WeView: Tomb Raider

One of my most vivid gaming memories came on my 13th or 14th birthday. I don’t remember exactly which it was, but it was some time around then. I’d had some friends round to play games on my PlayStation, and one of them had loaned me his copy of Tomb Raider III. As a special birthday treat I was allowed to stay up late, so I sat, beavering away at Lara Croft’s third adventure, perpetually dying in Nevada.

Of course, a lot’s changed since then. In a similar way to Sonic, Tomb Raider rapidly rose before staggering and falling, producing games that frequently left fans disappointed. However, unlike Sonic, it seems like a reboot to the series may have done the trick.

This year’s reboot had a lot of hype going into it’s release, along with some rather strange attempted rape controversy that quickly vanished, and pretty much managed to live up to its build up. It currently sits at 86 and 87 on Metacritic (for Xbox 360 and PS3 respectively), and although we didn’t do a scored review of the game, Alex was pleasantly surprised by the early sections of the game.

Of course, before we get to the meat of the game, there is the fairly odd issue of missing tombs. Despite being right there in the title, Alex says that tombs “are mostly out of the question”, and are “Relegated to a few hidden, optional elements”. Although that’s not in and of itself a bad thing, the lack of a focus on the raiding of tombs does seem to have annoyed some fans of the series.

Crystal Dynamics aren’t lunatics though, and while the tombs are less of a focus, the game seems like it retains a lot of the mechanics and feel that sit at the core of any Tomb Raider title, with Alex saying that “It’s the same modus operandi, but largely outdoors, and it works brilliantly.”

Alex goes on to say that “the game works best when it’s you against the platforming”, which is pretty much how a Tomb Raider title should be in my opinion. In fact, this element of the game is so strong that he says that “Tomb Raider has regained its crown in this area and Uncharted 4 will do well to take some pointers”, which is praise indeed.

Although Alex wasn’t convinced before playing them the game, it certainly seems like he came away happy, wrapping up his look at the game by saying:

So whilst it might not look and feel too much like Tomb Raider games of old (although look out for at least one nod in that direction) at first the important thing is that it feels modern enough to play as you’d expect it to whilst still retaining everything that made those games so pivotal in generations lost past. Crystal Dynamics have reinvented Lara whilst sticking to genre staples, with just enough ideas of their own to keep things fresh. From where I’m standing, that’s a success.

This is WeView though, so the question is do you agree with him? Did you feel that this year’s reboot refreshed the series, or did you miss the Lara of old? Did you long for the tomb based play of some of the older games, or did you prefer the more open approach that Crystal Dynamics took this time?

No matter where your opinion lies, we’d like to hear from you. If you feel like taking part, all you need to do is drop a comment below by Sunday, remembering to include a rating on the Buy It, Bargain Bin It, Rent It, Avoid It scale. Then we’ll try and sum up the community’s views in Monday’s verdict article.

Finally, as WeView took a short break last week, the poll for next week’s game sits in today’s article. Red Faction: Armageddon, Super Stardust Delta and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron all retain their place in the poll, while is a fresh entry. As always, you’ve got until 11:59pm on Sunday to get your votes in.



  1. An utterly brilliant game, and so nice to see a game return to the quality of the original in the Sega Saturn….would love to see Resident Evil do the same.
    I would have possibly liked the game to be slightly longer and the environments large, to allow for more free roam/exploration, but still one of my favourite games of the last few years, defo Buy It.
    The multiplayer was even enjoyable in short bursts.

  2. I didnt enjoy it but its not a bad game, it tried to difference itself from UC & it worked but some was missing, i dont know what but something was missing. it is a good game though. But even though the MP was so awful, it was enjoyable,

    Bargain bin if

  3. Best single player action adventure I have played this generation. Online was awful. Rent it.

  4. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought. The story didn’t grab me as I felt the Uncharted series portrayed the same type of thing but better. The remaining crew left were a bunch of stereotypes too which became annoying fast. Although, I did like the new rugged gritty Lara, that was good.
    The bow use was great, that was the real highlight of the combat and traversing for me. It’s just none of it felt memorable. It’s a good game don’t get me wrong but, as I said, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought, or should of for that matter.
    As the online isn’t anything unmissable I’ll have to go with RENT IT.

  5. The game was good, and the way the island was build is awesome; that feeling of looking down and recognising that a few hours ago you were at the bottom of that waterfall.
    However, there were three things that actually bothered me:
    1 – You don’t need to hunt or anything else. I went to the game thinking “wow, i’ll have to hunt to survive, great idea”. Not so

    2 – The end of the game is flat. Up until the final hour or so the story was building up to something interesting. Then, in a 3 minute sequence, Lara discovers in just one sitting what all the fuss was about. She went from relatively clueless to knowing everything….

    3 – … and then you get to the final fight, with a very week final battle in front of you. I couldn’t even believe that was the end. Not all games need a grand final battle (TLOU), but then again if the story itself was resolved 1h ago, I should at least have some decent enemy by the end.

    The game was still quite enjoyable though. Unfortunately, the multiplayer didn’t do it for me, so I would say to Rent It. If you think the multiplayer is up your alley, then by all means Bargain Bin it.

    • I’d agree with XisTG’s first point. It would have been nice for further hunting to actually mean something.

      Similarly, the story lost a fair amount of impact by not furthering this angle, nor the number of enemies that you then went on to kill. I think the buzz phrase is “narrative dissonance”? It didn’t quite feel right to face large waves of enemies quite so regularly.

      However, aside from that I thought it was fantastic. There were some nice twists and turns, a lovely setting for the events, and the more open environments made for a very refreshing change of pace from UC’s linearity.

      Absolutely a “buy it”, if only so that Crystal Dynamics get a chance to make a sequel their own way, and hone this fresh identity and space for Lara in modern gaming.

  6. Buy It, complete it, and then Frame It!!!!

    Best game of this generation that i have played! And i should point out, i have missed a lot of games this generation!

  7. Buy It. Best game I have played this year (currently working through Infinite and will get TLOU on payday)

    Really enjoyed it from start to finish.

  8. Amazing game, despite very minor flaws. No game is perfect but this one comes pretty close. They still need to have something to improve on in the sequel! ;P

    Buy it.

  9. As a few have said one of the best games this generation,and quite possibly my favourite i’ve completed it 3 times over,infact i think i may have platinumed it twice on 2 accounts.
    A gem of this generation Buy it.

  10. I have enjoyed every single one of the 7 or 8 Tomb Raider games I’ve played, and this was easily one of the best. If you compare it to Uncharted, I’d still say the Uncharted games are probably a bit better, but generally speaking, these type of adventure games (bit of climbing, bit of shooting, bit of head scratching) are my favourite genre, so I’d definitely say ‘buy it’!

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