This month sees the launch of Tomb Raider and the return of one of gaming’s most iconic characters, Lara Croft. Developed by Crystal Dynamics, this gritty reboot depicts the first adventure for a young and inexperienced Lara Croft in a story which charts the journey of an ordinary woman who finds out just how far she must go in order to stay alive.
To celebrate the release of Tomb Raider, we’re teaming up with Square Enix and Microsoft to give one lucky adventurer an Xbox 360 console and a Special Edition copy of the game. Four runners-up will each receive a standard copy of the game.
Tomb Raider launches on 5th March 2013. www.tombraider.com
To be in with a chance of winning simply put your answer to the following question in the box below along with your email address.
What is the name of the ship Lara travels to the mysterious island on in Tomb Raider?
For the full story and all the pics go to Holy moly!
Tough-as-nails adventurer Lara Croft has been given a solid reboot up the arse in the shape of this, the simply titled Tomb Raider, and despite the protestations of both die hard fans of the original series and greasy-palmed perverts who simply liked to watch her jump around, we’d be inclined to think it was a good thing.
Gone are Lara’s famously oversized chest, dual pistols and kick-a-bear-in-the-balls attitude, and in return we’ve been given a heroine who’s dangerously close to being an actual, believable person. You’re no longer here to shoot dinosaurs, it’s time to meet the real Lara Croft.
When you first encounter this new Lara, just after she and her friends are shipwrecked on a tropical island called Dragon’s Triangle she’s scared, injured, struggling for survival, and in the first few hours of play is put through a series of events that sees her beaten, assaulted, groped and fighting for her life. At times it seems like less of an action game and more of a survival horror.
But before too long you start to see a new Lara emerge, the one you’re probably more familiar with, the one who’s more than happy to shoot dead as many of the island’s cultist bad guys as she has to to help her friends (although strangely, while killing people doesn’t phase her one bit, nothing makes her sadder than seeing an injured deer). A Lara who jumps down waterfalls, slides through plane wrecks and screams a warcry as she heads into battle.
No matter how interesting the story though, Tomb Raider simply wouldn’t be Tomb Raider without the swashbuckling action (and actual tomb raiding, of course), and it’s done here exceptionally well. Controls are responsive and accurate and some of the action sequences, despite being a little ‘press x now!’ are every bit as thrilling as you’d have hoped.A nother nice addition is the dungeons/tombs themselves are now in the form of pleasingly difficult single-room puzzles more often than not, rather than the huge labyrinthine constructions you’re used to.
Of course, while the action sequences are all very impressive, it’s actually the smaller things that you almost don’t realise are there that we were particularly pleased by. For example, while it’s possible to simply hammer right through the 12-15 hour main quest, there’s a huge amount to explore here, specifically if you want to upgrade your weapons, a process that involves collecting scrap and salvage from your surroundings, or to level up your survival skills, which you do using experience gained from completeing quests and from combat.
Luckily, the skills are fairly unintrusive and while there are sections of the game you’ll need special abilities (such as being able to fire arrows with rope attached) to get to, there aren’t any gamebreaking talents and progression is slow and fairly minor.
This is basically exactly the Tomb Raider we all hoped it would be. The game mechanics and controls are such that it’s a joy to play even if you don’t really care much for the plot, although the story of Lara’s rise from meek historian to bear-punching adventurer is in equally measures believable, brutal and enthralling.
Tomb Raider is out on 5th March for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. We reviewed it on Xbox 360.
For the full story and all the pics go to Holy moly!
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