“A famous explorer once said.” is the very first line that you hear in this game. The opening of this game is beautiful enough to keep your attention but is it good enough? This series got a reboot after the negative reception of Underworld, which is still in my eyes a darn good game. In this reboot, you play as, who else, Lara Croft. Yeah, only younger this time around. I realize that I’m late with this review and that many played this game already. But I have only recently gained interested again in reviewing. So, yeah. A messy introduction is messy.
“Not who we are.”
Hardcore Tomb Raider fans will actually feel right at home with this game. There are many tombs to explore and raid, all in a nice package of amazing graphics and the athletic Lara. But there is a difference this time around. You can’t go shooting all you want. Ammo isn’t unlimited.
Many people give this game the subtitle of “Survivor”. Since it’s a survival game. Well, partially. Okay, not at all. There is a mission to collect food, but that only gives XP. You can hunt on animals but all she does is slice them open. And before you tell me that it would be too “cruel” to animate her eating her prey; well, think again. This game is Dark, with a capital d. Some scenery isn’t for young eyes. So I see a missed opportunity there.
The only survival part about this game is that you need to find ammo since, in the battles where you need to survive, you’ll quickly run out. You don’t have a health bar. Nope, this is replaced with the “Call Of Duty” style of health bars. Where the screen becomes redder when you take hits. What’s nice in this game is that the screen becomes gray when you are one hit away from death.
“Adventure found me.”
The earliest design sketches that were posted featured a lot of content that didn’t make the final cut. So which adventure did Lara find? Like I said, the game looks amazing. The graphics are really neat. For the most part. Some areas of the game will feel a bit unpolished. It could have been my graphics card but some pits their textures were too big.
And the water isn’t all that great. Since sometimes it stops caring. I had several times that in the game the water texture was glitched up and looked more like boiling mud. Or that a 9-year-old discovered a distortion filter in Photoshop.
The game is said to have an open world. What an empty promise that is. The world is “open”. The game is extremely linear. And yes, even backtracking to old locations appears in this game. The level structure might be gone, or that is what you think at least. It’s simply replaced by areas.
In each area, you have many secrets, treasures, food plants… to find. This is lovely since it makes me come back even after I finished the game. The replay value is high in this game. Sometimes you have even enemies who respawn so that you have something to shoot with your collected ammo.
The gameplay is pretty neat. Again, for the most part. Like many other reviewers will tell you, get a sturdy keyboard to play this game. Since there are a lot of quick-time events. They break the pace of the game often and are in some cutscenes rather unwelcome. I even think that in some cutscenes the quick time events are responsive. And in some, your timing needs to be better than in other cutscenes. Hrm, great to be consistent.
There is no area without an explosion. Really, the game is on a deserted island and there are sure a lot of bombs, explosive material and other stuff that can go boom around. The developers got a tad bit lazy and made the area where some cutscenes of the story is triggered unreachable after you passed it. Either by a ladder that broke down or a building that goes boom.
Even the very first puzzles require you to blow up parts of the cave where Lara is held. But why is she held there? A good question to introduce the part of the review where I talk about the story.
The story is mediocre at best but gets extremely “meh” at the end. The Tomb Raider games never really got me into the story. And this game is no different. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a unique story that I enjoyed but it didn’t leave an impression on me. I skip the cutscenes in my 2nd playthrough since I didn’t want to be bothered by the story and just play. Some RPG or big story-driven games can smell the plot twists from miles away.
But the disappointing story actually gave me hope of something else. Voice acting. I loved the voice acting in this game. It’s top-notch. The sound in this game is amazing. I really advise playing this game with a good headset. I played this game with a headset, and it makes the game way more intense than with speakers. The music is incredible. I truly enjoyed the music in this game. Although, I felt that the silence of some areas was a nice choice too.
For a long time, I didn’t have steam. But thanks to this game, I got an account. I am glad that I did since I got easy access to the updates for the game.
In the game, you can collect salvage to upgrade your weapons. It’s possible that you can finish the game without upgrading all your weapons.
You can also get new skills with skill points. You get a skill point when you have enough XP after killing enemies, emptying out tombs, being a meanie to a rabbit…
The animation in this game of the characters is amazing and well done. Even with my weak laptop, I had to put this game on low settings, I really saw that a lot of work went into this game’s animation. Some death scenes may be disturbing, but it adds to the game.
Before we go to the overview, a quick rant. Why do the bodies of the enemies despawn so quickly?
I’m not going to talk about the multiplayer since I didn’t really get into it. So, I don’t have enough playtime to form a good opinion on the multiplayer.
+ Good length.
+ Replay this game, sign me up.
+ Great voice acting.
+ Strong animation.
+ Amazing music & sound.
+ Good gameplay.
+ Visually an eye-candy.
– Mediocre story.
– Some graphics tweaks are needed.
– The enemies may respawn but too few to be of any danger.
– Frame rate issues.
Do you need to buy this game? Why are you asking me this question? Yes! Yes, you should. It’s a great game and I found this game very enjoyable. The flaws of the game might get a bit in the game, and the multiplayer is decent.
But for the great gameplay and the amazing visuals, the game is worthy of a playthrough. Even if you have to sit through annoying quick-time events.
In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing this. I hope to be able to welcome you in another article but until then, have a great rest of your day and take care!