Monday, November 21, 2016

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition Review

Reviewed on Xbox one

Well this has been a while. This is my first game review in years and looking back my last review was sort of bare bones.  So this review is kind of a reboot of sorts and so is the game I'm reviewing today; Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition on Xbox One

I'll start by saying that I cant guarantee constant content mostly because I'm a lazy fuck and I have not played the original version of this game (despite having a copy for the Xbox 360) so I cannot compare the two. Regardless it probably isn't relevant to the review anyway, moving on.

This is actually my first time playing a Tomb Raider game all the way through and is probably a testament to this games many strengths.  In my last review I broke it down by rating separate aspects of the games design on a scale from 1 out of ten and then averaged those scores. However the format may change over time. This is only second review and first video review on a video game I've done.

Without further ado lets continue on with this SPOILER free review


I like to start with presentation first because its as luck would have it you are presented (omg) with your first taste of the game; the menus and the interface in which the game will grant you control.

I've always been pretty fascinated by menu design and I think that its a key aspect to game design, seamless menus keep you invested in the game and bad menus can take you right out of it.

That said I was impressed with the menu design in Tomb Raider, it was dark and ominous in all the right ways and got you prepared for the perilous journey ahead. It was filled with extra information about trinkets you find in the game and it served to expand the world around you, from historical treasures to journals that gave you more information about the characters you interact with in the game.

It's not all good news however, I did experience occasional slow downs when bringing the menu up and switching between different kinds of interfaces.



The sound in Tomb Raider is really defined by the fine voice acting in the game, I really felt like these characters were fully realized people, they stayed the same throughout and it really is one of the highlights of the game, another thing this game nails is the atmospheric sounds, the wind blowing, the rain, the wolves howling, it is all really nice.

As for the soundtrack, thinking back. It wasn't too memorable but definitely nailed tension. Is that enough though? All the best games have music that you want to hear again and sadly Tomb Raider doesn't have that.

The weapon sounds, while nice are your standard affair, not bad but they don't stand out either.



For a remastered game this game is really nice to look at and I really can't complain about it too much, everything is extremely polished, the trees sway in the wind, Lara's hair moves with her, when she gets in the water she comes out soaked then she dries off, just really good attention to detail.

Though sometimes graphical glitches like this do happen and it's funny to see in such a serious game

Dat hand doe
(This part was actually kind of frustrating)
This game really did the graphics to deliver it's cinematic experience and overall they did a really good job.


Game play

Running around as Lara is for the most part really smooth and natural feeling, the controls are very much in the style of Assassins Creed meets Gears of War, although I did find myself fumbling a lot and is probably one of the weakest parts of the game, I hope in the sequels (which I may play sometime) that they alleviate some of these issues. 

I found myself picking the wrong weapons, firing them instead of doing a different action. I would occasionally fumble with my jumping and climbing and just simply falling to my death, this is really the worst part of the game in my opinion, hey maybe I'm just really bad at the game, who knows. 

The game does offer many incentives to go back to previous sections  to unlock new upgrades and collectibles, I finished the game with an 85% completion rate which is a testament to it's many strengths, and for a guy like me that doesn't have too much time to devote to gaming, I felt like I wasn't wasting my time going back to discover more in the game and isn't that what tomb raiding all about?


In Closing...

Should you play this game? Yes. Is this a good reboot of an old franchise? I would say so. This game didn't leave me in silence after it was done (which is a sign of a 9 or 10/10 game for me). In the end this games weighted score came to 7.7, and I certainly agree with that.