T is for Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider (2013) is the first game in the franchise that I’ve played. Because of this, I can’t compare it to previous entries, favorably or otherwise. I can tell you this much, though: it’s a darn entertaining game!

A third-person action survival adventure, Tomb Raider casts you in the titular role of Lara Croft, archaeologist, adventurer, and yes, tomb raider. Lara must uncover the secret of the mysterious island she’s washed up on, all while battling the previously stranded locals who will do anything to keep it hidden. To be honest, the raiding of tombs in this iteration is secondary to the plot and gameplay. Every tomb is actually just an optional puzzle-box off of the main quest. The rewards for completing them are generous, but not necessary for completing the game.

I have to applaud the cinematography in this game. During certain tense sequences, you remain in control of Lara while the camera moves or cuts to a tighter framing. This really accentuated the desperation of her situation. Not many games I’ve played have tried this, and even fewer have done it well. I’d be remiss to not mention the use of quick time events. While I’m normally averse to QTEs, Tomb Raider handled them well, which is to say they’re used sparingly. As with the camera position and movement (or restriction thereof) they made me feel more connected with Lara’s plight in the moment.

There are plenty of intense moments and Tomb Raider definitely earns it’s M rating. The violence isn’t too over the top or gory, but I think the visceral realism of it is part of why I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone. Also, there are several F-bombs, mostly from the ‘bad guys’. However, if you’re in the mood for a taught thriller, this will definitely fit the bill. The controls are tight, the visuals are stunning, and the characters are well written, by and large. If the M rating isn’t a deal breaker, definitely give this one a go!

2 thoughts on “T is for Tomb Raider

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