Survival is the name of the game for new ‘Tomb Raider’

Crystal Dynamics "Tomb Raider" turns the puzzle heavy franchise into a action survival game for a new generation.

Back in 1996, a little game called “Tomb Raider” came out on the Sony PlayStation and at the time was called a breakthrough in gaming.

Protagonist Lara Croft has come a long way in those 17 years.

The square shaped, pixelated figures that once populated the game are now gone. Instead Lara, and all the other forms in the game, including the wildlife she comes up against, are rendered beautifully using the latest graphic technology.

As with most games of this era, the graphics have come so far that most times you could almost believe that the places and people within the game world are truly real and you are somehow peering into the lives of these individuals.

This is marked by the fact that unlike the original game, there is a true survival aspect that comes with the raiding of tombs. Back in 1996, most of the game was spent just jet setting to different locations to solve some easy to complex puzzles before fighting some people or animals and heading onto the next location.

“Tomb Raider” of today starts off with a cut scene of a young Lara Croft and the crew of the ship Endurance coming up against a strong storm that leads to the ship capsizing, and the crew barely making it to a small island.

Lara is separated from the group and taken hostage by an unseen individual. It’s here that the game starts off right in the thick of things as you must not only escape your bonds in the strange cave but find the way out.

It’s one heart pounding moment after another. At one point some strange man grabs Lara’s legs followed by the actual cave coming down around Lara as she scrambles to reach the light at the end of the tunnel.

Raiding of actual tombs is more a sort of side quest then the crux of the game as you explore this island and try and find a way for Lara and the rest of the survivors to escape the island.

[singlepic id=234 w=300 h=300 float=left]Gameplay is easy in a sense but also complicated in another. There is a lot more of reacting to the world around Lara as she tries to survive than just walking down corridors, looking for the next puzzle or rattlesnake to shoot like the old days.

When grabbed by opponents, the player must wiggle the joystick around before pushing buttons when prompted to do anything from kicking them off a cliff to biting them to get away. This is a Lara that is forced to become the hardened character of the past games through trial by fire.

Something newer in the franchise is multiplayer, but sadly it is a poorer carbon copy of multiplayer experiences in many other games.

There is a lot to like about the game and for fans of “Tomb Raider” to embrace about this new reboot. It takes the core of the game and expands it into something it never seemed to be able to be in the past: an action survival piece.[singlepic id=237 w=50 h=50 float=right][singlepic id=237 w=50 h=50 float=right][singlepic id=237 w=50 h=50 float=right][singlepic id=237 w=50 h=50 float=right]