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