Tomb Raider

aka: Tomb Raider 9
Moby ID: 60034
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

The young archaeologist Lara Croft is traveling on the ship Endurance together with a crew to locate the prehistoric Japanese kingdom of Yamatai and the secrets of the Sun Queen Himiko and her mystical powers. Against the group's advice, Lara presses on to go to the Dragon's Triangle, a location plagued by mysterious storms. When the ship is struck by one of the storms, everyone is stranded on a seemingly desolate island. Lara's task is to bring the crew back together and find out more about the island. She has to fight off the Solarii, a cult led by a mysterious person who has taken an interest in Lara's friend Samantha Nishimura.

Tomb Raider is the ninth game in the long-running series, serving as a complete reboot of the franchise and a prequel to it. Like the predecessors, it is an action-adventure game starring Lara Croft. Compared to previous entries, the gameplay has a number of differences. There is much more focus on stringing together stylized action sequences that involve shootouts and escaping through a crumbling environment, similar to the Uncharted series, and combat against human enemies. Animals are still present, but as a minor threat and largely to be hunted. The puzzle-solving object of moving objects to create paths to progress is toned down severely. Puzzles are still present, but mostly confined to using various tools on pre-determined objects. Optional areas can be discovered and accessed, but exploration is only possible within a series of interconnected hubs that eventually provide linear progression rather than an open world of contemporary titles such as Far Cry 3.

Lara gets to explore the island in a linear fashion through different areas. There is always a direct goal to reach, but in the meantime some parts can be explored freely. There is a forest, different abandoned towns, bunkers, and large temples. Lara can climb, duck, hang from ledges, use an axe to move up rocks, construct and use zip lines, and more. Goals can be highlighted by activating instinct. It renders the entire environment in monochrome, but lights up important objects, enemies and the goal for the current location. Each hub area consists of one or more camp sites that act as checkpoints. These can be used to fast travel and to spend skill points or upgrade gear. The entire environment can also be viewed through a mini-map. Next to the main gameplay there are many scripted sequences involving quick time events where Lara swims down a stream, parachutes through trees, runs over crumbling bridges and escapes burning buildings. These often have different camera perspectives and require quick reflexes. There is no health bar, but the screen fades in shades of grey when Lara is hurt. When taking cover, health is restored automatically over time.

The action element is stronger in this title, and combat portions are much more extensive. Lara can wield various weapons such as a pistol, a shotgun and a rifle. Her most important weapon is the bow. It is used to attack from a distance, with optional flame arrows, but can also be used to distract enemies and construct makeshift bridges. There is a cover mechanic used for stealth and activated automatically when near to an object. The many opponents can be taken out from a distance, targeting specific body parts, or from up close with melee attacks and finishers. Opponents leave behind additional ammo. The different weapons can be upgraded at base camps along with various modifications. The resources for these are gathered through salvage, by looting enemies or locating crates in the environment. Experience points can be converted into skill points at base camps in three categories: Survivor, Hunter and Brawler, with different tiers for each. Upgraded weapons provide new and better options and the same goes for skills. Lara for instance learns how to dodge attacks, spot objects in the environment, or distract opponents with sand. She also has a torch to lighten up dark environments and fire plays an important role in some of the puzzles.

There is a large amount of optional treasure hunting. Each area contains a number of documents, relics and GPS caches than can be discovered for additional experience points. There are also separate challenges for each area such as burning flags, stealing eggs or destroying specific objects. Completion progress can be tracked in the map screen. Later on, by using instinct and a high tier of survivor skills, spotting hidden objects becomes easier. True to the series' origins, there is a number of optional, isolated tombs that resemble those of the earlier games. These separate locations are set in a small, closed environments and require more puzzle-solving than usual to locate and steal the treasure.

Online multiplayer for up to eight players is present with different characters to choose from. There is an overall experience system where leveling up is rewarded with new weapons and skills. Before each game a load-out can be defined through different elements. Next to free-for-all and team deathmatch, it includes the team-based modes Rescue and Cry for Help. They pit the Survivors against Scavengers. In Cry for Help the Survivors need to activate radio transmitters scattered around the map and keep them online, while the Solarii disrupt the process and need to steal batteries. In Rescue the Survivors gather medical supplies while the Solarii attempt to stop them.

Spellings

  • トゥームレイダー - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

608 People (441 developers, 167 thanks) · View all

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 84% (based on 39 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 95 ratings with 3 reviews)

The Queen is finally back on her throne.

The Good
I would like to say just one thing: Thank You, Crystal Dynamics. I've been playing Tomb Raider since the original version and after all the good and bad times Lara Croft have been struggled over the past decade (including the horrible Angel of Darkness), I thought the Tomb Raider series is going to be dead. But it's all about to change. And the reboot of Tomb Raider (or Tomb Raider 9) is just what the series needs, a younger, vulnerable, and much action-packed Lara like I've never seen her before.

When I first saw the trailer at E3 back in 2011, I was shocked and completely thrilled about the new Tomb Raider experience. It's where Lara was going to set sail on a new expedition adventure while the ship was sunked down below the surface and Lara desperately trying to hang on for her life. Now in order to survive off the island of Yamatai, she has to create survival instincts and players must use combat, stealth, agility, and endurance skills to show how a true adventurer she really is and that's why CD is making this one an "origins" take on young Lara Croft before she was a busty, turquoise-wearing, gun-totting, double-pistoled babe that geeks just can't get enough of her while drooling over the TV or reading a couple of EGM magazines.

This is one of the best games I've played in 2013. When you mixed with Uncharted, Pitfall, and Prince of Persia together, these games just defined action-adventure into a world of exploration and dangerous missions. But the new "Tomb Raider" just added a new look to an archaeologist's best friend

Camilla Luddington's performance as young Lara Croft is truly amazing, the story is awe-inspiring, the exciting nature of the game is pure brutal and be quite enough to make this the first M-rated Tome Raider game in the now 18-year-old saga.

The Bad
The worst idea that Tomb Raider had left fans and critics quite confused was the addition of online multiplayer. Although I love the first multiplayer feature from the always favorite downloadable PSN version of "Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light." But I felt that there's no need for a multiplayer feature on the 2nd reboot. Every Tomb Raider game in the series always doesn't have multiplayer. It allows players to go head-to-head or compete against each other and hope to survive the island in three modes including five scavenger maps in less than 10 minutes flat. Interesting, but I'd say it's really tough.

Also, I love QTE (quick time events) whenever something bad is going to happen while pressing multiple buttons carefully.. But as soon as I get to the level where some people might get trouble with this one. A scene where Lara is being raped by a scavenger member and as a result I have to fight by pressing a couple of buttons and wiggle the left and right analog stick. But if Lara can't struggle her way, she's going to be shot in the face and I have to start all over again.

I don't know why they are doing this to poor Lara Croft, but I think Square Enix just jumped the shark a little bit because the death scenes weren't quite as impressive as memorable death scenes like "Resident Evil 4" or "Prince of Persia" when it comes to animals, creatures, guards, and eventually spikes. Yep, those sharp-looking needles that slices the character in pieces. So players have to be very extra careful.

The Bottom Line
If I could make 3 wishes that Tomb Raider needs in honor of the PS4 Definitive Edition out January 28 is:

  1. Try adding a singer-player DLC campaign for new players who already experienced the true power of the Playstation 4.

  2. How about making a survival guide of Lara Croft of her own.

  3. Try making the death scenes more lightly.

I know that it lost Game of the Year thanks to Grand Theft Auto V and The Last of Us, but Tomb Raider is the granddaddy of 2013. It doesn't matter if it's Teen or Mature-rated, but I would love to see more M-rated Lara Croft in the future. Like during Tomb Raider 10, maybe Crystal Dynamics should put Lara Croft on a bigger and tougher challenge including how she first introduced to her new enemy, The T-REXXXXXXXXXX! I would definitely love to see that during the next E3.

PlayStation 3 · by Kadeem Gomez (31) · 2014

Lara Croft is back!

The Good
The first thing anyone notice about the Tomb Raider reboot is how stunning looking its truly is, the game just look gorgeous and with the excellent director the action sequences look and feel great to play. You could see that whoever scripted the game know one or two things about cinematography.

Another area which the game excel is the plot, probably the first Tomb Raider game with a solid story (although by no mean flawless) and Lara and the supporting characters actually have a personality of their own that we get to get a glimpse at, hell even the enemy NPC chat about their daily lives before you sneak up and attack them.

The combat system is another area which saw a massive improvement, Lara now could take cover and shoot at the enemies when she feel it safe, they could shoot at her and destroy her protection (if they have enough fire power) also there are now a close combat system - Lara could dodge roll attack and stab the enemy and even throw sand in their eyes to blind them momentarily. Also added in a stealth option, where Lara could sneak up to unsuspecting grunt and choke him or finish him with an axe strike.

And no discussion of the combat system would be whole with mentioning the weapons, in addition to the classics ones - pistol, shotgun, rifle and grenade launcher - Lara could now use bow and arrow, this weapons had quickly become my favorite - nothing more satisfying then sniping an enemy in the head from a distance or use burning arrows and scorch them.

The Bad
Unfortunately while the reboot is a massive improvement in many areas in other it's actually a step back, chief among them is the environmental puzzles, they were always been the core of the Tomb Raider games and sadly in that game they are greatly diminish both in quantity and quality, they just too easy and I can't think of a single one that could be considered a serious challenge, that probably the easiest Tomb Raider game ever made in that respect, yes there are the optional tombs which meant to put there to satisfy traditional Tomb Raider players but they also pose no real challenge to solve.

Another problematic area is the boss combats, all of them involved QTE system whatever wholly and partially, as result they just no fun to play and you left with an anti-climax feeling after you finish off the major game villains with a meaningless mash of buttons at the right time, no strategy or skill involve.

The Bottom Line
Despite all of those flaws the Tomb Raider reboot is a good and fun game to play, I just haven't felt like I was playing a Tomb Raider game but rather just a generic action game staring Lara Croft.

Windows · by Ingsoc (1366) · 2018

Represents its time, for some good and quite a bit of bad

The Good
The new Tomb Raider was marketed as a "re-boot" of the legendary franchise. Frankly, I never cared too much for its countless installments, but the first game was a masterpiece I had some great times with. For some reason I trusted the hype and went into playing it as a believer in a brighter future and a radical overhaul that would invigorate the series.

Tomb Raider is a visually absorbing game. The initial impact is very strong. The beginning already contains some of the best the game has to offer: you are being guided through several dark, almost disturbing scenes, fully identifying yourself with the helpless, terrified protagonist. You fight for your life, you desperately use whatever is handy to get out, and then you emerge into a desolate, hostile environment, where you are told to rely on your instincts if you want to survive.

Tomb Raider looks great. The game immediately lures you in with ravishing vistas that take your breath away. It is also probably the best-animated game to date. The animations are incredibly smooth and life-like. Environments are very busy and filled with objects and details. In fact, there is so much happening at the screen at every moment that it quickly becomes overwhelming.

One of the game's main attractions are its setpieces. Once you've seen some of them you won't be able to forget them for a long time. Near the end of the game you feel over-satiated and wish there were fewer of them, but this over-abundance doesn't change the fact that many of them are absolutely spectacular. Some of these scenes genuinely make you shout your favorite expletive and just stare in disbelief. The first encounter with hostile humans; the fall into a destroyed plane with the floor cracking under Lara's feet; Lara falls down. tumbling and grasping at every object on her way; Lara climbs a seemingly endlessly tall tower with amazing views opening to her. This is the kind of stuff I wanted to share with everyone because it was simply so cool.

The shooting sections work well, and there is a good balance between various weapons. You won't dismiss your bow just because you've found a rifle, and you'll find yourself switching between weapons to suit your tactics most of the time. Confronting enemies can get quite challenging even on normal difficulty, but it's always possible; you are not forced to resort to stealth but often it makes things more satisfying. Weapons feel fairly realistic and firefights are very graphic and intense. Even regenerating health and automatic crouching didn't subtract from the enjoyment of fighting enemies in this game.

The Bad
The new Tomb Raider tries really hard to be the next blockbuster in the world of video games. Production values are soaring and the developer took cues from many modern games, obviously intending to put it all into one ultimate hit. The result, however, is not very satisfying. The game doesn't excel in genre-merging and confines itself too often to overly scripted gameplay amidst irritating hand-holding.

Tomb Raider is much more of a shooter than it is a platformer, though it does try to incorporate platforming into its gameplay. One can argue that being a bad platformer betrays the legacy of the series, but let's first assume that the new Tomb Raider was not supposed to follow the classic formula. Taken simply as a stand-alone 3D platformer, Tomb Raider is below average. It is streamlined and automatized to the point of preventing the player from having any kind of meaningful control. Most of the time you don't even need to think: you will get where you are supposed to get simply because the game is tailored to the needs of players unfamiliar with platforming. There is no skill involved in the platforming sections: they consist simply of jumping and climbing where the developers send you. There is little trying, experimenting, or overcoming challenges: it's too easy, making even the most spectacular setpieces less exciting.

Some of the game's environments are unabashedly artificial, with objects clearly serving purely gameplay-related purposes. Many levels are full of conveniently placed ziplines, craggy walls, and other junk that is there only because the designers wanted to hold your hand and smoothly guide you through it. You don't need to figure out anything: everything has been already done for you. It is in line with the alarming tendency of modern games to cater way too much to the player, to be as casual as possible without regards to the damage done to credibility and involvement.

Survival game? There couldn't have been a bigger deception. After the short initial stretch Lara will dispatch of hundreds of enemies with basically unlimited supplies of ammo. After the first scripted dear-killing event you won't need to hunt ever again. There is no hunger meter or anything like that, so all you can do is kill animals for the game's omnipresent experience points. Everything is there in over-abundance because the developers wanted the player to suffer no inconvenience whatsoever, thus removing the joy from overcoming difficulties on your own, figuring out on your own how to deal with the game.

For a reason I cannot fathom almost every modern game needs to have quick-time events. I thought that ever since they were abused by Fahrenheit the developers would actually realize that they should be seen as what they are, a gimmick, rather than being elevated to a primary gameplay element. Instead of boss battles and challenging scripted events Tomb Raider makes yet another sacrifice to modern conventions with those QTEs. And don't let me get started on the "survival instinct" option, which highlights all important objects on the screen.

Tomb Raider was probably not supposed to be an open-world game. But for some reason it has many elements that would actually greatly benefit from free-roaming. Collecting stuff is much more fun when you know you can go anywhere to look for it, and it's the only case when such abundance of things scattered around makes sense. Tomb Raider is, on the contrary, a linear game at heart, and its linearity is often ill-disguised. The island looks like a beautiful place you'd just love to freely run around in, but you'll never be able to. There are optional areas, but they are always well within the confines of a larger one, and they can be easily accessed. The terrain is disappointingly misleading: you'll long for free acrobatics and dangerous jumps, but the game will never let you do that. Try to think outside of the box and the game will instant-kill you. Many times I jumped at cliffs that looked way less dangerous than a series of crazy contraptions Lara just overcame without any problem, but I was punished right away for my desire to do what I wanted. Even though the game takes place on an island, water is almost completely inaccessible, and Lara never swims.

There is also an obvious discrepancy in style here, discrepancy between the seemingly mature story of the game and its unapologetically "videogame-ish" nature. Actually, the story itself is not very good, with a cliche villain devoid of any charisma or personality, a rather underdeveloped character cast, and ill-placed plot "twists" you saw coming from the very beginning. But Tomb Raider games were never about the story anyway. The problem here is that this game tries to present itself as a mature experience, an insight into Lara's character, but it tries to add depth to the character without supporting it by anything gameplay-related. Lara is supposed to be an intellectual who has never held a weapon in her hands. The first scenes describe with graphical poignancy how hard it was for her to kill a deer and a few moments later a human being. Yet afterwards she literally goes on a rampage. Nothing survives in her way, and she kills by far more humans than she ever did in all the previous games combined. Looks like sometimes over-ambitious storytelling can damage a game's image more than an unpretentious plot without any character development if the gameplay fails to match it.

The Bottom Line
The new Tomb Raider is, above all, a child of its time. It is the quintessential modern game: great-looking, tightly designed, intensely cinematic, sporadically fun, hand-holding, and lacking in substance. My feelings to it shifted from giggly joy to over-saturation, weary antipathy, and at last resignation. Maybe I'm just a grumpy old gamer, but I really prefer my games more open to possibilities and less patronizing to the player. In all honesty, I much prefer the original.

Windows · by Unicorn Lynx (181794) · 2019

Trivia

Awards

  • EGM
    • 2013 - ranked 7 (Top 25 of 2013)
    • 2013 - ranked 5 (Reader’s Choice Top 5 of 2013)

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Sciere.

Gloud added by firefang9212. Linux added by Evolyzer. Macintosh added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: Alaka, Fred VT, Kennyannydenny.

Game added March 20, 2013. Last modified February 3, 2024.