Thursday, March 12, 2015

Tomb Raider Review

     Hello everyone and happy Wednesday, hope your all doing great.  This weekend I was thinking about adventure so I watched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom then decided to play the Tomb Raider reboot  because of tombs which I was thinking about then because of Indiana upon which I noticed many similarities.  Although I suppose thats not fair, since any game where you raid the crypt of some long dead bloke could be compared to Indiana Jones and the Tomb Raider series wouldn't be where it is today without such comparisons, however to their credit they have done well enough that any video game made about raiding tombs is associated with Tomb Raider, shocking as that may be if the title didn't throw you off.  Anyway, I recently played through the Tomb Raider reboot this weekend and was quiet pleased with the fast paced action, interesting story and pretty graphic design that motivated me to play through the whole thing in one weekend.  Thankfully as I mentioned before; this a reboot so I don't have to explain eight games of back story. So the game starts with the ship Endurance on a set course to find the lost kingdom of Yamatai located in the Dragon's Triangle, however crew members urge against this due to the violent storms associated with the area.  Much to nobody's surprise when the Endurance breaks in half and protagonist Lora Croft washes ashore only to be kidnapped by some nut, she escapes from the nut and now must find her friends, get off this island of crazies, and find out why these supernatural storms won't let them leave. I just want to clarify that Tomb Raider is a third person adventure survival shooter that contains areas ran through that be returned to later until the final stage.  Throughout the game Lora becomes a more hardened survivor, able to upgrade her skills through three trees being survival, hunter, and brawler. There are a variety of weapons unlocked throughout the story ranging from pistols to machine guns to shotguns and Lora's ever reliable bow.
Lora ziplining to a crashed plane
 All weapons can be upgraded with salvage found on enemy's bodies or rare weapon parts which are usually found at the end of a tomb in a big gold chest.  The world maps are pretty large with alot of exploration present in most locations, later in the game you can use your bow to make zip-lines used to zip across large areas of bottomless pits or spikes. Combat with enemies puts you in a position to be stealthy for 90% of the game, using your bow to shoot arrows through their heads or your ice pick to stab them from behind. If things go sideways Lora can fight the hostile bad guys using her machine gun, shotgun or pistol for a quick shot to the head.  With perks from the Brawler tree, Lora can fight enemies with her pick or stab arrows into their necks for special kills. Humans aren't the only thing trying to kill Lora, Mother Nature really hates Lora, so much as sending enough wolves to outnumber the dense bandit population along with storms to foil her every attempt to escape the island with freak storms.  Lora should also earn a spot on the list for people who have gotten the shit kicked out of them so frequently that Rambo looks like a girl scout next to her. Between torture, getting knocked off cliffs, stabbed with rebar and thrown through raging rapids its a wonder shes still breathing by the end of this.  Its also especially painful to watch because of the beautifully realistic way its portrayed with its pretty looks.  She also has a track record of dramatically escaping near death instances like fleeing from exploding research bases, exploding ships, exploding temples, exploding helicopters and anything else thats combustible which never stops being heart pounding when it happens.
  As I said earlier Tombs can be explored if Lora has the right equipment and then solves the motion puzzle within, allowing her to open a chest with large amounts of salvage and a weapon part. One can also expect alot of jumping when undertaking this quest since you'll frequently find yourself scaling cliffs and decaying buildings with a high likely hood of collapse, thankfully Lora leaps like a NBA all-star making this a free flowing part of gameplay.  One must also be eyeful of useful collectibles like GPS caches that show you where items are on the map, Lora can also hunt in some parts of the game for XP that will eventually yield skill points to level up with and since it is unlikely that the player will fully upgrade Lora by the end of the game or explore everything, you can go back to play until you get your satisfaction out of it.  Overall Tomb Raider was a fun game that I enjoyed though the one thing that bothered me in the beginning was the long segments without anything that were just boring.  Other than that its cinematic view to gameplay along with its fast pace made it enjoyable.  Hope you have all enjoyed this review and I will be back next week with more games. Until then, have fun.
This has been Jacob Arnold, signing off.

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