Excerpt: Lara Croft is one of the few strong female leads in a patriarchal industry that generally doesn't take too well to the concept of making a “kitchen-residing sammich maker” as the protagonist. In reality, that's what the mainstream media—which, I must add, seems to have a complete and utter disconnect with gaming—has convinced most laymen into believing. The fact is, your average PC gamer is in his 30s and more mature than most non-gamers give him credit for.
Conclusion: One of the best adventure games on console, with a fantastic blend of action and exploration. The Definitive Edition really is definitive, but isn't worth a repeat buy for those who've already experienced Lara's story.
Pros: Lara Croft is a believable badass, Wonderful, varied setting, An excellent sense of pacing
Cons: Side characters are dull stereotypes, Has a slow start, Definitive Edition offers few upgrades
Summary: Tomb Raider has struggled to find its place in the world over the past few years. Games like Prince of Persia and Uncharted surpassed its sense of exploration and adventure, while the sex appeal that contributed to Lara's early fame could only go so far, especially with the audience growing increasingly critical of such vapid tactics. Developers and publishers have struggled to know what, exactly, to do with Lara Croft. The answer, as it always seems to be, is a reboot.
Summary: While it will, more than likely, be overtaken by other hotly anticipated titles over the rest of 2013, at this point, Tomb Raider is an early contender for Game of the Year. This reboot of a popular, well-known franchise went through several bumps and delays in development, but the end result is a very good product.
Excerpt: Editor's Note: This review covers the single player campaign of Tomb Raider. I admit I've never been the biggest fan of the Tomb Raider series. I did play the first Tomb Raider when it was released on the Sega Saturn. And yes, before all of you claim that the game was originally released on the PlayStation, despite what magazines like Electronic Gaming Monthly made you believe, it was first available on the Saturn.
Conclusion: Despite stepping away from the tone and play style of its forbears, Tomb Raider is an entertaining adventure and a great jumping off point for the new direction Crystal Dynamics wants to take. Great combat and beautiful scenery help to balance out issues stemming from questionable storytelling, elementary puzzle design and an overabundance of secondary items to collect.
Summary: Tomb Raider is sure to please many people, just as sure as it is to piss many others off. The story is a joke, and one that could potentially permanently damage Lara Croft’s reputation in the gaming industry. Bad writing moves it away from a survival story and turns it into the story about how one woman becomes a mass murderer. However, it looks, sounds, and plays fantastic. I had a lot of fun with the game, and would be more than willing to play a potential sequel.
Summary: The game takes this culturally relevant character, completely transforms her, and creates a dynamic and interesting protagonist who overcomes all kinds of disheartening obstacles. My mind ran through the emotional gamut as I experienced Lara's journey off the island, and with just one game, developer Crystal Dynamics has managed to completely change my opinion of this famous character. New life has been injected into the Tomb Raider series.
Pros: Transforms Lara Croft and makes her a far more compelling character, Exciting set piece moments, Optional tombs are fun
Cons: Lara Croft's transformation has a few narrative hitches, More tombs would have been welcome, Mediocre online multiplayer
Conclusion: Rebooting a popular franchise is a daunting task, one that is riddled with countless risks of being hounded by a die-hard, loyal fanbase who have their fingers readily placed on their keyboards, itching to flame the developers for ruining their favorite series. Happily, I can strongly say this game has succeeded on all fronts.
Tomb Raider Review: This Reboot Is Lara Croft’s Greatest Adventure Yet
9 March 2013
Excerpt: Developer Crystal Dynamics had a lot riding on the new Tomb Raider . The studio was promoting the hell out of the reboot and told the fans that this would not only be a reimagining of the long-lasting franchise, but of the Lara Croft character, as well. The game was in development for quite some time, but did it succeed in bringing a new Lara to life? Did it properly mold a new world and continuity for the heroine?