I recently played the Tomb Raider reboot from 2013 and I have a love-hate relationship with it.

I’ll start with the love because it does outweigh the hate.

The first thing I’ll say about it is that it has a very uncharted feel to it (especially Uncharted 4) but I’m not going to call this a rip off as it came out prior to U4. That being said I could not stop making comparisons throughout my playtime as I was exposed to Uncharted 4 before Tomb Raider. From the parkour like gameplay to the scenery to the abundant, dramatic cut-scenes, puzzles and collectibles the similarities always made me notice. I’m in no way complaining about it though. It enjoyed it quite a bit. The biggest comparison I made was that when jumping to a ledge it was a little obvious that the game pushed Lara to the ledge because the jumps I made would normally not connect if the game wasn’t helping. Also the beautiful tropical locale peppered with gunfire and terrain based dangers was a similarity I couldn’t ignore. If you liked that in Uncharted 4, you’ll like this as the plot and characters still provide a new experience.

There were also several puzzles that were just the right amount of challenging that made the game feel like something more than just a shooter and the documents and relics were a fun thing to look for and they also give the player teeny tiny history lessons.

As for the scenery, this game has given me more screenshot opportunities than any other I’ve played and the devs knew it with their constant use of lens flares (my weakness). I must say I felt like a tourist at some points.  It peppered slow moments with something to enjoy and stressful moments with something to calm the situation.

Atmosphere is something that will make or break a game for me and I really enjoyed all the different areas. I played in dense forests, Japanese ruins, WWII bases and old factories and slums. The island in the game really provided a lot of history in a short space which really brings in something for everyone. Especially an architecture nerd like me. Here are just a few screenshots that I took.

Now for the hate, and I use that word lightly. I found the game to be emotionally draining as far as the plot goes. Without spoiling too much of it I’ll say that I was made to feel guilty and powerless when characters would sacrifice themselves for Lara. On top of that Reyes, another member of the crew of the expedition that put them on the island, blamed Lara for their deaths which was a little much and I had to stop playing for a spell. Yes it’s the disapproval of other characters that gets me and not being constantly shot at. That I can handle.

The plot otherwise was still dramatic and interesting so I won’t rate it badly. I think I would watch this is it were a movie (which it did feel like sometimes). I liked the use of video clips from Sam’s camera that Lara would look at when she felt lonely. It was a good way to give the player a look into the characters’ personalities and relationships with each other without having the cheesy flashback feeling.

Now for my rating. As I don’t currently have a rating rubric for what I think is a great game I will just say that it’s worth a play if you like Uncharted, strong yet vulnerable women and cool stuff to look at. I’m someone who loves video games so it’s hard to be really nit picky about them. I had a lot of fun and I think you will too.

4/5 no one’s perfect.

Published by Allison Keairns