Hello, bloggers. I have been struggling with what direction to take The Buy it/Avoid it Report for a while now. Although I have always enjoyed writing it, lately I just haven't been buying much. Other than a few digital games here and there, I've mostly been renting games through GameFly in an effort to save myself some money. I've never been much of a collector so this just makes more fiscal sense.
So, because I'm weird and I can't write about games that I didn't actually buy
in a blog that makes purchasing recommendations, I changed the name. It's more for my sake than yours, I assure you. Also, "buy" and "avoid" aren't really opposite ideas, but "play" and "avoid" are. That makes sense, right? The only problem now is that I'm setting myself up for confusion between my "P/A Report" and the real PA Report
. Hopefully Ben Kuchera won't get too upset. Anyway, let's roll.
If you had told me a couple years ago that the new Tomb Raider
game would knock my socks off, I probably would have laughed in your face. I had roughly zero respect for Lara Croft and assumed her popularity had simply stemmed from her big boobs and short shorts. However, when this reboot came around and I started seeing footage, I instantly noticed a difference. Lara was filthy, cut up, bruised and beaten but had a fire in her eyes that wasn't there before. She looked tough as hell. All of a sudden she was a compelling character.
This game does so many things right that it's ridiculous. The environments are incredible looking but also brilliantly constructed. Linear paths bleed into huge, open areas with tons of secrets to discover. Running, jumping and climbing are all tuned perfectly. It's simply a joy to traverse the environments, and the animations for every movement are simply fantastic. You get Lara's signature bow very early in the game and can upgrade it extensively. It was so fun to use that I often forgot that I was even carrying guns at all. I didn't need them.
There are lots of cinematic moments in Tomb Raider
that feel heavily inspired by the Uncharted
games. Yes, I see the irony in that statement. Stuff will crumble or break at the worst times and Lara will have to make countless life-or-death leaps before the credits roll. The main difference here is that the theme of survival is constant. She may survive a terrible fall, but she'll land on a piece of rebar and have to pull it out herself. The character you start as and the character you finish the game as are two completely different people, and you get to witness the entire transformation. It's an incredible journey.
if you are craving a cinematic adventure with perfect pacing and impressive production values.
if you're bad at quicktime events because the death animations are almost too violent to have to watch over and over again.
That's it folks. This was a long one but it had been a while since the last issue so I guess I was making up for lost time. Thanks for reading! See you next time.
LOOK WHO CAME: