If you thought that the newest installment of the Tomb Raider franchise was going to be more of the same, think again. Gone is the seasoned veteran Lara Croft of old who was untouchable with her trusty firearms and could traverse huge levels in a single leap. The newest Lara Croft is an inexperienced explorer who cannot seem to catch a break throughout the distressing and unstable narrative. The new Lara Croft bleeds like the rest of humanity and while the old diehards of the original character may complain, is this newfound vulnerability really a bad thing?
A New Chapter
If you didn’t already know, Tomb Raider has always been about puzzles, gunplay, and a certain amount of exploration. This refresh of series keeps those elements while also adding fantastic character development and a mystery that will have you guessing until the very end. Gone is the stoic Lara Croft of old and it makes for a much more emotional story because you actually care about Lara as a person.
Coupled with this excellent character development are amazing graphics and solid gameplay mechanics. As with every next generation game, the graphics are truly beautiful and the setting of the game shows off the range of the graphics engine. From lush forests on a sunny day to dripping wet caves and stormy nights, the game is immersive and believable and will have you pausing in wonder at the wonderful landscapes. The gameplay mechanics take advantage of these landscapes and will hone your character’s skills. You start off weak and with terrible aim but as you explore and traverse, you will upgrade Lara’s weapons and skills to turn her into a fine tuned killing machine.
However, the most important gameplay mechanic is not the gunplay but rather the puzzles, platforming, and adrenaline-pumping set pieces that test your logic and your nerves. You can spend quite a bit more time solving puzzles than shooting people and the balance is a welcome change from the shooting heavy games that have taken control of the video game market.
The Verdict: Majestic Puzzles Make For an Enjoyable Experience
In the end, the puzzles and platforming are what should influence your decision about Tomb Raider. If you love the aforementioned gameplay mechanics, by all means, buy Tomb Raider. If you prefer shooting over everything else in a video game, Tomb Raider is not the game for you. Sure, it has multiplayer but it’s weak and seems to have unreliable servers so getting into an online game can be completely fruitless. The beauty coupled with the mind-stretching puzzles are definitely worth a look for anyone who loves thinking when they’re playing video games.