Video Game Review: Tomb Raider

I don’t usually buy new games, simply to expensive, the one exception being if the talk is good. I heard great things about Tomb Raider and I was a fan of the franchise in the 90s. I didn’t really follow the franchise into last decade because of the blatant decrease in quality.

After hearing that this prequel/reboot was supposedly “good” I thought I’d buy the game and give it a try. And yes… it was good. The gameplay really shines here, no controls are too complicated and the camera follows you perfectly so you’re not always having to manipulate it.

Some things that seem challenging about climbing early in the game that seem difficult start to come natural and like Max Payne 3 the way the game is interwoven with the narrative, the story unfolds almost like a movie. Unlike movies, with Video Games you are allows to be the protagonist in the narrative, which makes you more attached to your lead character.

I played most of the old Tomb Raider games, but have never been really attached to the Lara Croft character. She’s been up there with Samus as the queen of video game heroines for some time while also being highly sexualized for the dominant male crowd involved in Video Gaming.

This new Tomb Raider avoids sexualizing her completely. Instead of giving her skin tight shorts she now where jeans, long pants, the whole game barely showing any cleavage. As much as all man appreciate seeing Croft half-naked, it’s refreshing to actually get to know the character outside that persona and cut the franchise down to its core basics.

Tomb Raider has always been a bizarre combination of realistic archaeologists exploring lost tombs and action-packed peril and adventure. Mix that all that with occasional supernatural elements and you have Tomb Raider.

In this game we are allowed to look at Lara as a character, not a sex object who we play as. She has a past, she cries, she screams, she fights for her life. In this game we can call Lara Croft a model of feminism in video games.

The story line in the game is engaging enough to make you wonder what’s next, but never really enough to make you beg for what is next. The campaign is riddled with side tombs to explore and collectible items. I would suggest collecting as much as you can to prolong the gaming experience. Although, you may come back once the story is over.

The multiplayer suffers from “..could’ve been so much better.” It is a little clunky and the gameplay as changed to try and reflect Call of Duty gameplay. Some things work, some things don’t.

All in all, Tomb Raider is an action-packed adventure reminiscent of the 90s games that doesn’t exploit Lara’s sexuality to sell the game. It brings me back to early last decade one of my favorite games Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time where puzzles and strategic-climbing/fighting are constantly in play.

Final Score: 3/4