Hands-on Preview with Tomb Raider- Is it predictable?

Tomb Raider has been one of gaming’s most popular series from the start. This game has one of gaming’s most familiar female faces (new look or not). Lara Croft will be staring in a new adventure within the coming year. This game strays away from what fans of the series are used to, in order to bring a fresh new feeling to the series. Some fans are of course delighted while others are outraged at some of the changes that have been made to the upcoming Tomb Raider release. In order to get a better understanding to what problems and delights are brought into the game we got our hands on the game to get that feel that we were looking for.

The game play of Tomb Raider was predictable to a game such as this; the controls easy and movements believable. What really stood out is how believable the mechanics actually were. It felt as if you were surviving right there with Lara as she made her way through physically and emotional challenges. It was as if the player was being taken on a journey with this character rather than getting dragged through choppy story by an AI like other titles. It was a different feel where the player could actually feel, scene and see the heartbreak within Croft.

The game was just as visually stunning as it was emotionally. The graphics on Tomb Raider are by far some of the most realistic graphics seen on a video game. Besides the fact that the environment around the player was stunning so was the way Lara moved through challenges in her path. For example, Lara Croft was forced to need to cross a fallen tree to get to the next location where she needed to be. Of course this tree was draped between two cliffs where if she were to fall off she would go tumbling to a painful and traumatic death. In a normal circumstance and in other Tomb Raider games Lara would have effortlessly made the balance to the other side, possibly even doing so with adding a stylish flip; well not in this game. This game makes crossing a simple log almost scary; the player fears for her life as she takes uneasy steps across the log. Take a second to think of how many times in gaming you have seen a character attempt to do this same maneuver, how insignificant of a scene that is. In Tomb Raider everything matters even crossing a simple log.

Tomb Raider has been made completely about survival. Instead of finding artifacts and traveling to exotic locations it is about surviving; what is going to be your next meal? What shelter can you find or build to protect you from the weather? How will you be able to defend yourself against the enemy and wildlife? All of these questions and more come into play in Tomb Raider.

In the particular level we were shown Lara was figuring out a way to get a weapon and hunt for food. There was a dead body suspended in the air by ropes which had a bow hanging off of it. Lara climbed up to fetch the bow and makes it her means of defense. She then needed to find food and proceeds to hunt down some local deer for meat. The game is about scavenging and finding that way to live. There is nothing provided for the player, not even arrows for your bow; the key is to use sparingly, cherish what you have.

Another point to make about the game is definitely the change in Lara. For an installment in an already popular series it is disappointing to see a main character that fans loved so dearly be changed so much. Lara Croft is an iconic character from her look to her attitude, there was nothing wrong with her to begin with. Lara is now younger and therefore she has a bit of a different look. She has a noticeably smaller bust and a scruffy look. Despite how many times this topic has been disputed the change in Lara’s appearance alone made the game seem less geared toward previous fans of the series.

Disappointingly her appearance isn’t the only thing that changed but so did her attitude. In the short demo played her attitude was completely different to where it was almost forgotten that this is a character that we have played as before. She is sad, her determination isn’t to achieve her goals but in surviving, she has a soft attitude, she is weaker; this is not the Lara gamers grew to love. Although her new attitude fits in with the story of the game it doesn’t seem like Tomb Raider. With that being said, it is not believed that the game isn’t good it is just a wonder why a new series wasn’t created off of this solid story and new character rather than completely reconstructing a series that was already loved by so many.

Tomb Raider is going to be a good game, that’s one thing that is certain. This game is different; it stands out from the crowd. We are sure that the survival aspect will be impressive, the story will most likely be just what gamers were looking for and we already know the graphics are amazing. However, when the title, Tomb Raider, is heard people expect…well… Tomb Raider. This game isn’t Tomb Raider but it is a great looking survival/ survival horror game. It is classic in its controls but not classic to its character, which will surely be a disappointment to fans. Players can tell of slight changes made to the game from trailers and other online videos but that is nothing compared to the changes you will notice when the controller is in your hands. Like stated before, this game will be good; great even. Just not what we were hoping for in a Tomb Raider game; any other title or character set would have been outstanding. For the sheer fact that the Tomb Raider series has been dramatically changed we do have to note that we were just the slightest bit let down that the famous Lara Croft is most likely never going to return.

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