The lights are on
Reboot… that dreaded word causes many gamers to cringe. We don’t always take kindly to the retooling of some of the most popular games of our childhoods. Companies hoping to make a quick buck off of our nostalgia for the games of yesteryear though seem to believe they can put out a half-baked rehash and call it a day (I’m looking at you Metroid: Other M.). If we’re lucky we find something that lives up to the past like New Super Mario Bros Wii. Sometimes, and this is rare, we are handed gold. The new Tomb Raider reboot is such.
Gold is pretty and shiny and this new entry does not disappoint. Whether you play on the Playstation or the Xbox you will find that the landscapes are rendered beautifully, Lara and the crew of the Endurance look great and the ruins on the island have an authentic feel of decay. Simply put Tomb Raider is gorgeous but it is the attention to detail that sells the visuals. Seeing Lara go through hell and back is accentuated by the grime, blood and bandages that end covering our poor Heroine. These details make her seem real, well as real as video game character can be after falling 15-20ft, landing on her neck (which should have snapped it) and getting up and walking away.
While visuals help ground a game in realism it is the emotion in the voice acting that bring this game home. We have all encountered terrible acting or poor scripting that has jarred us out the adventure de jour and reminded us that we are merely controlling an avatar. That is not the case with Lara. You can hear her fear, her pain, and her determination in her voice. None of what she says feels forced or rehearsed. You believe her. The supporting cast is just as good and this includes the villains (They don’t say “Get that…B!tch.” on a loop.). Voice over on the journal entries and documents you find scattered about the island, while serving to get rid of tedious reading (That is a joke. I love reading as must you if you are reading this.), smoothly and efficiently adds history to both the island and supporting cast.
Game play flows smoothly as well. Weapons and their upgrades are acquired one by one allowing you to become familiar with how they function in this particular universe, not that they are any different from any other world, and opening up new areas should you wish to use the fast travel feature to jump between camps. Fights can be point and shoot, stealthy, or a combination of the two depending on your preference or current situation. But nothing is smoother than the transition from ‘level’ to level’ which usually triggers a movie scene or a Quick Time Event. Should you fail a QTE you are simply taken back to the beginning of the scene no harm no foul. So no pressure unless you are a perfectionist… sucks to be you.
Speaking of perfect multiplayer most certainly isn’t. In fact it is quite lackluster. It feels hastily tacked on almost as if it were an afterthought which it probably was. I’ll stick to Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty and Mass Effect for my multiplayer needs.
Overall the game is excellent. It far exceeds my expectations for a reboot as well as a Tomb Raider game in general. It makes me want to shout out loud to companies far and wide “This is how reboots should be done!...Minus the multiplayer.”
Great review; I agree with the whole thing. The MP is such a shame since it feels to dismal next to the splendid single player campaign. I'm wondering if future DLC will be MP only(maps and such) or if they'll add a new location to the island.
I agree. Great review. The game is amazing. Like mark said, shame that the MP is bad.
All I have too say about Tomb Raider 2013 is This Game left me wanting the next one.