Greetings all. This won't be a collegiate essay, rather a brief collection of thoughts on a new game. Its name is in the title. That's professionalism. I'll be a real blogger someday. I just know it.
So I bought Tomb Raider when it was on sale and hot dang I'm glad I did. It does for Lara Croft what the Nolan films did for Bruce Wayne and the writing is pretty great throughout. Its main hook is a JJ Abrams device where you and Lara try to figure out exactly what it is which keeps them from leaving the island.
Now we'll just skip the exposition because the word "spoilers" is also in the title and we've all played this game right? RIIIIGHT. So anyway, I thought they'd go with a more scientific explanation as to what caused the freak weather phenomena. The logs of Axis-era Japanese soldiers served to mislead, as they lent credence to the notion of a Tesla-esque device at the eye of the storm. However this wasn't the case, and it turned out to be a Japanese God Queen who intended to reincarnate herself through forcible possession of Lara's friend.
And somehow this makes more sense than thinking it was science. Because it explains why Lara would go from being a mostly average girl, albeit one with higher than usual intelligence, to a relentless discoverer of the unknown. The assorted traumas she had been through until then would have made anyone harder yet they were only a prelude to the necessary life-changing event: the realization that the world was fundamentally unlike what she had previously believed. Suddenly her worldview includes undead samurai and a ghost who could change the weather! If she had survived a mere combat situation she'd have been able to go home and get a book deal out of it. But there ain't no normal after you've met a Japanese Thunder Goddess. At that point life as you knew it is done; as Lara says on the boat in the end, "I'm not going home."
So yeah, it's more cinematic than cinema and I loves it very much. Especially subtle touches such as the dual gun scene. That was impressive...it seems inevitable knowing the character yet when it came time for that, it genuinely surprised me. And speaking of weapons the bow was my favorite. This is one of the best archery games I've seen to date. She has quite the arrangement of trick arrows once she levels up, including napalm, explosives, and rope with included high speed winch. That last one is especially great because her little rope bike turns her into Spider-man.
The only possible negative I can imagine is that it can be a little too cinematic. Older Tomb Raider games seemed much more thoughtful, in that they'd present you with series of puzzles so difficult that substantial thought was required to solve them. Here the most you have to do is pull something heavy into the right spot or time a jump precisely. It seems the more cerebral aspects were simplified in favor of large scale gun battles, which irked me ever so slightly. Shooting is fun but it's a little unrealistic near the end, for fifteen year old Lara to be out there mowing down hordes of maniacal cultists. Not a serious complaint by any stretch of the imagination however, like I said, just the only thing which made me raise a questioning eyebrow.
The multiplayer is kinda good but kinda unnecessary. It's just regular multiplayer far as I know, only played one quick team deathmatch. Very easy to pick up, my team got destroyed first round but I was able to pull it together and help us get the next two. Might experiment with it later to see if the devs included any unusual modes which would be appropriate for the franchise. You know, like Capture the Relic or something. Like I said I haven't really looked into that.
However I would recommend this for the singleplayer alone, especially if you're a fan and even if you're not. I got it when XBL had it for $20 a week or two ago, it's definitely worth that, and I probably would have paid full price with no regrets if it had been on my radar at the time.
I even thought it was worth writing a blog about, you guys. It's just that damn good.
11/10, on an arbitrary series of random numbers which is completely devoid of rational meaning