We review the new ‘Tomb Raider’ game
By Steven Cayer, Contributor
Since 1996, Lara Croft has been an iconic empowered woman within video games (and to a lesser extent, an example in film). On March 5, she made arguably her most epic return, reprising her role in the new and rebooted Tomb Raider, largely developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix. This game can be described in just a few words: character-driven, visceral, realistic, exciting, and fantastic—okay, so maybe more than a few.
Tomb Raider takes you through Lara’s first-ever expedition to the mythical island of Yamatai, near Japan. While at sea, her ship crashes due to a terrible storm, and Lara is then thrown into many different situations that make her drastically change her ways into the Lara Croft we know today.
The game does an amazing job at making you care about Lara, from the second you see her all the way through the game; from her first tomb to her first kill. The first kill is probably the most memorable part of this game, as it should be. One thing that made this experience even greater was the voice actor playing Lara, Camilla Luddington.
If you skip all of the different collectibles, the main game will take you roughly 10 hours, although I recommend that you don’t skip them. There are four types: treasure maps, GPS caches, relics, and documents. Documents give you a vast background on everything, from the survivors’ diaries to worship of the Sun Queen, Himiko. It also wouldn’t be a Tomb Raider game without relics that relate to past inhabitants of the island, and the GPS caches are basically just watches. During the course of the game, Lara gets a bigger arsenal to help get certain collectables, like the rope arrow.
The gameplay combines stealth and cover-based gunplay, with which you will need to choose between. You can also salvage food for yourself and parts to buy upgrades for your weapons at every campfire. When bad guys are near, Lara automatically crouches when she’s near low cover or behind corners, which I found really easy to get used to.
By now you’re probably wondering why I didn’t give this game a perfect score. Co-developers Eidos Montral thought it’d be a good idea if they added an online multiplayer mode to the game—which was actually not a good idea. The multiplayer consists of four game modes; “Rescue” (basically capture the flag), “Free for all,” “Cry for Help” (basically headquarters), and “Team Deathmatch.” They all feel pretty bland and boring, especially with only five maps as of now.
That about sums up the whole game. It was an experience like no other, and I will always remember the day survivor and raider Lara Croft was born.