TOMB RAIDER REVIEW

Tomb Raider is an action adventure survival game created by Square Enix in 2013, the same producers who brought you the Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger & Kingdom Hearts franchises. In 2014 the “Definitive Edition” of this game was released for the brand new PS4 console, basically like they did for The Last of Us. This is a solid game with excellent graphics and storyline; so I would absolutely recommend buying the ps4 version if you can.

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We start the game as the infamous Lara Croft, who has been shipwrecked on an island known as “Yamatai” near Japan after her crew’s ship goes down in a freak storm. Pretty standard catastrophic beginning to any adventure video game really. As the game progresses, Lara watches footage on a home camera she finds, which shows how the crew crashed in the first place. Upon exploring the island the group realize they are not alone, as they share the island with a religious cult who are set upon killing them. These mysterious men kidnap Lara’s friend Sam, so Lara goes on a hunt for revenge to get her back.  Along the way, Lara learns more about this strange group and the even stranger island they are stuck on, and why they are so interested in her best friend. It’s a pretty dark story actually, and there are some pretty graphic scenes – certainly not for the faint of heart.

Now unlike past Tomb Raider game, this one features a younger and more naïve version of Lara Croft. She begins the game absolutely terrified of everything – evident by her rasping breath and emotional facial expressions. This changes as you build up a weapon inventory and begin to defend yourself against these enemies, and you visually see Lara’s confidence increase.  You can and constantly hear her whispering, “you can do this” before performing dangerous tasks. It’s nice to have a game with a strong female character, and this makes me wish there were more games likes these on the market. Saying that, they certainly did not spare any expense making Lara the standard sex-kitten tomb raider that she is known for, but hey that’s the franchise right?

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The combat system is excellent in this game. You play in third person perspective, using guns, bow & arrow (which you can later set on fire before shooting), and an axe to defend yourself. Lara can also use her arsenal of weapons to create ziplinesand to open up doors & boxes. The weapon system is fluid and smooth, with a quick equip menu for easy access. You can collect “salvage” by finding crates in the woods, as well as in hidden tombs by solving complex puzzles. This is used to upgrade your weapons to gain more ammunition and to cause more damage. During the game you will come upon “campsites” which allow you to allocate your skill points earned from XP, as well as upgrade your weapons and learn new abilities.

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Overall this game isn’t necessarily included in my top ten “desert island games”  (which I know doesn’t make sense due to the lack of electricity but you catch my drift), but it is really fun to come back to from time to time. It’s one of the few games I’ve played that has a strong female lead, which I totally dig as a female gamer. There is a sequel supposedly being released in 2016, so prepare yourself and play this game soon!

7/10