 July 2014

First Impressions: Tomb Raider

This Tomb Raider reboot re-imagines the origin story of Lara Croft and portrays here as a scared young woman (with surprising acrobatic skills) who is stranded on a desert island with her crew after trying to find the mysterious kingdom of Yamatai and getting shipwrecked. Without giving to much away, the next scene involves a tomb... obviously.

The story, voice acting and characterization are outstanding with great immersion and the feeling that you are Lara Croft being prevalent. The animation of the character, from occasional stumbles and trips to her holding her injured stomach, really allows you to be the character and the mutterings from her increase this sense even further. The only thing which breaks this feeling of immersion is the deaths. When you die, you are met with quite a gruesome scene of Lara getting crushed from a boulder etc. then you just carry on which is a shame as I think that they could have had Lara say something when you restart just to add that bit more atmosphere.

The graphics are amazing (with little difference between the actual game and the cut-scenes) and the attention to detail is great with your torch blowing about or smudges on the camera from when someone was holding it (this is a camera in the actual game not the game's camera). The sounds and music are good as well and all of this allows you to happily play this game for two hours, completely forgetting reality. Just as well that Tomb Raider has loads of collectibles, then isn't it?

Archery is fun and the quick time events are well placed and are really helpful to tell crucial bits of the story. The cut-scenes are well done although the progression of Lara's character is a bit odd with her finding it really difficult to kill a deer one minute (in a cut-scene) to a pile of deer around her the next (in the game).

Crafting is all right, as is the skill points although I have only used one of each so far. Using the survival instinct is quite a handy tool if you have just jumped back into the game, allowing you to know where the objective is quickly.

Finally, the acrobatics and puzzle elements are really well thought out and flow really well.

Overall this game is a great for veterans and newbies to the series alike with superb graphics, atmosphere and acrobatics.

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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