Wednesday, 20 March 2013

LADY ELEANOR VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Tomb Raider: A Survivor is Born - Square Enix

Release Date: 05/03/13


Tomb Raider is an Action-Adventure game that introduces players to the origin of one of the most identifiable video games icons of all-time, Lara Croft. The game features a blend of survival, stealth, melee and ranged combat, and exploration gameplay as a young Lara Croft is forced to push herself past her know limits to survive and unravel the dark history of a forgotten island. In the process she will unlock the adventurer within her. Additional game features include: weapons both familiar and new, upgradable items, a variety of play environments, and human and animal enemies.

A Survivor is Born

When the first ever Tomb Raider game launched in 1996 it was a revolution. Outstanding in terms of graphics, gameplay, and storyline, it changed the way that video games were played and developed forever. Fronting the games assault on the world was the central character, Lara Croft. Lara was also to have an incredible impact, quickly becoming the most recognized and celebrated female action heroine and an icon for the video games industry.

This newest rendition of Tomb Raider explores the intense and gritty origin story of Lara Croft and her ascent from a frightened young woman to the hardened survivor that she would become known as. Armed only with raw instincts and the ability to push beyond the limits of human endurance, Lara must fight to unravel the dark history of a forgotten island to escape its relentless hold.
Key Game Features

Tomb Raider Rebooted - The new version of Tomb Raider is designed to reboot the game series for both the new generation of gamers, as well as longtime fans.

The Origins of Lara Croft - Set before even the earliest of classic games in the series, Tomb Raider serves as an origin story for Lara Croft, detailing her metamorphosis from an unsure young woman, to a superstar adventurer.

Diverse Gameplay - The game incorporates a variety of gameplay genres, including survival, stealth, melee and ranged combat, exploration, and more
Weapons - Utilize a variety of weapons, including bow and arrow, an ice ax, and pistol.


I remember the original Tomb Raider on the Playstation way back in the last century (hey it was 1996) and to be honest with the puzzles and the third person shooter point of view, Lara was a constant friend with each successive outing. Yet having taken a break for a number of years, this reboot would have to do something to not only bring the old fans back but to generate a need within the new gamer to play.

What this title does is take you back to the beginning of Lara’s career when she is sceptical, young as well as unsure of herself, all to discover that she’s shipwrecked on an island facing a zealous cult lead by Brother Mathias set to return the Sun Queen to a mortal incarnation.

Whilst there will be some who won’t like this new Lara, I have to say that I loved it. The game is story driven with the fans getting to see a vulnerable Lara, help mould her to her future and with solid voice acting really works well, add to the mix the ability to adapt the game to suit your playing style (I played through with the bow more than anything else) alongside the option to duck and cover, really gives you some heart stopping moments as Lara faces one hell of a fire fight. Yet that’s not all, the game designers allow the player to gather salvage to upgrade equipment as well as the upgrading to learn survival skills to help you throughout.

Add to this cracking cinematic cut sequences, some great twists, destructible scenery alongside the obligatory tombs to explore, all round make this a game that I had a lot of fun playing.

That said, whilst I enjoyed this, a lot of the supporting cast did feel quite weak, barely 2d cut outs more there to aid/save Lara than feel fleshed out into real characters that you could care about and for me, one of the weakest parts of the story was the quickness in which Lara gets over her ability to kill. Don’t get me wrong, I understand having to move through it, but when one minute she feels inconsolable and the next she’s a hardened killer, there should have been some transition where she learns to accept the necessity for survival.

All in I had a lot of fun with this game, and with the ability to upgrade and revisit locations as well as finding additional quests all round gave me a good number of hours completing them and to be honest I’m really looking forward to embarking with this new Lara on her next mission.

Lady Eleanor is Falcata Times Mistress of Mayhem, be it in the Horror Genre or on the console, she gives it her all and loves to blow the hell out of anyone who gets in her way.  You can often find her perusing the game sites to get the latest gossip on what’s arriving next or checking out the latest movie/book releases to see what grabs her attention.

In addition to this Lady Eleanor is a lifelong fan of pin up and in particular the Fetish Queen of the 50’s Bettie Page and whilst the name is an alias, its due more to her love of a song by the same title by the group Lindisfarne rather than her dominating presence when she lays down the law.

(Artwork by Isis Sousa for Falcata Times)

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