The lights are on
Ok I was never a big fan of the old Tomb Raider games. I felt that Lara croft was a egotistical rich girl that had way to much time on her hands. Not to mention the controls of the old playstation titles were clunky as heck. Square Enix buying out Eidos was the best thing to happen to Tomb Raider. I don't know how much feedback Square gave, but maybe they made Crystal Dynamics pull there heads out of the butts and realize what they needed to do to make a hit game. One major change I like is its added effect of realism, not only does it play key points in the story, but it develops Lara as a character and drops the idea of an egotistical jerk she really was. I don't need to tell you that the goal was to tell how Lara became the hardened survivor she is today. That look of realism stepped away from cartoony look and focused more on Lara as a character rather than her sex appeal, I think that is where the past games had started to go wrong.
The story focuses around Lara and her crew on an expedition to find the lost city of Yamatai. They float into the eye of the storm know as Dragon's Triangle off the coast of Japan and end stranded. They are separated and quickly shows why it is the first entry to stand out as being mature. Lara is impaled in the side, as she falls from a rope which she is suspended upside down. She presses forward out of the cave looking for food and shelter, as she stumbles across a bow left behind by a hunter or somebody elses stranded on the island. She makes her first kill for some food. the Bow and Arrow is probably your most effective weapon in the game in my opinion. Though it is true like Nathan Drake and Indiana Jones Lara always seems to have a knack for finding trouble. Lara's change is quite visible in the game it is astonishing to see her change into a terrified girl into a hardened survivor. How when she first killed somebody it bothered her but how quickly she came to the point where it did not bother her. Though this is an origin story of how she became a survivor, its stories of artifacts and myths are certainly not left out. In fact that is one of the games strongest points. It takes a more supernatural spin rather that Uncharted's scientific explanation, that makes it stand out very strong, while there is this game centered on realism it also delves into the facts that somethings just cannot be explained natural phenomenons that occur for supernatural reasons.
Though Tomb Raider is very much your third person action game it interests me how it takes a more survival feel to it, almost much like that of Metal Gear Solid 3. Its gameplay copycats from others in its genre but it does enough to make it feel unique and original. You upgrade your equipment, use various tools to accomplish certain tasks. it requires that you backtrack to unlock certain thinks. the game is defininetly more action packed but it hasn't abandoned its puzzle roots those come in optional tombs, so it stays true to its roots. It has treasures to be found GPS spots, documents and letters left behind by people who have traveled to the ocean over the years. It is quite an incredible game.
Many series could take to heart a lesson that Tomb Raider as done. Sometimes you just have to abandon your roots, and create something new. Crystal Dynamics has proven how to do that and its something many other developers really need to think about. Tomb Raider resides as one of the best last games to come out on the PS3.
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