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Rise of the Tomb Raider Review: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Askew

rise-of-the-tomb-raider-headerSeldom do reboots actually reinvigorate a franchise. Sure, Star Trek wasn’t too bad but when you consider the likes of Point Break and The Amazing Spider-Man and Conan The Barbarian and Godzilla (twice), you find yourself scared away from reboots. Gaming isn’t immune to that with the likes of Sim City, Medal of Honor and Sonic the Hedgehog as failed attempts to reinvigorate franchises.

One of the more successful reboots in history is 2013’s Tomb Raider which is the series best-selling and among its most critically acclaimed. It came as a shock that Microsoft had to pay the way for this sequel to 2013’s hit. Rise of the Tomb Raider recently hit PC after an exclusivity period on Xbox One and will come to PS4 this fall (despite being the platform that Tomb Raider sold best on).

So how does the sequel to the reboot standup? Well, it’s not all sunshine and lollipops.

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Lara Croft and the Knight in Shining Armor

tomb-raider-bannerI’m a little behind the rest of the world but I finally finished the reboot of Tomb Raider this weekend. The delay in completing it wasn’t because it was a bad game. If I was to give it a rating, I would probably give it an 8.0 or an 8.5. There was just something about the game that meant I put it down after a few hours last year.

Playing it through over the last couple of weeks made me conscious of what I disliked about Tomb Raider. It wasn’t the gameplay or the plot but the portrayal of Lara Croft throughout the game that I found odd and off-putting.

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The Many Faces of Lara Croft (Infographic)

The graphic quality of games has come a long way over the last eighteen years. Perhaps the best illustration of the changes in graphic and art design since 1996 is the progression of Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider games. Lara has come a long way from a 540 polygon character best known for her chest size to the high-def character in the Tomb Raider reboot.

To examine the change in the character’s look, we have a handy infographic for your perusal.

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Building (Critical) Consensus: Tomb Raider

Lara Croft is back and rebooted in the new Tomb Raider. While the title may not be original, it’s still better than that last reboot we saw called Devil May Cry: Devil May Cry. Also, it seems that Tomb Raider overall was better than DMC: DMC. Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix were so confident in their game that the review embargo for the game ended eight days before its release.  It turns out that they gambled correctly on this one. Read the rest of this entry

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