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Tomb Raider 2013

by Crystal Dynamics

genre: action, fps, survival, puzzle

Gritty. Gripping. Exhilarating. 5 out of 5 stars!game_tr9_render13


(Taken from Wikipedia) game_tr9_render06

The game begins with Lara setting out on her first expedition about the ship Endurance, with the intention of finding the lost kingdom of Yamatai. By her suggestion and against Whitman’s advice, the expedition ventures into the Dragon’s Triangle, east of Japan. The ship is struck by a violent storm and split in two, leaving the survivors stranded on an isolated island. Lara is separated from the others when she is captured by a strange, savage man and trapped in his cave home. She manages to escape while her captor is killed as the cave collapses around them. As Lara tries to locate the other survivors, she finds more evidence that the island is inhabited, complete with strange carvings, dead bodies, and ritual sacrifices of animals.


Now, now. You must all be thinking. Why on earth is there a video game being reviewed on Ermilia? Well, for all of you who don’t know me well enough (Ermisenda), I’m an avid gamer. I never posted game reviews because I thought Ermilia should have a focus on books. But you know what? There are so many great games out there with a fantastic story and enthralling characters. Games inspire me to write. Maybe they inspire you too. And, why not have a bit of entertainment while you’re at it?

I LOVED this Tomb Raider game. I can’t begin to express how much I loved it. This game has easily become on of my top games of all time. I always enjoyed Tomb Raider, mainly because she was a female bad-ass gaming character. I wasn’t necessarily keen on the sex-symbol aspect that she traditionally held. But this Lara is just stunning. The best thing about this game, is that she’s a person (sounds strange to say, right?). A living, breathing, struggling human being. You feel for her. You don’t want her to die. You want her to push further and be the best she can be. She’s alive as a character.

Her personality and characterisation has been improved, and so has her look. They revamped her outfit from a tiny shirt and mini shorts to ACTUAL survivor clothes, and her breasts don’t threaten to burst through her shirt anymore (which some may be sad to hear about). Over the course of the game you notice her tank top and cargo pants deteriorate with rips and tears. Her skin shows open wounds and white scars. Her face is full of grime when she’s been fighting, and occasionally blood too. It all adds to the realism of the game. It makes her seem more alive.

I’m so glad that Lara is such a strong heroine. It makes my inner feminist beam with happiness. As a gamer, especially as a female gamer, you won’t be rolling your eyes at gender-stereotypes that games often include (guy [aka the player] saving clueless, busty damsel) just like movies or books. Yay! A new era of gaming please!

The game play is fantastic. I thought there would be more tomb raiding but there was more shooting, FPS (First Person Shooter) style. I loved that to be honest. I enjoy puzzles (loved the Portal games, and the Assassin Creed series) but I love shooting much more. Rather than the classic double pistol for Lara, her signature weapon is the bow. I fell in love with it. I have always adored bows and it was so satisfying to get head shots with a bow and arrow rather than a pistol.

While I enjoyed the game play, I would have liked a few more tombs to raid and also increased their difficulty. The game overall didn’t feel particularly difficult. That also added to the ease of playing which I enjoyed, but I hope they add more difficult content for future games.

The cut scenes are effortless. One moment you’re playing the game, next thing you know you’re in a cut scene that YOU can control. Most of the cut scenes don’t make the player a passive member. You’re active. You have to still control her movements so she doesn’t die. This makes it exciting and kept my blood-pumping.

There is intense violence and occasional gore but for most gamers, this won’t surpass any extremes. I give the gore warning due to the theme of ‘human sacrifice’ that gets practiced on the island. So you can imagine some scenes you may encounter. I did scrunch my face at some moments in disgust but I only felt like it added to the “gritty” nature of the game and also the realism.

The story was engaging. Lara was such a brilliant character to play. She’s inspiring, my newest heroine muse. Loved the gritty-survivor theme they went with. The gameplay/weapons were fun and satisfying to use. I had no real gripes about this game. I thoroughly enjoyed it and only wished there was more! More of this brilliant fusion of story, character, and gameplay. The graphics will also blow you away. There are some stunning visuals that will leave you amazed.

Interested in playing a new game? Get Tomb Raider 2013!

I’m eagerly anticipating the next one!!! Take my money, just give me the next game!

5 out of 5 stars

P. S. I’ll be writing up the Bioshock Infinite review soon. (I finished both of these last month.)

This game is for you if you:

  • Enjoy gritty shooting games.
  • Love a compelling story on an unknown island, swirling in ancient legend. Modern-day cult included.
  • Love a strong heroine and character who you can empathise with.

This game is not for you if you:

  • Hate the idea of human sacrifice or seeing dead human bodies.
  • Like a slow-paced game that gives you full control in terms of quests, missions, and world exploration. This game is primarily linear.
  • Want the old Tomb Raider with gigantic breasts and lots of thighs exposed.

Β Ermisenda Alvarez

Enjoy this review? Game reviews will be at the bottom of the ‘Book Reviews‘ page. Have any recommendations?

This trailer is great for gameplay snippets:

This is the cinematic trailer that first hooked me many months ago:

I have to end this review…if not I won’t stop talking about it. πŸ˜€