Nukezilla Review: Tomb Raider (Xbox 360)
One of the most iconic figures in video games, Lara Croft, is back in action with the reboot slash prequel Tomb Raider. Does this origin story do enough to kick-start this somewhat stagnate franchise?
A young Lara and her archeological crew aboard the Endurance set out in search of the island The Dragon’s Triangle. A violent storm finds them first separating the crew on the island and leaving Lara to fend for herself. She is quickly in over her head and must find a way to not only survive, but to rescue her friends.
The character progression throughout the game is done remarkably well. Lara learns to use new weapons and tools as you would expect, but her character subtly changes through the course of the game’s 12-15 hours. The clever writing and voice acting help to complete Lara’s arc from a weak and helpless victim into a confident and brutal survivor.
For her survival Lara relies on some impressive weapons and skills. A shotgun, handgun, and rifle are found along the way and are upgradable for more powerful attacks and abilities. They feel great to use and each has a purpose in combat. Lara’s main tool instead of her double pistols like before is the ridiculously fun bow. Being able to take out a crew of enemies silently is a blast and with later upgrades some damage can be dealt.
Getting around the island is a real treat with tight controls and abilities like riding down zip lines. Along with the intense action sequences that will have Lara falling down a mountain side or running from a crashed plane, the game slows down enough for players to catch their breath with some clever, if somewhat easy, puzzles.
There is a multiplayer option with the traditional modes like team death match, but with so much to find and explore on the single player side it really doesn’t seem that necessary of an option. But there is some fun to be had for those begging for multiplayer.
Lara’s journey from tortured victim to true badass is an absolute joy to take part in. The intense action sequences and violence towards a women might make some squeamish but it’s so satisfying watching Lara take charge that those feelings are quickly forgotten. Easily the best in the series and right up there with Uncharted and Nathan Drake, Tomb Raider is a brilliant step in the right direction for the long running series.
Disclaimer: Square Enix provided Nukezilla a copy of this game for review.