Critics Consensus: Tomb Raider

The much anticipated reboot of Tomb Raider by Crystal Dynamics/Square-Enix hit store shelves today, and without much surprise, it’s getting very positive reviews.

Lara Croft hasn’t been getting much talk since the Edios-published reboot trilogy comprised of Tomb Raider: Legend, Tomb Raider: Anniversary, and Tomb Raider: Underworld, but according to many critics, this is a drastically different experience. The game is much darker now (this is the first in the franchise to be rated ‘M’ for Mature) and pulls influence from the Uncharted video game series, as well as its own older titles.

Here’s what the critics had to say about the new reboot:

The game itself contains some minor irritations, but Tomb Raider’s own failings are minimal – they only become magnified in light of the games it’s been inspired by and can be compared to. The story, script and cast fall some way short of the brilliance that the Uncharted series has consistently achieved, and the set-pieces never have quite the same ‘it’s too amazing for my brain to process’ factor. The exploration, side-activities and setting never compels or excites to the level of Far Cry 3, and the package offers much less for your money.” – Joel Gregory, Official PlayStation Magazine UK

For those who have never delved into the series, Tomb Raider serves as a great first step. The combat is the best it’s ever been, puzzles are short but satisfying, and Yamatai is a veritable platforming playground. […] More importantly, it just may convince a new generation to like Tomb Raider again.” – Richard Mitchell, Joystiq

The gaming equivalent of Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy, the latest Tomb Raider is a gritty franchise reboot, exploring the origins of everybody’s favorite female adventurer in a new environment. […] With a well written cast of characters, mightily impressive production techniques, sumptuous visuals, tight platforming and surprisingly enjoyable combat, Tomb Raideris most definitely a release to be treasured.” – Liam Martin, Digital Spy

Beneath the noise there is an engaging story clamouring to be heard, and there are moments of true beauty, serenity and pathos fighting for attention. The game does get better as it goes on, and despite the distractions the last few hours are a pleasure to play. At the centre of it all is a brilliant character, still iconic but more human and believable than she’s ever been before.” – Ellie Gibson, EuroGamer

Crystal Dynamics has nailed a pitch-perfect new vision for one of gaming’s most recognizable characters, and revitalizes her for what I hope will be many more installments.” – Matt Miller, GameInformer

It doesn’t try to rewrite the book on third-person action adventure games. But with its excellent controls, engaging heroine, thrilling combat, and fascinating setting, it doesn’t need to. Lara may be covering some previously charted territory here, but Tomb Raider is so well-crafted, you won’t mind at all.” – Carolyn Petit, GameSpot

Tomb Raider is well-written, sympathetic, exciting, beautiful and just incredibly well-made.” – Keza MacDonald, IGN

It’s easy to point out the many ways that Tomb Raider borrows bits and pieces from other popular games of the last five years, but Crystal Dynamics has blended these disparate strengths into something remarkable. It’s cinematic yet open, intense yet laid-back, fresh yet polished. It’s a near-perfect embodiment of the age of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with a hint of what to expect next.” – Phillip Kolar, Polygon

Bottom line: Tomb Raider has proven to be a remarkable reboot of a beloved franchise. The game took bits and pieces of other games of this generation (Uncharted, Far Cry), mixed them up a bit, and provided an exciting a fresh new take on an old hero. While the multiplayer might not be on par, the writing, story, and overall gameplay experience makes the title really shine. This is THE game to play if you haven’t had a chance to experience previous Lara Croft titles.

Check it: More Tomb Raider on Albotas
Buy it: Tomb Raider (360) (PC) (PS3