Late To The Party: Tomb Raider

Posted 2013/07/17 by William Manzo in Gaming
We’re kicking off our new Late To The Party series with a bang with Crystal Dynamics‘ highly acclaimed reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise. Does it live up to the hype? Let’s find out.

Before we start off, many people were worried that the new Tomb Raider seemed like an Uncharted clone in terms of gameplay. I can assure you that this is not the case. Crystal Dynamics really gave the Tomb Raider reboot a breath of fresh air in terms of gameplay (compared to previous Tomb Raider titles) and it shows through with it’s unique platforming, semi-free roam locations, and gun play.

To summarize the new Tomb Raider plot in a nutshell without spoilers, Lara, her friends, and shipmates are in search of some ‘loot’ and have to head towards a strange island. Things don’t go smoothly and it’s up for the weak and defenseless Lara Croft to toughen up and save the day when things go south.

Tomb Raider, personally, is what I’ve been wanting more of in a single player game. As a big fan of sandbox games, Tomb Raider‘s slight free roam aspect of the game makes it that much more enjoyable. Is there anything bad about this game? Let’s get into the Pro’s and Con’s.

[ PRO’S ]


Tomb Raider manages to have a linear story while also giving players the ability to explore more than people are used to in other single player titles.


Now, I’m going to make some comparisons with the Uncharted series for this one. Some things that I wished were in the Uncharted series have to be grabbing on to ledges from the side and a better implemented cover system. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve jumped from one area to another and fallen to my death because characters couldn’t grab onto the side of a ledge. That’s not the case with Tomb Raider. It’s similar to the Assassin’s Creed series where you can move your characters arms in the direction you wish grab onto.

The cover system on the other hand could have been more dynamic in the Uncharted series, whereas in Tomb Raider the cover system doesn’t require any button presses and feels more polished. That said those are just small issues with the Uncharted series that have been improved on in the new Tomb Raider.

The visuals in Tomb Raider are incredible. There are plenty of Dynamic weather effect in this title. From rubble, to strong wind, to fire that interacts with the environment, Crystal Dynamics have really outdone themselves with the Tomb Raider reboot.

The story in Tomb Raider starts off really strong and then slowly starts to fizzle a bit near the end. Some character performances are better than others and there is a lack of character knowledge unless you take the time to find hidden journals throughout your playthrough.

Like previously stated, the cover system is really well implemented in the game, but that is not all that’s great. You can play the game as you wish in certain areas, take a stealthier approach with a bow to have less trouble, or go all out and wreck some face with your rifle. The great thing about this is you can switch between weapon and attachments almost instantly. Want to switch to a suppressor on your pistol or have some fire arrows for your bow? Easy, just double tap the weapon you’ve selected and you’re ready to go.

That’s not the only great thing about weapons though. As you progress you can find weapon parts to craft better weapons. It won’t tell you exact stats on why the new weapon is better, just take their word for it. Gun sounds on the other hand… it’s just bad.


[ CON’S ]

Probably the worst thing about the game. The guns in Tomb Raider either sound like toy guns or paintball guns. Some are unique like the grenade launcher, but even that can’t make up for lazy gun sounds.

The skill trees aren’t entirely bad but they could have been better. For the most part the skill trees provide upgrades to upgrade other upgrades. It’s only until later on in the game when weapon upgrades are available to lessen recoil, add ammo to magazines, etc..

I wasn’t expecting anything crazy when going into the multiplayer, but for what it is, it’s fun. The thing is, the multiplayer has a ton of problems with it. Gunplay wise; not including special weapons, the multiplayer is fast paced and fun…sometimes. People can literally spawn camp the enemy spawn point if they push up fast enough. The game modes themselves are based on heroes versus villains. The heroes’ starting item is a timed grenade launcher, and the villains start with a weaker fire grenade that damage enemies over time. What’s poorly balanced MP without some strong power weapons?

There are two unique weapons you can find throughout the various multiplayer maps. A quick machine gun with a lot of ammo and a bow that instantly kills anyone. Other than the issues I just listed, the multiplayer is at least something new that people can try out. Tomb Raider‘s MP just isn’t for everyone and these issues would surely keep people away from playing.


Overall I’m glad I had the opportunity to play the new Tomb Raider. The excellent gameplay mixed with a nice, but not so great story makes for a memorable experience. The game does have some cons, but it shouldn’t hurt your experience too much. Whether or not you’re late to the party as well, you should definitely give Tomb Raider a try. I highly recommend it.

About the Author

William Manzo

Gaming since I was in diapers.