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    dkirschner's Tomb Raider (2013) (PS3)

    [March 17, 2016 08:24:31 AM]
    Tomb Raider was excellent. It is an action game through and through, very reminiscent of an Uncharted game. Aside from the fantastic action, the game works so well because of the Lara Croft character. They did such a good job with her. She's very realistic, especially given the context of this as an origin story. Her first voyage, shipwrecked on an island, missing her father, she comes across first as vulnerable, a reluctant hero. She's thrust into this violent survival situation, and she has to adapt. She quickly kills her first human being ever and it disturbs her greatly (for about 5 minutes; then she kills like 200 people over the game and never bats an eye). She becomes her crew's only hope to get off the island. She's the only one smart enough, strong enough, and courageous enough to be successful. But it is made clear that her task is arduous. She gets hurt often. In fact, if I had to subtitle this game, I would call it Tomb Raider: Lara Croft in Pain. I will say, I would like to play a game with such a vulnerable, physically assaulted male character. I'm happy with the representation of a strong female lead here, but it is odd just how much physical suffering she goes through and how much it is emphasized that she is physically struggling. Granted, she can do all the physical requirements of being an action hero, but it seems so much easier for male characters. She's the realistic one; how about a male action lead who the player watches just get absolutely abused by bad guys and the environment as much as Lara, and who comments on it, winces and cries from pain and exhaustion, occasionally doubts himself, etc., etc. It really was a joy to play as such a character, and I want to see how she is developed further in the next game.

    As far as the design goes, there were some shortcomings. These definitely didn't detract much from my enjoyment, but as a result, the game felt easy or shallow where there could have been more space for players to use their brains. First, there wasn't a lot of tomb raiding in Tomb Raider. I hope the next game has longer, elaborate tombs with more interesting treasure and artifacts. The tombs in this one were little 5-10 minute asides with one main, easy-to-moderately easy puzzle. Arguably, the whole game's setting is a tomb for Himiko, the Sun Queen, but it's not a tomb. The environmental puzzles could be way more difficult too. They were thoughtful, neat to achieve, but not challenging per se. Second, the weapon upgrade system and perk tree were paper thin and required no even moderately difficult decisions. Hmm, do I choose the perk that lets me get more experience from animals that I kill (totaling probably 25 animals the entire game) or do I choose the perk that lets me climb faster (wait, I climb slow?)? Uuuh, well both seem pretty pointless so I'll arbitrarily choose one. Do I choose the perk that lets me do a finishing move with my pistol or with my rifle? Uuuh, well I am rarely even close to enemies so it hardly matters. Also, I have enough experience points to get almost every perk, so there's no real choice. I'll just pick one and who cares. Same for weapon upgrades. Just upgrade shit, doesn't matter.

    And that is Tomb Raider for ya. Highly entertaining, decent story, great main character, fun action, beautiful visuals and appropriately intense action game soundtrack. I liked it all around, can't wait to play the next one which is supposed to have improved on some of its main issues.
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    dkirschner's Tomb Raider (2013) (PS3)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Tuesday 5 January, 2016

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 16 March, 2016

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    High hopes. ------------- Excellent game. Lara is a wonderful character. More tombs next time!

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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