At the beginning of the story, we experience Lara embarking on her first job after graduating from University. She shows fear in the face of danger, initially lacking confidence in her own abilities and judgment. Still, we can see the seeds of what Lara will eventually become. She possesses a powerful sense of moral courage. She is clever, resourceful and determined.
Story Play Review
I decided to jump on the band wagon this time and join Lara Croft in her newest game. I have never been one to buy the Lara Croft Tomb Raider games but since I liked Uncharted I thought I would give it a try.
First if you like Uncharted you will like this game, basically the same concept but with the added benefit of boobs.
There is one frustrating thing that occurs when you first start the game. A little pop up comes up from Enix and asks for your email address. Oddly enough I went ahead to enter my email address and received a message stating that I needed to verify my email. No problem I will do it later. I never did and the next time I started the game that darn pop up came up again.
The story line starts off on Lara's first expedition after school, according to some of the dialog in the beginning she is the apprentice to some archeologist with a camera crew.
Without giving up to much details....
"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this tropic port
Aboard this tiny ship. "
That is right, something occurs and the ship becomes wrecked on a remote island. Lara and her crew become separated and must fight for their lives to survive and to attempt to get off the island. And if you didn't get the reference above, I am not sure you are old enough to play games with the M rating. :)
You start the game with pretty much nothing but happen across your weapons and tools as you progress in the game. First to start is the bow an arrow. I didn't think that I would like this but it actually ended up my weapon of choice, even after the shotgun, pistol and AK came about.
All of your weapons can be upgraded using the currency you get from looting objects, animals and dead bad guys. Again I don't want to spoil anything in the review so I am not diving into too much detail but there are some pretty cool upgrades. Take a look at the Tips tab if you want spoilers.
I started the game on the normal difficulty level because I didn't know what I was getting into. I purchased the game on a Sunday and got home at 2pm. Between bathroom breaks, dinner and a few other short intermissions I played for roughly 10 to 11 hours. The following Monday I had to work so I didn't get to start playing until 7 pm. Again with bathroom breaks I was hooked to the TV for another 3 or 4 hours and that was it the game was over. So I beat the game playing somewhere between 13 to 15 hours with a 94% completion score. This is normal for me, single player games generally only last me two days but I am never near that high of a completion. Looking back I should have started on the hardest level.
I do want to add that I was caught a little off guard by some of the morbidity in this game. There are several points where you find yourself in a room full of skinned or mangled bodies and a river or lake of blood. At one point towards the end you actually have to walk through one of these pools of blood to get where you are going. I wouldn't say that this is a bad thing in a game really but I did not expect it, and it really creeped out my daughter.
The final boss for me was pretty easy and anticlimactic and I'll leave it at that. As a matter of fact the "Normal" setting is more along the lines of "Very Easy". I will play next on hard.
As far as replay ability goes, since the first go round I got 94% I would say that there really isn't much point of playing again except to see the weapons upgrades the rest of the way and collect the other hidden items through the map. I did start to go back through and noticed that you cannot play through again. Tomb Raider uses check points called Base Camps. You can move about from level to level with the base camps but from what I could see I could not start at level one and run all the way to the final level. I could be mistaken on this but I sure couldn't figure out how to do it.
Overall, the graphics were pretty good, the people are starting to look so real on these games. The combat was ok as well, I feel the hand to hand could have been a bit more dynamic but rarely did I get close enough to need to hit someone.
I have a few complaints about the game though, I understand Lara is a female and they have emotions, but holy shit, she cried a lot. For example since this a prequel to all others in the series this game had a scene where Lara took her first kill of a human, and of course she cried. After that she was the trigger happy Lara that everyone has played and seen in the movies. But, every time a friend was in danger, got hurt or died, she cried. When she got captured she cried. I know I may seem like a heartless bastard, ok I am, but come on man ease up on the sappy tears.
My next complaint would be how long they took to establish Lara's character through cut scenes. Almost the first hour of the entire game was cut scenes. I like a story just as much as the next guy, but I like my game play a lot more. IMHO game developers need to keep the cut scenes shorter and focus on enlarging the maps and extending the overall play.
So the final notes are that it is a good treasure hunter type game, some blood and gore, nice weapons and weapon upgrades, Lara's boobs shrunk (oops I must have missed that up top.. pun intended) it is a bit short, Lara needs to quit crying and less movie more game. Overall I would recommend giving this game a go.
Update: I decided to venture to the online multiplayer. My advise, skip it. It is pretty bad, the only good thing I can say about it is that it does show the a life bar above everyone that as you are shooting them of course decreases.
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