Review: Tomb Raider (Xbox 360)

By Wayne Webb

Tomb Raider is not new; however the franchise has been rebooted and rebuilt for the modern generation platforms and the result is a cracking game and entertainment package that outshines the original series.

By Wayne Webb

Tomb Raider is not new; however the franchise has been rebooted and rebuilt for the modern generation platforms and the result is a cracking game and entertainment package that outshines the original series.

Get this straight; this not a game for kids – it’s violent, bloody and scary. My only criticism is that it tries too hard to shock and scare the player and ventures into the horrific to the point of annoyance at times. The death scenes are brutal eviscerations or impalings and can happen with sudden and highly illustrated force. Beyond the fetish for a bloody death it is a great game with a long story mode that is driven by Lara’s quest to survive a deadly island and murderous cult intent on resurrecting an evil god/queen/spirit for nefarious purposes.

Cue your heroine being shipwrecked on this island in the devil’s triangle and obtaining the tools and skills for survival and mass murder. You need to run, jump and shoot your way to the end of this game and there is a lot of death and dismemberment along the way. The running and jumping parts are fun and test the lateral thinking at times. The puzzle solving is testing also, but most can be worked out without too much head scratching. And if you are stuck, your survival instincts will provide clues – both visual and audible – if needed. Your greatest tool is a bow, and while there’s no denying the stopping power of guns and grenades, the hands on/old school approach is the most satisfying and silent way to avoid an onslaught of bad guys.

There are plenty of collections to add to with treasure, salvage (for upgrades), hunting, and discovery of optional tombs to be raided with other challenges to fulfill. I completed the main game over several days and it took me a decent number of hours to do that and finish the game at 71 percent, so there was more for me to go back and find at a later date.

This is obviously the start of a new series of Tomb Raider games, because, as shown in the final scene, there are more to come. It puts me in mid of the excellent Uncharted series, which drew on the legend of the original Tomb Raider. I hope the next version lightens up a little.

Pros: Great design, action, story, collecting, acrobatics, puzzle solving, pacing, decent length and replay value.
Cons: It’s a bit gory and grim

4.5 Shacks Out Of 5

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