Last week I raved about Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider reboot and promised a full-length review. Here it is, hot off the word processor. Give it a look if you want an in-depth, spoiler-free outlook on a game that I feel is exhilarating from the moment you press start.
Also note that Tomb Raider is going for cheap on Amazon these days. If $22 is too steep for you, keep TR in mind around Black Friday.
According to this old IGN article, most gamers are too lazy to read any part of a review other than the intro and conclusion paragraphs (if even that much). Just in case my readership consists of a mass of loafing sloths, I’m pasting the conclusion below. Enjoy it, you lazy bastards.
To recap, Tomb Raider is a stellar entry into what will likely become a trilogy or sub-series. Crystal Dynamics drank liberally from Uncharted’s fountain while developing the core gameplay, and the distinctive TR nuances of stealth and exploration keep this game from feeling hackish—it is by no means “Uncharted with a chick.” Despite the weak and forgettable supporting cast, the story proves intriguing thanks to Lara’s character development and the mystery swirling around the island of Yamatai. I can’t speak as someone who has played prior entries in the Tomb Raider franchise, but as a gamer who enjoys slash-paced action and exploration, I would highly recommend TR13 based on its riveting single-player campaign. If online multiplayer is vital to you, dock a point off my review score, as you won’t find a buzzing community or brilliant level design here. But as far as the single-player experience goes, it’s a twenty-hour journey that keeps firing away with brutal action, inviting environments, and puzzles of the climbing and thinking varieties.
+ Excellent combat system, climbing segments, tomb puzzles
+ Supernatural world with great sense of place and history
+ Lara’s character development
+ Stunning, detailed character models and environments
+ Numerous collectibles, weapon upgrades, skills
– Supporting cast doesn’t get enough screen time to make a dramatic impact
– Glitchy moments with enemy battle dialogue
– Passable online multiplayer