Entombed by Deftones from the Koi No Yokan album
Entombed may well be one of my most played Deftones tracks – according to iTunes that is – but it’s that line, from said song, and how it references how I felt about playing the single-player story in Tomb Raider. I felt that I was being played upon in a way I haven’t felt in any previous gaming experience. I wanted to experience all I could as Lara Croft and that’s a very rare thought when it comes to video game characters.
So underdeveloped a franchise Tomb Raider has been, in terms of character, that anything this reboot lit in my imagination surely would be a vast improvement. And I have to say it Tomb Raider will stay in my memory for a very long time indeed.
I empathised fairly early on with a young Lara Croft getting her feet wet for the first time. Tomb Raider fells less about the story and more about Lara’s journey of self-discovery and fulfilment. In the closing section of the game, Mathias proclaims that ‘…there are no heros here, only survivors’. It is a proclamation that comes just at the right part of the game. Lara Croft having dispensed with a few hundred folk by this point. It also again emphasises the tagline, ‘A survivor is born’.
There are some very fine details that make Lara’s journey so memorable. The naturalistic flowing cover system was a joy; Lara crouches upon hearing distant voices without the worry of a button push. The use of fire and always having the ability to light a torch keep my immersion looked into the environment. The scavenging for parts allowing upgrades to weapons and skill point trees being accessible via camps again kept me in-tune to the game, rather than breaking the experience. Combat was fluid and enemy AI was good. The support characters were the only minor let-down; even with the discovery of character documents scattered around the island did not do enough to enforce Lara’s relationships with the crew of the Endurance.
As long as Crystal Dynamic remain as the Tomb Raider developers for future releases, I will have to carry on my journey with the ‘little mouse’.