The new Tomb Raider game from Crystal Dynamics released in the US yesterday, and I got a chance to give it a go. I’ve only spent a couple of hours with the rebooted Lara Croft, but I can tell you that my impressions so far are very favorable. Lara Croft has been reborn, and to me she’s better than ever. I absolutely love the direction Crystal took with this game and the Tomb Raider franchise, and I honestly believe that even Tomb Raider traditionalists will enjoy this semi-open-world adventure puzzler.
Why exactly is this game worth playing? For starters it has top-notch visuals, sound design, and let’s be honest; one hot protagonist who’s tough as nails (Yes video game characters can look appealing to men). Lara’s new look isn’t the only reason to play the new Tomb Raider, in fact, if that’s your only motivation for playing this game, I’d tell you to get your head out of the gutter and interact with real humans more often.
Lara is no longer a dual wielding superhero with a pair of torpedo sized tits. Crystal Dynamics has rebooted this character to make her more realistic, and from what I’ve played so far I think they’ve nailed that mantra. When the game first starts out Lara isn’t the bold adventurer that we knew her to be in her past games. She’s a vulnerable young lady who goes through a horrifying shipwreck that forces her to fend for herself, and to ultimately find out what she is made of deep down in her guts.
This growth process takes place before your eyes as you guide Croft from one awful situation to the next, and with each encounter she becomes more of a badass. In my short time interacting with her in the new Tomb Raider I’m quickly finding myself taking to her new persona, and I really believe Crystal Dynamics made the right decision to reboot the franchise and the Lara Croft character.
It also helps that the gameplay is solid, and that the Tomb Raider world is a fairly open one to explore. I love the ability to fast travel to different base camps to hunt for any secrets that I may have missed. I also like how Crystal incorporates puzzles into this open world, as well as the tighter tombs and dungeons that she enters. To top it off this game also boasts some pretty tight controls that setup well for both gun fights and the more silent art of slaying with a bow and arrow.
I still have many hours to go in the new Tomb Raider, but I had to share my first impressions of it. I don’t foresee myself falling out of love with this game anytime soon, but you never know what can happen during the course of a video game play through. I hope to have the full review out early next week. Stay tuned to find out my final opinion of this game when it drops. You’ve been needing to just give Lara a chance…
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