Throwback Thursday Review: Tomb Raider

Brandon Nelson and Brandon Nelson

Game: “Tomb Raider”

System: Xbox 360/ Playstation 3

ESRB Rating: Mature Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language

Personal Rating: 5/5

Lara Croft: for the general public it is the name of a fairly poor Angelina Jolie film. To gamers it is so much more.

The “Tomb Raider” franchise began on the playstation DOS and Sega Saturn in 1996. It was originally developed by Core Design and published by Eidos Interactive.

At its peak, the “Tomb Raider” franchise spawned several games and two movies, yet it ran into issues and the series ended with Lara’s death depending on which ending was earned in “Tomb Raider 4.”

The game was given a new start in 2013. Rather than continue the series, developers decided to completely reboot the franchise.

In order to reboot the series the developers cast Camilla Luddington, who would provide a new voice for Lara as well as all the motion capture for her.

A major change right away is the mature rating the game received from the Entertainment Software Rating Board. This is the first game in franchise to receive such a high rating.

The overall tone of the game is very dark and brutal, focusing on Lara’s survival and the events that led her to become the heroine gamers know and love.

When players are first able to take control of Lara, she is wrapped in cloth and suspended upside down.

They have to move the controller back and forth to ignite the cloth cocoon which breaks and after Lara hits the ground a metal rod goes through her side.

Gamers must rapidly hit a button – depending upon what system gamers are playing on – to pull the rod out of Lara to continue the game.

As the gamers progress in the story, they witness the first time Lara is in a fight or flight situation. The result is Lara’s first kill. Another major difference from the previous games is the amount of desensitization with Lara’s character.

Continuing the quicktime events that were introduced to the franchise in 2006, the reboot has quite a fair amount of the events which if not done properly would results in Lara’s death.

As part of the reboot developers decided to change up Lara’s outfit.

They scraped the booty shorts and gave her pants and gave her overall more realistic features.

They did, however, keep the color scheme of the green shirt and brown bottoms.

The most notable changes from the days of the playstation are the graphics, gameplay and the cutscenes which flow together flawlessly. At times it is fairly difficult to know when the player has control of Lara.

What truly brings the game together is the soundtrack. The melodies are used perfectly to match the current mood of the game giving it an overall cinematic feel.