Tomb Raider is decade long franchise with its lead, Lara Croft, being a celebrity; she is one of the first female game characters having a strong presence & a genuine story instead of the then normal mindless females randomly thrown into game plots to add a slight twist or emotion to it. 2013 marked the release of another Tomb Raider game, but this time it was a complete reboot of the series involving Lara’s past and why she ended up being a tough tomb raider as she was usually portrayed in the Tomb Raider series. Many people had their doubts about this reboot but the game turned out so stunning that even critics fell in love with it. The story is done beautifully, with intense plots and emotional spots embedded though out the action filled game. Lara matures from a young, uncertain girl to a determined survivor in a very relatable and understandable way.
Lara Croft is no doubt an iconic figure in the game history, and Tomb Raider 2013 is perhaps an iconic game of this decade. Why is it so, let’s find out.
1. Game Arsenal & Skills:
From bows to rifles to shotguns to grenade launchers, this game has it all! And if this wasn’t enough, you get to upgrade your weapons with additional abilities too. This is done by looting and salvaging which gives salvage points. Lara’s skills are also upgradeable by using XP (experience points) to boost her up.
2. Tress FX:
Yup, it does sound like a shampoo, but it’s not one. It’s the awesome software by AMD made in collaboration with Crystal Dynamics especially for this game. What it does is simulate thousands of strands of hair resulting in game character’s hair looking not only awfully pretty but so much realistic. I guess with this, Tress FX can now be recognized as ‘Digital Shampoo’; after all, you can’t find a real shampoo stranded on an island, so we should thank AMD’s wonderful efforts to create a digital one.
The enemies in Tomb Raider aren’t just some crazy data sitting like ducks to be shot at. No. In this game, enemies talk with each other, most of them have their own stories to tell, they react with each other, they move around and actively try to scour the area and even alert team members for back-up. Winning over them is sure a victory to savour. Despite this, there are some funny movements where they end up tripping & fumbling and setting themselves on fire and so on.
Even collecting items give us more information, like explaining more about the island and its history. Plus items give either bonus XP or salvage points. Scavenging for items is not a mundane or useless task in this game after all.
5. Dynamic Gameplay:
One moment you are stalking animals for food and next you might be parachuting through forests or getting washed down rapids or even sliding down a slope with an air plane hot on your heels. Or you may be simply adjusting your radio after climbing few thousand feet above a snowy landscape, all just wearing a tank top. I know you would have picked off a jacket off an enemy but Lara just can’t get herself to steal clothes; she just kills and steals their ammo. She can zip down lines too (which is extremely fun) & make fire arrows, but she can’t get a new set of clothes to change her dirty ones.
6. Breath taking Visuals:
You would be aware of this if you have just even watched the trailers. The series reboot boasts of an unparalleled graphics with stunning visuals. The character design, back ground, special effects, animation everything is top notch. It makes playing the game all the more enjoyable.
7. Attention to Detail:
If you are covered in mud, what will you do? Wash off? In Tomb Raider 2013, such glaring attention has been given to even the smallest of details making the game come alive. If you are muddy & dirty, just walk through the river to clean yourself. When you enter a cave, Lara automatically lights a torch and there is subtle whispering sounds added too; Lara crouches and takes cover whenever an enemy is around. Such small and unnoticeable effects bring the game out more.
8. Stealth & Quick Time Events:
There are many quick time events scattered throughout the game, keeping you on your toes and always hyped up. Plus stealth plays an important role in combat. The stealth dynamics are so well done and the enemies and Lara react almost realistically to your actions. Enemies start looking around suspiciously and Lara tries to find refuge from them. Killing enemies stealthily adds a whole new wow and satisfaction factor to the game.
9. Lara Croft:
Of course this is Lara’s game (it should be named Lara, The Tomb Raider) so seeing Lara climb mountains, shoot arrows, hack at enemies, hang upside down, get washed down the water fall is really fun in its own right. I also enjoy playing a well thought out survival cum adventure game having a female lead that’s so awesome, less gender biased or stereotyped. It’s a refreshing feel plus there’s nothing missing in the gameplay or anything wrong in it either.
10. Cut Scenes; and the Grizzliness:
The cut scenes in the game are well places and fantastically done. They tell the story in a fascinating & captivating manner keeping gamers hungry for more. Oh, and not to forget the death cut scenes or just the death scenes. When you mess up in the game and die, you just don’t get a game over on your screen. Instead you see death scenes done artistically including Lara getting impaled on stakes, getting crushed under debris, getting torn by barbed wires, getting smashed on cliffs and so on. It’s nice to know the developers did not censor out or tone down fights and injuries just because the lead happens to be a girl.
Over in all, I would rate the game 10/10, it’s that superb and hugely engrossing. If you are really after all the collectibles like me, you might experience a little down time but other than that the game is fast paced action game with lots of interesting gameplay and amazing sceneries and great story line. No one should miss playing out this game; it’s the apex of epic.