Tomb Raider

August 9, 2013

Goldenstar Games, Opinions

Tomb RaiderI have finished Tomb Raider for the second time and I thought I would share my thoughts on it with all of you.

I’ve never played a Tomb Raider game in the past. I know of the Lara Croft character but not much else. Therefore I am coming at this game fresh faced with none of the backstory or lore of previous games to base anything on.

I’m not really certain what made me say “oh yeah I have to play this”. I think I got all hyped about it after the interview with Camilla Luddington (voice of Lara in the game) on the Nerdist podcast. Anyway I pretty much knew I wanted to play this game.

I actually found a sale for it on Amazon at the end of March while we were vacationing in Texas. Unfortunately, Discover Card thought my purchase from my iPad in Texas was fraud and cancelled the order. I was totally bummed and not ready to pay full price for it because I am a thrifty Hobbit.

Luckily when we returned home I was grousing about it to my sister who said she had it on Xbox and allowed me to borrow it. This was my first play through and I was madly hooked and even talked about it a bit in episode 193. I played until I reached 100% completion and then gave the game back to my sister. I kind of missed it.

Then came a Steam Summer sale and I picked it up for myself but this time on my personal preferred platform of PC download. I just this week once again finished the game with 100% completion.

What Grabs Me About This Game

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First of all the game is gorgeous. It is stunningly beautiful game to play and even though you are limited to a single island, I felt the areas covered were pretty vast and interesting.

This Lara is still very beautiful whose clothes get tattered and torn as she goes along however nothing gets too revealing. There’s plenty of rump shots as I was climbing and grunts and moans from the character but overall I didn’t find them over the top or annoying. 1 With the PC version I actually got the Survivor Edition so I changed her tank top out for a combat vest.

I was actually pleased about the character they gave Lara and made her seem real. She was in disbelief with what was happening on the island. She struggled with the realization of first human kill. I liked that often you hear her doubting what was happening or mumbling words of encouragement to herself to keep her going. Lara was a well done character.

The other cast members eh … I guess they were ok but yeah Lara was the star here. There was plenty of reading material on them to give them at least some development but really I don’t think it was enough for me to really care a whole lot about them.

This game has a mature rating and it earns it mostly due to some of the very gruesome ways Lara can die. I really did not enjoy a part of the game where I was careening down a rapid and having to dodge items and failing miserably. The result was me witnessing a very unpleasant death over and over. It was upsetting but I’m also a bit squeamish to such things.2 As a result be wary of small eyes that may be watching you play!

I also love that while I had a mini-arsenal of guns my weapon of choice was the Katniss Everdeen bow. I was all about shooting a baddie in the head from a safe distance! 3

Xbox vs PC Gameplay

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Having played through on both the Xbox and the PC that I preferred the game on the console or at least I preferred playing with a controller. The PC mouse / keyboard controls seemed clunky and slower to respond than a game controller.

I tried fussing with the PC controls sensitivity settings to try to get it to match my difficulty and really couldn’t get the hang of it. I ended up playing the PC version on easy just because I was so bad with the controls I had no survivability in larger skirmishes.

The PC game also seemed to lag during big fight scenes which was really annoying. Even though the game was stunningly beautiful on the PC I ended up having to lower the graphics. This cleared up the big fight lag but it really didn’t make me very happy. I played with normal graphic settings on for as long as I could bare it out of pure stubbornness.

The issues with the PC controls / lag could totally be me. It’s possible you played it on the PC without a glitch and good for you. I’m just letting you know it was a struggle for me and if I hadn’t already played it on the Xbox and already loved the game, I may not have stuck with it.

I had enough issues with the PC that we ended up buying a Xbox Wireless Gaming Receiver so I could connect the Xbox controller to the PC. Oh my gosh was this a world of difference! I unfortunately played the game to like 82% with the PC controls. The last 18% was so much better with the controller. My recommendation if you get this game for the PC is definitely play it with a controller!

Recommendation

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In case you haven’t picked up on this, I really enjoyed this game so for me this game is a buy! I’m thinking of going back and seeing if I can get some of the achievements I’m missing.

Amazon lists Tomb Raider for $39.99 USD but the lowest price I’ve seen on this game is $9.99 so keep that in mind as you can catch this on a good sale! 4

  1. Plus if it was Indiana Jones / Harrison Ford game, I’d kinda want the same thing.
  2. Side note: I absolutely hate horror movies and don’t watch them because of my squeamishness.
  3. This is also how I prefer to play Skyrim
  4. I typically share game sales on top games like Tomb Raider in our social networks so if interested in news of that type you should start following us!
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About Goldenstar

Goldenstar's primary happiness in games is anything that involves festivals, parties, cosmetics and pie. If there's any time after those things to kill bad guys, so be it.

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13 Responses to “Tomb Raider”

  1. Thalianna Says:

    This is a great review! My husband is currently playing through it right now on the PS3 and I find myself just sitting and watching him because it looks like such a great game. I ended up going to bed late last night when he decided to start playing right when I was about to go to sleep :P

    Reply

  2. susan Says:

    I have steered away from Laura Croft series since I played one that had horrid camera angles and very bad pc controls, however, I am a big fan of Steam 75% off sales and if this one ever comes up on that I will give it a try as it seems it may have cleared up some of those issues.

    also, very glad to hear they covered her up a bit more, it was annoying before..all the crotch shots and bouncing chests.

    Reply

    • bob101910 Says:

      Gamefly has the Steam version on sale for $10 right meow! I think that is cheaper than when Steam had it on sale. Goldenstar linked it at the bottom of the article. If you are a member of Gamefly, take another 10% off.

      Reply

  3. Avatar of andyb
    andyb Says:

    The “jiggleFX” got shifted into her hair rather than chest for this one and turning that one option off on the pc version does wonders for the performance of the game.

    As an entry into the tombraider series it was pretty good. I would have liked to have seen more puzzle based tombs during the game rather than the odd single room dotted here or there.

    I’d also have liked a few less QTE’s as they are a lazy way of forcing the player to do what you want them to rather than solving a puzzle of winning a fight in a different way. By no means the worst game for qt’s being forced on you.

    Reply

  4. Avatar of Ian
    Ian Says:

    And the amazing thing about the “rump shots” is that even then it’s not really a “rump shot”. They had so many opportunities to make it really gratuitous, and CD is showing incredible restraint in that department. The death scenes however, were far too much.

    I’ve never had a desire to play a TR game, but I was very much taken with this. I did prefer “Survivor Lara” over “Superhero-Action Lara” way more, but that arc completes itself about a third of the way in. And the “dark’n’gritty, hyper-realism” combined with the “uber-pulp” didn’t work either. It needed to be one or the other.

    I also agree with andyb: more puzzles and exploration, less combat, and (in my case) better integrated QTEs.

    Reply

  5. Pickles Says:

    I’ve played the game as well and enjoyed it despite not liking another other Tomb Raider/Lara Croft games. It’s quite fun!

    Reply

  6. Avatar of Mzrts12
    Mzrts12 Says:

    If you have a PS3 check out the Uncharted series. :D

    Reply

  7. susan Says:

    I really dont understand the trend for more QTE’s, they are a stupid way of doing a cinematic. some idiot thought forcing the player to watch for key strokes and commands during movie clips rather than allowing the player to sit back and enjoy the view was a great idea.

    I think having my char press a button doesnt make me part of the event, but rather takes aways from the movie clip. RE6 was horrid for doing that. hey gang, really epic disaster scene with many exciting explosions and mayhem but hey, dont watch that! look for the command to press E repeatedly instead! :-D

    Reply

  8. Avatar of andyb
    andyb Says:

    QTE’s are done because developers either dont want to have players skip cutscenes and bypass story twists etc. Or because there’s a boss fight where they can’t think of a better way for the thing to just keel over and die.

    Instead preferring the player to mash buttons in the vain hope that the player wont be too focussed on the HUGE BUTTON ICON rather than what is actually happening in game. I think I gave up of one of the prince of persia games thanks to not being able to mash the buttons fast enough to kill some stuff.

    They probably take their origins from beat-em-ups where better moves came from more complex button combos but sadly where they work in one genre they dont work in most others.

    Closest mmo’s get to the qte is actually in lotro with the fellowship moves BUT thankfully they were never really vital to get that killing blow.

    They defenitely sit high on the list of things games shouldnt have, like tutorials with no option to disable them. It’s a pet peeve when a game keeps telling you how to walk or jump after hors of play involving walking or jumping. Borderline criminal when a games hints tell you how to beat a boss mere seconds into the fight. And even worse when the game stops the action to launch into a tutorial segment, remember me was really bad at this one.

    Reply

  9. Kia Says:

    I’m not done yet but I generally loved this game. Only real annoyance: Laura is really getting on my nerves with all her ah!, oh!, gnnnnnn!, Sam! and other winning sound. My bf thought it was sexy, I found it annoying. Hehe.

    Reply

  10. Sevalioryn Says:

    Should check compatibility with xbox controller for windows. Relatively cheap and if the title is on xbox marketplace then it’s usually compatible.

    Reply

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