|Rating: M, Length: 15 hrs approx.|
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: Armed with only the raw instincts and physical ability, Tomb Raider delivers an intense and gritty story into the origins of Lara Croft and her ascent from a frightened young woman to a hardened survivor.
Tomb Raider sees the rebirth of Lara Croft, bringing the story into a more realistic setting (for awhile, until things go bat shit crazy) and really making her a naive adventurer, who gets in way over her head. After crash landing on an island, Lara is put through the ringer, as she tries to gather her friends together and fend off the several crazy natives of the island, who believe that a once ancient and very much dead queen is controlling the weather, forcing no one to be able to leave.
The obvious thing right away with the new Tomb Raider, is the in your face influence from that other adventure game, starring the dashing Nathan Drake, Uncharted. This is very much the female version of Uncharted and that is in no way a bad thing. The set pieces are grand, the battles are fierce and the main star, is put through some obscene amounts of torture. A survivor is born, indeed.
The game is played in a third person view, showing off the beautiful character model, Lara, who has a variety of different weapons at her disposal. You have your standard rifles, hand guns and shotguns, but you also get the wonderful bow, all of them upgradable by obtaining salvage points through the method of scavenging bodies and looting through chests. Besides upgrading weapons, you also obtain skill points by competing missions, or hidden tombs (the only actual tomb raiding in the game, where you figure out a puzzle and get a nice XP reward in the end). The skill points can be used to upgrade your adventure abilities (such as faster climbing, or better scavenging) and your fighting and hunting skills. There are also a lot of challenges in the game, which require you seek out hidden items; these will award you with XP points. Finding these can be a challenge (hence the name), but thanks to the Survival Instinct ability, which can be used anytime at the press of a button, it will highlight these items, in addition to enemies and climbing paths. I tried to avoid using this ability as much as possible, as I felt it took away from some of the challenge of beating the game.
Speaking of, the sound also takes hit from these generic baddies, as the looping one liners you hear them say, as you stalk them with your bow and arrow in the woods, can drive a man, or woman up a wall. Still, besides that little nitpick, the rest of the sound department is phenomenal, with some beautiful music, that will make your ears sing.
As I said before, I didn't play a lick of multiplayer and I have no desire to play it either. So I have no opinion on it, but there are several other sites that will discuss it further, if you so choose to want to find out more.
Story - 4/5 - It's a thrilling ride from beginning to end and the pain Lara has to go through is a lot. It sadly goes a little supernatural near the end, but hey, at least she isn't fighting a dinosaur!
Gameplay - 4/5 - There will be times where you feel like Rambo, stalking helpless fools with your bow and arrow. There will also be times where you'll feel overwhelmed, but, with the right tools are at your disposal, it makes it all so silky smooth.
Graphics - 4.5/5 - An amazing, beautiful game, that screams next-gen! Sadly, the generic baddies are a downer.
Sound - 4/5 - It all sounds so good, expect for a few reused lines from your generic baddies. Still, this one game to crank up!
Overall (not an average) - 4/5 - A few nitpicks with the story and sound, but overall this is one experience worth reliving over and over.