I have been a huge Tomb Raider fan ever since my father plonked me on his knee and let me take control of Lara Croft in Tomb Raider II. I still remember it to this day, bursting into tears because I managed to lead her to an early demise; she was flattened by a boulder. Somewhat inappropriate for a mere child to witness you might say... I didn't revisit the games until a few years afterwards. The early games were a huge part of my childhood and I would constantly replay them until I knew them inside and out. Lara was and still is an idol to me. At a younger age I was more enthralled and even took to replaying Angel of Darkness despite the fact that deep down I knew it was shambles and didn't do the Tomb Raider games any justice.
When Legends was released I adored it. I marvelled at the new look Lara had and the new gameplay mechanics. The same with Anniversary and Underworld. I also really enjoyed that the story was linked and felt like it was actually going somewhere. Though it has always been a series than can simply flourish from many different, random stories, I felt truly connected to Lara's personal driven mission.
A tad bit more recent...
When I heard about the reboot I was initially disheartened. I wasn't taken in by the new story and had so hoped that the next instalment in the series would have perhaps carried on after Underworld. In many ways I was being stubborn. The story had more or less concluded and really all I wanted was a regular Tomb Raider experience. If they were dropping the personal story just plonk Lara on a mission to hunt down a famous artifact that would lead her to various exotic locations...The change of back story was something I wasn't comfortable with. There are already many alterations and different versions of Lara's history. I guess I didn't want yet another retell of how she became the world famous archaeologist we all know her as.
I have been despairing at the direction the gaming industry has been taken of late. Many triple A titles have been released and received as utter disappointments. After the redemption of the Tomb Raider series I was so nervous that a reboot could mean that the new title would follow suit. Especially with the addition of multiplayer to a game that has never and in my opinion should never have had it. But I was wrong in regards to the singleplayer.
So, so wrong.
I knew that despite my concerns I would play it. I had to. How could I not? I had in fact already heard extremely positive reviews from websites (including Destructoid) and from friends and so my spirits began to lift ever so slightly until I actually grew anxious watching the installation bar. When I finally had it all set up I dove straight in and well, I was engrossed from the very first few seconds.
I play on a somewhat high end PC (though outdated by now, I can still run all new releases on high settings, at times ultra.) and Tomb Raider is a stunning game. Though in all honesty I was too distracted by the story and action to pay as much heed to my surroundings as I perhaps should have! To think that I so heavily questioned the story! I can be a bit too proud and rarely like to admit mistakes but I was well and truly too quick to judge on this occasion.
Through my biased vision I previously couldn't see that a reboot would do Lara a world of good. A weird way of putting it I suppose, with what she actually goes through in the latest game! But it's true. It was a refreshing experience from start to finish. Gripping, exciting and yet dark and gritty. Tomb Raider has always had some scary horror aspects to it but nothing quite like in the 2013 release.
This isn't a review by any means so I won't go into detail about pros and cons and such. I guess I wanted to write up a fairly brief confession of sorts. And I wanted to express my joy in regards to the latest Tomb Raider. It was an amazing ride. At one point it got too intense for me and I had to quit and take a break! I have my 100% save sitting pretty and now I'm waiting a week or so to do a replay. As a long time fan of Lara Croft I can safely state that I am one happy panda. I eagerly await the next game and this time I'll be a lot more positive when it's announced I'm sure ;)