Tomb Raider reviews spilled their juicy guts all over the Internet today, and it seems Square Enix was right to confidently lift embargo a week early. Reviews across the board have been almost universally positive, with Lara Croft's reimagined adventures pleasing the critics.
Despite high scores, a number of reviews seem to contain a lot of criticism -- criticism that doesn't seem to impact the overall sentiments writers have had.
As always, we've gathered the more notable reviews of the day for your convenience.
Polygon: "It's easy to point out the many ways that Tomb Raider borrows bits and pieces from other popular games of the last five years, but Crystal Dynamics has blended these disparate strengths into something remarkable. It's cinematic yet open, intense yet laid-back, fresh yet polished. It's a near-perfect embodiment of the age of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with a hint of what to expect next." [9/10]
Eurogamer: "But they're just tricks, and they leave little room for the elements that set Tomb Raider apart to shine. Beneath the noise there is an engaging story clamouring to be heard, and there are moments of true beauty, serenity and pathos fighting for attention. The game does get better as it goes on, and despite the distractions the last few hours are a pleasure to play. At the centre of it all is a brilliant character, still iconic but more human and believable than she's ever been before." [8/10]
Edge: "Whether she’s huddled up against the cold or sending five men to their doom with an explosive arrow, this is still Lara Croft, one of gaming’s most distinctive heroes – and now she has a personality that extends far beyond the bounds of her bra straps. If the purpose of a reboot is to redefine a character and set them up for the future, then this is a job well done." [8/10]
CVG: "It takes around 20 hours to fully explore the entire island, something you'll instantly feel compelled to do, and at the end your thoughts will turn to the inevitable sequel - and how Crystal Dynamics will look to top this.
Because rest assured: Lara is back." [9/10]
IGN: "Tomb Raider is well-written, sympathetic, exciting, beautiful and just incredibly well-made. The single-player rarely makes a mis-step, and though Lara's quick transformation into a hardened killer seems at odds with the narrative at first, the game quickly moves past it. It is a superb action game that brings a new emotional dimension to one of gaming's most enduring icons, and repositions her alongside Nathan Drake at the top of gaming's action-hero heirarchy." [9.1/10]
GameSpot: "But with its excellent controls, engaging heroine, thrilling combat, and fascinating setting, it doesn't need to. Lara may be covering some previously charted territory here, but Tomb Raider is so well-crafted, you won't mind at all." [8.5/10]
Penny Arcade Report: "The missteps are small and few, and the triumphs are many and large. Tomb Raider re-introduces us to the character of Lara Croft, explains how she came to be the hero we know from earlier games, and then sets her on her way to more adventures. The game’s final line, and the tiny hint at a possible sequel if you know where to look, do a great job at capping off a fulfilling adventure. I walked away from the game as the credits rolled like one walks away from a grand meal: Feeling satisfied and refreshed." [N/A]
The Escapist: "Other Tomb Raider titles have focused on bits and pieces of Lara's personal history, but she's never been so truly human as she is in this latest incarnation. Her journey to get off the island is a fun adventure, but her emotional journey from student to survivor is what makes this Lara so appealing." [5/5]