*edited for my now 4 hour no stop playing!
Ginger beer in hand, screen booting up the latest Tomb Raider game. I sip it to save my self the awkward squeal I know I will make then the menu pops up. I am excited and rightly so, I gave up on the Tomb Raider franchise and left it for dead years ago. Now a fresh take on the once stale franchise has appeared upon my hard drive and has excited me once more for the adventures of Lara Croft.
The thing that did so was the fact that Lara is significantly more inexperienced. She constantly thrust into a dark and deadly situations that she is unprepared for with little to no real help. You get that feeling from the get go, narrowly surviving a storm out at sea, concussed and nearly drowned you wash up on an island. From there things get worse as you struggle to survive, from nearly getting trapped underground in a cave in to battling wolves whilst your leg is clamped in a bear trap.
You never truly feel powerful, every moment you narrowly escape death and everything feels like it has consequence. If you fail a quick time event you watch her die. I like this, well in as much as you can like watching a woman die. It makes things feel real, more involved than cutting away. However, seeing it for the hundredth time can get on your nerves, as some of the QTEs I have done give you little time to figure out what is happening.
One thing that I love is that Lara is no longer the over sexualised two gun toting vixen. Here she is a strong woman, never letting her situation get to her, never breaking down long enough for it to stop her from pushing forward. It is refreshing, a game that lets you play as a strong, intelligent and resourceful character.
I have gone on long enough, I have only just started playing the game so my opinion may change, they may have zombies pop up and she rips off he clothes just to reveal the old Lara underneath (god forbid.) But as of my current position in the game, is it worth getting?
Yes, this game is well worth the money, buy this now or I will go to your home and tut at you!
Now stop reading so I can go back to playing!
*——- Edit Line——-*
Ok, 4 hours in and is it still fun. Yes, with a but. The quick time events have started to drag, I feel there is a lack of visual information on what buttons I have to mash in order to achieve my desired effect. It was something I gritted my teeth and ignored but now, 4 hours in, I can feel the trepidation when a QTE appears. The game told me what to press and when back at the start during the opening tutorial, 4 hours ago. How am I supposed to retain that information?
Also the addition of a more varied arsenal has lead to the feeling of power, not overly so but enough that I feel more in control during combat sections. OH, I also found out that I can melee attack, did the game ever tell me I could do that?
OMG, this hot shit is pre-loading on my PC right now. Totally stoked to play, though I do have a prior-engagement that will stop me from playing right away.
Still, I wish the Mac OSx and iPad versions shipped today, I could have had a game with Ashley.
(I may LP this soon as well, I will see.)
I’m actually surprised by my reaction to this game. I thought it would enter into my personal bank of games I love but no, I actually do not like this game.
I think is comes from the fact I feel I’m playing it wrong, and the game agrees. I myself am a heavy handed character. More for the brash get in there with my sword and make everything dead persuasion than the sneaky sneak and I feel the game punishes me for it.
This in its self would not be a problem if the game didn’t advertise the use of choice. Hell, it even scores my ability to create chaos and gives me violent options to completing objectives and that is justification enough for me. But instead it demonises my choice of stabbing everyone in the neck by having me die every six steps.
I then become frustrated by it, often feeling that the mechanics within the game are against me rather than my own lack of ability. Using a sword in first person is a tough thing and I’m often surrounded by people taking big chunks of my flesh off with their sharp implements of death with no way to take them down. This leads to a frantic spinning around in circles looking for the guy chopping you to bits.
Aside from the combat, however, the art style and world and magnificent, appropriately caricaturist almost in the style of spitting image. The depth that they have made, the grimy realism and inviting sense of discovery is breathtaking, I would rather run around the world with out enemies just to soak in the atmosphere.