Lara Croft is on the ship Endurance when she is jarred from her bed to find a massive storm tearing the ship apart. Lara is swept away by rushing water and is trapped, only to be rescued by a unknown savior. She then attempts to leap from one side of the broken ship to the other but fails and falls into the sea. Washed ashore on an unknown island, Lara’s adventure begins. She must ascertain where she is, what has happened to her friends and the crew of the Endurance. In doing so, she is drawn into the mysteries and trappings of the island on which she must learn to survive.
I don’t know if the Uncharted franchise ripped anything off from the original Tomb Raider series but this reboot sure ripped a lot off of Uncharted and that is a compliment two both games.. This game plays like Nathan Drake gets Batman’s gadgets. If you ever played Batman Arkham Asylum, it plays a lot like that. The game starts out by having you complete tasks and scenarios to earn items like a torch and learn how to use it. This happens throughout the game but is well integrated into the game play and does not feel like an interruption at any time. Throughout the game you can upgrade weapons and abilities with salvage and skill points, respectively. Salvage is picked up from crates and enemies whereas skill points are earned via XP by completing story missions, side missions, killing enemies, and collecting items.
Crystal Dynamic did a great job putting a new feel on an old franchise with very few issues. The story line is not exactly believable but keep in mind that Lara Croft is essentially a female Indiana Jones and both of these franchises stretch the line of realism. Based on that, I am perfectly fine with everything they presented to me in this game(and it’s a video game which is supposed to be somewhat unrealistic). There are a few moments that you may roll your eyes because it gets so sappy and stupid especially in the dialogue but the action and overall story will surpass these issues. I did like the one moment went she went Rambo and called out to her enemies that she was coming for all of them. I laughed out loud at that point.
On a mechanical level, the game both achieves and baffles. The cinematic sequences are absolutely gorgeous, I can’t put it any other way. This is one of, if not, the best games from a graphics perspective on the PS3 I’ve ever played. If you are detail oriented or an OCD person, you will notice issues like when you are going through a crawl space, the bow strapped across your back will simply phase through any object you get close to rather than your character moving appropriately to accommodate. There was a particular instance I noticed, it was when you come out of a cinematic sequence and you would not have any of your inventory on your character, such as your bow, but as soon as you pressed up on the d-pad it just appeared. If this is the biggest complaint I can put forth for the mechanics then this game is pretty dang solid game.
Yes, there is multi-player. No, I didn’t care to play it. The game modes are basically mods of other modes. One game type has the survivors trying to activate radio towers but this plays like a domination game type as the time to turn on the radio tower is based on the amount of players X the amount of time inside a certain radius of the tower. Not ground breaking but not bad. Team death match is your standard fare of kill or be killed to a count total. I didn’t grasp how to set traps that were available even though I found myself caught in a few.
If you are debating between games to purchase or for Game of the Year awards, the contenders I have played are The Last of Us and Tomb Raider. I give the nod to Tomb Raider. I completely appreciate where The Last of Us came from and what it did but I just flat-out enjoyed playing Tomb Raider more.
This game cost me $30, with a coupon, for a used copy at GameStop. Within two weeks Amazon dropped the price of a new copy to under $20 on Xbox 360 but the PS3 copy was still almost $35. I hope this was a strange error on their part and has been corrected by the time you read this post. Even Gamefly was about $35 for either platform. I recommend this game for any price below $30 but I don’t see the investment in DLC worth it as it is multi-player oriented. If that is your thing, then go ahead and enjoy. Regardless, this is a great game that can be enjoyed on many levels.