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Lara Croft Reborn!

Written By: Harald Schossman

03/25/2013

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  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Developer: Crystal Dynamics
  • Rating: Mature
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Players: 1
  • System: PS3, Xbox360, PC

At last the wait is over. Lara Croft is back in ways you’ve never seen her before. Instead of the usual self confident mature explorer, the game starts out with a 21 year old innocent archeology student who finds herself stranded on a mysterious island. Young Lara is quickly drawn into a struggle for survival against deadly foes in a story that will change and define her forever.

Just the Facts:

Tomb Raider is a single player action/adventure game and it seems that Crystal Dynamics has drawn inspiration from games such as Just Cause 2, Skyrim, Fallout, etc. The island is more of an open world than any previous Tomb Raider adventure and the heart of the game’s structure are the base camps where Lara can improve her weapons and develop her skills. Some of these camps can also be used to fast travel between locations to further explore tombs or hunt for treasures one may have missed earlier.

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The Evolution of Lara Croft:

The character of Lara Croft has been reinvented and she is much darker, grittier, more vulnerable. In fact the general tone of the game is more serious and realistic as this young woman is forced to take lives in order to defend herself, yet also has to witness the loss of friends. You could compare the new Tomb Raider to what Chistopher Nolan has done for Batman with his Dark Knight trilogy. Lara, while still being gorgeous, is no longer the exaggerated cyber sex doll, but a strong young lady determined and resourceful, beautifully brought to life through the voice and motion capture talents of young British actress Camilla Luddington.

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Crystal Dynamics maintains that it wasn’t so much a desire to reboot the franchise, as it was the urge to come up with something new. This novelty elevates the Tomb Raider series to a new level in terms of graphics, gameplay, story and use of music. It delivers all the thrills, darkness and emotions one could hope for in a great video game. The A.I. is pretty sophisticated and forces you to keep moving during combat situations for if you linger you will get burned, literally. I like the fact that Lara can now use her bow for stealth attacks, even trick enemies.

While the game auto-saves at every single progress point, there are only three game save slots, which makes it impossible to maintain different game save points in case you may want to replay certain parts. Sure, once you’ve beaten the game you can roam around freely and keep exploring, but that’s not the same thing. The controls may need a better distinction between climbing and jumping, but these are small issues of an otherwise great game!

The Final Word:

I found Tomb Raider to be an extremely rewarding game. After beating the game I instantly replayed it and it's just as good the second time around. It will be interesting to see what the next game will have in store from us, and how GK Films, the company that has bought the movie rights for the Tomb Raider franchise, will build on this new Lara.

  • Gameplay: 9
  • Graphics: 10
  • Audio: 10
  • Replay Value: 8

Final Review Score: 9/10

About The Author: Harold Schossman is our International News Correspondent and our resident Expert Videographer. He has worked in the entertainment industry for almost two decades. Be sure to check out his outstanding video work on his YouTube account.

http://www.youtube.com/user/hdeditor