I’m new to the Tomb Raider Franchise, I’ve never played any of the previous ones but of course have seen and read reviews and for the most part never decided to get them. But I’m a sucker for Survival / Horror adventure games and this one just happened to cross my path when I was shopping on Amazon for Bioshock Infinite for Andria and I thought to myself What the hell might as well give this a try. I understood that this was a prequel and a reboot to the series so I thought this was a good starting point to see what the series I’ve avoided for years was all about and at a sale price on amazon it was not a hard thing to do.
I was completely floored and hooked with this game and this has gone up to be one of my most favorite games I’ve played in a long long time. The developers did an awesome job making me care about Lara, I wanted to see her succeed, catch a break or just not get hurt.
So the story begins with Lara and her crew sailing around in their ship the Endurance trying to find the lost Kingdom of Yamatai to film and make money most of the senior crew had put their entire life savings on this archaeological find and Lara guesses the lost Kingdom of Yamatai is inside a place called the Devils Triangle an area thats claimed many ships, airplanes and makes the Bermuda triangle look like Disney World. Unfortunately for the Crew of the Endurance they fall victim to a storm and become shipwrecked on an island inside the Devils Triangle and find themselves at the mercy of hungry wolves, dangerous cultists and supernatural weather.
Much of the story is told between journals of those who have fallen before you and the violence of current day that lead you further into the story. I found myself searching high and low for every Journal, Relic and GPS Cache I could find to uncover more of whats going on on this island and for the most part I didn’t know how it was going to end until 3/4 of the way through when pieces of the puzzle finally came together and at that point Lara Turned from fleeing survivor to ultimate badass with the Phrase “Thats right run you bastards, I’m coming for you all!”
I think what I liked most about this game was that it just wasn’t repetitive every new area I explored had new challenges, scenery, story and enemies to take in. I’ve climbed to the highest points in many areas just take in the view and try to piece together what I’m seeing and how the islands history had unfolded. I mean the scenery had Ancient Japanese towns with Pirate ships, Aircraft and WW2 layer and intermingled with each other. Everywhere I went was just fresh and made we want to play it.
I also appreciated learning about the surviving Endurance Crew through their Journals and felt so sad when some of them didn’t make it and for one in particular a much celebrated ending. Even though you had little interaction with the Crew the spots where they came in to help was awesome and they didn’t feel useless but more of a band of rag tag survivors with a single purpose of escape.
Weapon wise I never felt underpowered I could switch from my trusty bow to a Pistol, to a Shotgun to an Assault rifle. Scavenging for parts to upgrade them made me stop all the time to clear an area of animals and boxes so I could awesome weapons. There are several parts where Lara loses her weapons and forces you to go back to survival mode and avoid enemy contact and these areas are my favorite since its all evasion and hiding and stealth kills.
There just isn’t any flaws in the game play its stunning, the enemies are smart, they take cover move in and flank you and I couldn’t find any glitches that jarred me away from the immersion. The puzzles aren’t overwhelmingly hard but not too easy to solve either, all the tombs are one puzzle you have to think about and then get your prize. Which is much better than my past experiences with Puzzles (I’m looking at you Water Temple.) Even the soundtrack for this game is awesome you’ll want to listen to it; it just says jungle survival and makes you feel like something ominous is about to happen.
Go out and get this game! I’m replaying it on hard looking to get a 100% on everything I finished Normal at 95%.