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Tomb Raider Review

tvellalott
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3/11/2013 11:50:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
So, here we are again for another game review. I'm making a habit of this. Since most people give me reasonable positive feedback, I'll just keep doing them.

Anywho, I've been excited about Tomb Raider since I first heard it was a gritty reboot of the series. Gritty? Reboot? Sounds awesome!

I'm currently still working through the main campaign, so this will be another review in progress. Additionally, I don't do spoilers so if you're wanting to play and enjoy the story, you are safe.

So, recently I've been finding myself playing a lot of adventure-action games. After Far Cry 3, I went back to UC2 (which I was about halfway through). Now, Tomb Raider. Strangely I'm finding TR to be sort of the bastard child of these two games. It's a third-person run, jump, climb, shoot... like UC.
But it's also very much like Far Cry 3 in that you have a levelling up system and upgradeable weapons.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

This game is awesome fun and I'm enjoying it immensely. It's not quite as... captivating as Far Cry 3 was. Perhaps it's the less open-world nature of the game? (although the game is indeed much more open then the very linear UC2) Perhaps it's that the main villain is not as interesting as Vaas? Don't get me wrong. This is a beautiful and interesting game. Hearing Lara talk about the history of the myriad of hidden treasure and tombs scattered around the place is great but so far, the story isn't quite as good as FC3. But hey, that's not a criticism. FC3 was among the best games I've ever played.

So, I never really played the old Tomb Raider games but I had an uncle who played the fvck out of them so I'm vaguely familiar with how they worked. It's obvious that they have taken a whole lot out of Uncharted in this game. However, it doesn't feel the same. In fact... It feels better and more fluid at times. The scripted jumping across collapsing platforms is done amazingly well. Using the climbing axe and the context sensitive climbing thingos (like, you'll jump on to something and it might break and you'll have to hit square to grab on with your other hand or something) are great. It's little details that I can't quite express.

IGN's review mentioned that the real puzzle solving comes with you do the non-story related tombs that are scattered generously around the map and I have so far only done 2 of those. There are some puzzle elements along the main story too. So far, I must say that they're not mind breakingly difficult, but they're not exactly easy. Observation of your surroundings, experimenting with what you find and good timing has gotten me through everything so far with minimal to moderate difficulty. I plan to go back and collect all the collectables after I've finished the main campaign, so you'll have to wait if you want me to be able to fully review the puzzle elements of the game (of course, being a Tomb Raider game, puzzles are of the upmost importance).

Now. this is where I am at a loss. Combat.
I don't remember enough about the original games to expertly comment on this, but I'm fairly sure that the old games didn't have anywhere NEAR as much combat as this. Lara regens health in the manner of all modern games; hide for a minute and you're right. This is fine. She also dies extremely realistically if you don't get out of the way. 2 seconds of direct automatic fire and you're dead. I have killed the hell out of a whole bunch of guys so far. I seem to recall my uncle fighting tigers...
I also recall ammo being a much bigger issue. Ammo is a little bit too plentiful for my liking. There are some survival horror elements to this game and I just wish that there was a little bit more survivor and less soldier. Alas, killing the hell out of people is extremely fun. You can hear them saying things like "Why can't we kill one little girl?" or "Run! She a grenade launcher!" and it makes the game feel really alive. I think I'll turn the difficulty up when I turn it back on tonight, if I can.

TL;DR - Game looks beautiful. Story is good and it definitely feels like what I think a modern Tomb Raider game should. Controls are EXCELLENT. RPG elements are very welcome. Puzzles seem right. Combat is a little easier. If you're experienced with these sort of games, definitely choose the hard difficulty for combat.

So far, so good.
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OberHerr
Posts: 13,062
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3/12/2013 12:03:31 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'm kinda torn between if I wanna get this, or wait for Bioshock: Infinite.
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DakotaKrafick
Posts: 1,517
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3/12/2013 3:53:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/11/2013 11:50:29 PM, tvellalott wrote:
So, here we are again for another game review. I'm making a habit of this. Since most people give me reasonable positive feedback, I'll just keep doing them.

Anywho, I've been excited about Tomb Raider since I first heard it was a gritty reboot of the series. Gritty? Reboot? Sounds awesome!

I'm currently still working through the main campaign, so this will be another review in progress. Additionally, I don't do spoilers so if you're wanting to play and enjoy the story, you are safe.

So, recently I've been finding myself playing a lot of adventure-action games. After Far Cry 3, I went back to UC2 (which I was about halfway through). Now, Tomb Raider. Strangely I'm finding TR to be sort of the bastard child of these two games. It's a third-person run, jump, climb, shoot... like UC.
But it's also very much like Far Cry 3 in that you have a levelling up system and upgradeable weapons.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

This game is awesome fun and I'm enjoying it immensely. It's not quite as... captivating as Far Cry 3 was. Perhaps it's the less open-world nature of the game? (although the game is indeed much more open then the very linear UC2)

I was wondering if you could talk a bit more about this, because honestly, I've been confused about some of the paradoxes people have been saying ("it's open world, but not THAT open world"). How exactly is it linear, but still open-worldy? Is it still get from point A to point B, but you have multiple different routes to take?

Are there specific chapters or missions you play through and then cannot go backward, except maybe on some "mission select" on the title screen (like in Uncharted) or is there a bit more freedom in the free-roaming aspect of it?

Perhaps it's that the main villain is not as interesting as Vaas? Don't get me wrong. This is a beautiful and interesting game. Hearing Lara talk about the history of the myriad of hidden treasure and tombs scattered around the place is great but so far, the story isn't quite as good as FC3. But hey, that's not a criticism. FC3 was among the best games I've ever played.

So, I never really played the old Tomb Raider games but I had an uncle who played the fvck out of them so I'm vaguely familiar with how they worked. It's obvious that they have taken a whole lot out of Uncharted in this game. However, it doesn't feel the same. In fact... It feels better and more fluid at times. The scripted jumping across collapsing platforms is done amazingly well. Using the climbing axe and the context sensitive climbing thingos (like, you'll jump on to something and it might break and you'll have to hit square to grab on with your other hand or something) are great. It's little details that I can't quite express.

IGN's review mentioned that the real puzzle solving comes with you do the non-story related tombs that are scattered generously around the map and I have so far only done 2 of those. There are some puzzle elements along the main story too. So far, I must say that they're not mind breakingly difficult, but they're not exactly easy. Observation of your surroundings, experimenting with what you find and good timing has gotten me through everything so far with minimal to moderate difficulty. I plan to go back and collect all the collectables after I've finished the main campaign, so you'll have to wait if you want me to be able to fully review the puzzle elements of the game (of course, being a Tomb Raider game, puzzles are of the upmost importance).

Now. this is where I am at a loss. Combat.
I don't remember enough about the original games to expertly comment on this, but I'm fairly sure that the old games didn't have anywhere NEAR as much combat as this. Lara regens health in the manner of all modern games; hide for a minute and you're right. This is fine. She also dies extremely realistically if you don't get out of the way. 2 seconds of direct automatic fire and you're dead. I have killed the hell out of a whole bunch of guys so far. I seem to recall my uncle fighting tigers...
I also recall ammo being a much bigger issue. Ammo is a little bit too plentiful for my liking. There are some survival horror elements to this game and I just wish that there was a little bit more survivor and less soldier. Alas, killing the hell out of people is extremely fun. You can hear them saying things like "Why can't we kill one little girl?" or "Run! She a grenade launcher!" and it makes the game feel really alive. I think I'll turn the difficulty up when I turn it back on tonight, if I can.

TL;DR - Game looks beautiful. Story is good and it definitely feels like what I think a modern Tomb Raider game should. Controls are EXCELLENT. RPG elements are very welcome. Puzzles seem right. Combat is a little easier. If you're experienced with these sort of games, definitely choose the hard difficulty for combat.

So far, so good.

Another great review so far; this game sounds really solid. I already ordered MGR online and I was planning on getting DMC in a couple weeks, but now I think I'll save that one for later and get Tomb Raider instead.
tvellalott
Posts: 10,864
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3/12/2013 5:08:30 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/12/2013 3:53:43 AM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
I was wondering if you could talk a bit more about this, because honestly, I've been confused about some of the paradoxes people have been saying ("it's open world, but not THAT open world"). How exactly is it linear, but still open-worldy? Is it still get from point A to point B, but you have multiple different routes to take?

Are there specific chapters or missions you play through and then cannot go backward, except maybe on some "mission select" on the title screen (like in Uncharted) or is there a bit more freedom in the free-roaming aspect of it?

OK, so I've been following the storyline quite tightly (the two tombs I've done were found along the path I was on) so I don't know how well I can answer your questions...

But I'll try.

Basically, as you progress through the game you come across camp sites. At these camp sites, you can upgrade your skills and weapons with the experience and salvage you find along the way.
Now, because I haven't used the feature I don't know exactly how it works. Either you can quick travel to any camp site you've visited at any time OR you can quick travel from camp site to camp site. I'm fairly sure it's the latter but I'm not sure actually.

The reason I don't say it's completely open world is because I'm fairly sure you can't just run from side of the map to the other, ala FC3. So, it's more open than UC in that you can quick travel around the island, but it's not as open as FC3 as you don't have a huge map that you have to travel across to get from objective to objective. It's linear, but you can revisit the huge areas you've already been too at any time.

Another great review so far; this game sounds really solid. I already ordered MGR online and I was planning on getting DMC in a couple weeks, but now I think I'll save that one for later and get Tomb Raider instead.

My next review will probably be Bioshock: Infinite. I'm scared to play the new God of War (although I'm a massive fan of the series) because GOW3 was so fvcking epic and awesome that I'm scared of being disappointed and lowering my opinion of the series as a whole... Argh! Also, I want to play the multiplayer features and I don't have the internet to play online right now... So even though I'm sort of keen to play it, I don't NEED to play it immediately.
"Caitlyn Jenner is an incredibly brave and stunningly beautiful woman."

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SarcasticIndeed
Posts: 2,215
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3/12/2013 2:05:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Are the puzzles actually challenging to your mnd or do they rely on timing and finding hidden parts and stuff?

I'll probably get his game when I get a better computer, it seems nice this tomb raider lives up to its prequels
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DakotaKrafick
Posts: 1,517
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3/12/2013 8:14:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/12/2013 5:08:30 AM, tvellalott wrote:
At 3/12/2013 3:53:43 AM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
I was wondering if you could talk a bit more about this, because honestly, I've been confused about some of the paradoxes people have been saying ("it's open world, but not THAT open world"). How exactly is it linear, but still open-worldy? Is it still get from point A to point B, but you have multiple different routes to take?

Are there specific chapters or missions you play through and then cannot go backward, except maybe on some "mission select" on the title screen (like in Uncharted) or is there a bit more freedom in the free-roaming aspect of it?

OK, so I've been following the storyline quite tightly (the two tombs I've done were found along the path I was on) so I don't know how well I can answer your questions...

But I'll try.

Basically, as you progress through the game you come across camp sites. At these camp sites, you can upgrade your skills and weapons with the experience and salvage you find along the way.
Now, because I haven't used the feature I don't know exactly how it works. Either you can quick travel to any camp site you've visited at any time OR you can quick travel from camp site to camp site. I'm fairly sure it's the latter but I'm not sure actually.

The reason I don't say it's completely open world is because I'm fairly sure you can't just run from side of the map to the other, ala FC3. So, it's more open than UC in that you can quick travel around the island, but it's not as open as FC3 as you don't have a huge map that you have to travel across to get from objective to objective. It's linear, but you can revisit the huge areas you've already been too at any time.

Alright, that's sounds pretty cool.

Another great review so far; this game sounds really solid. I already ordered MGR online and I was planning on getting DMC in a couple weeks, but now I think I'll save that one for later and get Tomb Raider instead.

My next review will probably be Bioshock: Infinite. I'm scared to play the new God of War (although I'm a massive fan of the series) because GOW3 was so fvcking epic and awesome that I'm scared of being disappointed and lowering my opinion of the series as a whole... Argh! Also, I want to play the multiplayer features and I don't have the internet to play online right now... So even though I'm sort of keen to play it, I don't NEED to play it immediately.

This pretty much describes my exact situation, too. GOW3 is one of my favorite games of all time (one of the few I actually platinum'd) and I don't even see how it's possible for its sequel/prequel to come close to being as epic. Also, same with me about wanting to play multiplayer but not having internet (though I honestly wish they'd just stuck with singleplayer only).
tvellalott
Posts: 10,864
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3/18/2013 3:47:30 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Well, I finished the campaign last night but I will reserve my full review for when I get 100%, that way I can comment on the Tombs (which I still haven't done yet).

Rest assured that if you're considering buying this game, you should buy it.
"Caitlyn Jenner is an incredibly brave and stunningly beautiful woman."

Muh threads
Using mafia tactics in real-life: http://www.debate.org...
6 years of DDO: http://www.debate.org...