What is this game?
Tomb Raider is the 2013 reboot of the fabled Tomb Raider franchise, which most people agreed was long overdue. The game sold a million copies in 48 hours and has confirmed sales of 3.4 million between the PC, Xbox360 and PS3 since its release in March. Square Enix, the publisher, was hoping for better and called the sales disappointing. This is mostly because Square was hoping the game would do Call of Duty numbers to save the company from a losing quarter and year. Still, the game did more sales than any other Tomb Raider game did after four months, easily turning a profit.
Returning from the previous version of the series is Lara Croft, recast as a recent college grad with an Anthropology degree. Unlike the rest of us with that degree Lara doesn't have trouble finding work in her field and joins an expedition shortly after graduation. She brings her friend Sam along to search for a lost Asian culture called the Yamatai. Lara's research and the fact that her family appears to own the boat the expedition is using leads the captain, family friend Roth, to change course. As things like this go, the boat is soon wrecked in a terrifying and sudden storm. This is where the game picks up. Details about characters and the island are revealed through the story as well as collectibles like journals and artifacts. I'll be letting those fill in the background instead of spoiling it here.
This game plays and acts a lot like the Uncharted series. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but veterans of that series will see a number of similarities, especially when Lara starts climbing something as it is falling apart. Like Uncharted there are also near limitless amounts of collectibles (the aforementioned journals and artifacts, along with geo caches and area specific items), and a fairly small weapon selection. Your main weapon is going to be your bow, which only gets more useful as the game rolls on.
Why Tomb Raider?
When I got this game (for free with my graphics card) it surpassed all expectations I had for it, I completed it over the course of a week and was blown away by the graphics, scale and scenery. The game looks really nice, plays incredibly well and is easily one of my favorite games released this year. I was probably going to do another playthrough at some point, so I figured why not make this a Let's Play so people can see what the game is all about?
You get 360 button prompts, but this game looks way better than when I played it...
Just to get this out of the way: I'm playing this on my PC on Ultra High settings with a gamepad. If you get this for the PC I suggest having a 360 controller handy, it was designed for the consoles anyways, and handles much better with the gamepad.
I heard Lara gets beat up bad...
Yes, yes she does. Lara has more damage inflicted to her than several games worth of male protagonists combined. "A Survivor is Born" was this game's tagline, and Lara earns the survivor moniker. Famously, a producer claimed that Lara would be threatened with rape at one point. Thankfully this was either taken out or not in the game at all. It's hard to put into words how dumb that would have been of Crystal Dynamics to have in this game. Instead Lara is punched, shot, thrown, stabbed, burned and pretty much anything else you can do to harm a person. Her model is constantly accruing cuts, dirt and torn clothing because of this. It's a pretty neat effect and a good visual reminder of just what Lara's had to deal with.
I'm going to take this one a bit slower than I normally would, so probably twice a week. Tombs and collectathons will be their own thing. This is by no means a 100% run, each area has about a million collectibles, but I'll be going for the big three: relics, journals and GPS caches. More on those three in the second post.
|Episode 1: Welcome to the Island||YouTube|
|Episode 2: Hunger Games||YouTube|
|Episode 3: First Blood||YouTube|
|Episode 4: Nasty Leg Wound||YouTube|
|Episode 5: Bunker Blitz||YouTube|
|Episode 6: The Climb||YouTube|
|Episode 7: Backtracking||YouTube|
|Tomb II: Hall of Ascension||YouTube|
|Episode 8: Of Shotguns and Oni||YouTube|
|Episode 9: Things Fall Apart||YouTube|
|Episode 10: Just Like Rambo||YouTube|
|Episode 11: Shanty Town||YouTube|
|Tomb III: Chamber of Judgement||YouTube|
|Episode 12: Grim Business||YouTube|
|Episode 13: Burn Everything||YouTube|
|Episode 14: Whitman's Back, Baby||YouTube|
|Episode 15: After the Crash||YouTube|
|Collectible Hunt Pt. 1: Swamp and Coastal Forest||YouTube|
|Episode 16: The Beach||YouTube|
|Episode 17: Island Hopping||YouTube|
|Collection Pt. 3||YouTube|
|Episode 18: Endurance||YouTube|
|Collection Pt. 4||YouTube|
|Episode 19: Penultimate||YouTube|
|Episode 20: The End||YouTube|