A Breath of Fresh Air and Return to Form

User Rating: 9 | Tomb Raider PC

After Tomb Raider: Underworld failed to meet sales expectations, Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Interactive decided that it was best to reboot the franchise again.

The reboot goes back to when Lara was just beginning as an archaeologist. Her friends Sam, Wittman, Jonah, Alex, Reyes, Grim, and Roth follow her in search for the lost kingdom of Yumatai. When they find the island, they realize that it has already been found by a group of men lead by the villain Mathias. Mathias wants to sacrifice Sam to Himiko, the queen of Yumatai and one of Sam's ancestors. This is not T for Teen in tone which will be a welcome sight for fans of the franchise. The game's M rating allows for more creativity and a lot of excellent action sequences. Unfortunately some of the development of supporting characters is lost during the initial play through.

The graphics are among the best I have seen. Each set piece is so beautiful. Thankfully the game allows you to look at all the visual beauty of the surrounding areas. The PC port also has a TresFX feature which separates each strand of Lara's hair. With this feature on her hair will react more realistically, but you will most likely leave it turned off because it will slow the animation down from 62 fps to around 40 fps.

The game features a heavy balance of shooting, exploration, RPG elements, and platforming. Shooting has been a problem with past games, but here it is very simple. You get a bow and arrows, pistol, assault riffle, and shotgun, but you will most likely be using the bow and arrows. Exploring allows the RPG elements to perfectly blend in. The more you explore, the more you level up and can unlock new moves. The exploration feels so rewarding that I get excited whenever I can explore one of several tombs hidden throughout the game. Raiding the tombs also fills up your map with locations of hidden objects. The platforming is also perfected. The camera never becomes a problem as it moves only to angles where you can see what you are doing.

I have not tried the multiplayer, but I have heard that it is lack luster. Next time any of you developers try to add a multiplayer feature to a game, add a bunch different game modes.

Despite the lack luster multiplayer, Tomb Raider is still worth a purchase. The graphics are amazing, the gameplay is perfected, and the story is an emotional roller coaster ride that, despite having some character development problems, will leave you coming back for more.