Monthly Archives: October 2013

Tomb Raider: The Rebooted New One

I have been negligent on this blog. But that is because I spend so much time over at Low Sec Lifestyle writing about Eve. However, some changes will be wandering over to this little bit of the internet soon enough. Beyond that, Tomb Raider.

During the Steam sale this summer I asked my husband to pick up Tomb Raider for me. I had enjoyed the original games and I was interested to see how they had rebooted the series. At this time I am about 40% of the way through the game. I don’t play it quickly but I keep it open in another window and play it in spits and chunks around my other activities, life, Eve Online, and etc.

Currently, I think that Tomb Raider is worth playing. I also find it very irritating and very interesting at the same time.

Tomb Raider is done in a mixture of cinematic reality video. Sometimes you are watching a movie that you control basic motions of. Sometimes you are fully in control of the game. It is well done but the moments of constricting pretend freedom irritate me. I like my free roaming games and I like them a lot. Tomb Raider is free roaming but you will have to suffer through the pre made dramatic sequences as well.

We meet Laura Croft on her first adventure. She is not the hardened badass that we have known for the last several years. She is young, she is inexperienced, and she suffers a lot. This entire game should be named the Tempering of Laura Croft because that is what it is. The first few hours of play I wanted to smack her. A lot. She whimpered. She spent her time shivering and doubting herself. She was not the Laura Croft I wanted to play.

As the game has progressed so has the character. She is taking challenges for a reason. I’m actually very, very impressed with the storyline and I didn’t expect to be. I want to smack her sometimes. It is still a video game story. But the subtle improvement of the characters reactions to events and the world are very, very good. Once I started to see her harden and have fewer whimpering and more hard determination, I began to enjoy myself well and sit back and enjoy the story of her development. My problem was not that she did not start out as a bad ass. My problem was that it looked as if they had softened her up into something useless that needed to be protected.

The whimpering and gasps still annoy me. I suggested to my monitor more than once that she bite a stick if she couldn’t shut up. Other’s will find the humanity endearing.

The gameplay is fairly smooth and simple. I spend my time shooting people with arrows. I have guns but I rarely use them. I can land enough head shots to be satisfying. The enemies use cover and angles nicely. If you shoot them in the body they absorb more damage. If you head shot them they fall. There are a handful of combat moves and different strategies are important.

The world is also vibrant. Pay attention. The story unravels through quiet conversations and exploring dark corners of caverns for symbols painted on the walls. There are journals scattered around. They are interesting but I find the readable journal on the table, under the tattered tent, exposed to the elements, in a snow storm a bit implausible. Also, WW2 happened here in ways that help progress the storyline.

Still, that is the nature of games and they do a good job with making interesting objects and scalable activities to give that agile world travelling feel. The cinematics are interesting and move the storyline. I find that I’d actually like to know what happens in the end. I’ll keep playing. It was worth picking up. I may be behind the game curve but I am not prone to rushing my game time for the new bright shiny.