The reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise, aptly called Tomb Raider, is an excellent example of an action movie in video game form. Every appealing aspect of the action genre is present; Explosions, Bloody fights, Explosions, powerful weapons, a Thrilling story, and still more Explosions. The third person combat is inviting to new players, while at the same time offering some depth for the more experienced player.
You play as Lara Croft, daughter of famed archaeologist Richard Croft. You start on a ship searching for the legendary Sun God, Himiko, and her kingdom, Yamatai, in the Dragon’s Triangle (a Bermuda triangle clone). Legend says that Himiko has mythical powers that allow her to control the weather. Perhaps adding to the myth, Lara’s boat quickly pulls a Lost and gets destroyed by a storm, stranding Lara and the surviving crew on an unknown island. The main story is interesting, and it moves the action along nicely. There are also collectible GPS tags, relics, and journal entries which provide some history about the crew and the island.
The story is made more impactful by the Amazing voice acting; Camilla Luddington does a fantastic job as the voice of Lara Croft. Everything is voiced, including the collectible journal entries. The graphics are also exceptional, even in today’s world of superb video game graphics. Liquids (whether they be blood or rain) will freckle the screen, adding an immersive quality to many scenes.
One of the main themes throughout Tomb Raider is the idea of survival. Lara will do whatever it takes to ensure both her and her friends survive and escape the island; even when what is required might make her sick with guilt. To aid in her survival, Lara’s ‘survival instinct’ power scans an area, and highlights enemies, loot, climbable walls, and hints on how to solve puzzles. The highlights are taken away once Lara moves, but as long as she stays stationary, you are able to easily track highlighted enemies, allowing you to find the most opportune time to strike. The cover system in Tomb Raider is near the final evolution of cover systems in video games. Lara automatically takes cover whenever she walks up to a spot she can hide behind; simple and easy. It is nearly perfect, but at times it was difficult to find cover while running away from enemies. There are few optional tombs to raid which require you to solve easy puzzles, and in reward the location of all of the collectibles in the area will be displayed on the map.
NOTE: I played the 360 version of Tomb Raider