On Game Bites, we talked about our top 5 games of all time, and Tomb Raider was on my list. I went back to this classic to make sure it held up the way I remembered it and the spark was reignited for me.
Reviewed on Google Stadia.
During the PlayStation 3 generation my favorite games were the Uncharted trilogy. Uncharted would have probably been on my list of top 5 games of all time. However, the best Uncharted game is actually 2013's rebooted Tomb Raider.
The game is heavily influenced by Uncharted, with very similar combat and climbing, but what sets them apart is the story. Uncharted games have fun action movie stories to play through but Tomb Raider was an experience. Nathan Drake is a great character but he does not compare to Lara Croft. Camilla Luddington truly becomes Lara and gives an excellent performance that is full of highs and no lows that I can see.
When we first meet Lara she is not a killer. She kills to survive, and the scene when that first happens is one of the most powerful, and most emotional scenes I have experienced in video games. After that first kill, then Lara becomes a killing machine, but she still struggles with the fact that it was too easy to kill. The internal struggles she has was well realized and well acted.
The gameplay definitely holds up by modern standards. The shooting feels great, the melee combat is effective, and the traversal is still top of its class.
The island is open and is a blast to explore. However, you do need to do some backtracking to see it all, but it never felt like a chore. You get different equipment and skills that will allow you to get areas that were at first unreachable. I'm usually not a fan of that style of game, or backtracking in general, but here it made sense and it made me want to explore everywhere I could. The island itself is a mystery and it was a mystery that I just couldn't wait to unravel.
Even though the game is almost ten years old I still don't want to spoil the story. This is a great story that I think needs to be seen for yourself. The story goes some places that I usually do not like, but for some reason, this game didn't bother me when it went there.
When I completed this game for the first time, I knew Crystal Dynamics had something special, and I could not wait to see where they went. Now I know they have something special and I can't wait to progress and revisit this trilogy.
When it first launched, and now in 2021, this game is still perfect to me. The gameplay is intuitive and fun and the story is amazing. Tomb Raider was always a classic, but this reboot went from a classic to a masterpiece. My score for this game remains the same as when it came out and I will always see it this way.
Final Score: 10/10
For more reviews, be sure to check out my thoughts on Cyberpunk 2077, Hitman World of Assassination, and Beyond Blue and my new podcast: Game Bites, the latest entry in The Spinchoon Podcast Network (check out Flix & a Six). We also started a new review series on The Spinchoon: Game Club. Check out our first entry on Sleeping Dogs here As always, check us out on Twitter @TheSpinchoon and I’m @Big_Broons