Gamer’s Paradise: Tomb Raider: Beautiful Mayhem

by Denver Jones

A shipwreck, a metal barb in her side, her foot caught in a bear trap, a small army of ancient samurai, hordes of mindless militant castaways and multiple falls from various heights: Lara Croft still prevails in her action-packed new Tomb Raider. Released on March 5, it is the tenth Tomb Raider in the franchise and the fifth to be developed by Crystal Dynamics.

Ultimately a reboot, this game is a look into how Lara became the Raider that we all know today. First off, it looks and plays beautifully. I found myself falling off cliffs just because I was enjoying the scenery.

Although this game looks great and is a great direction for the franchise, it’s lacking in puzzle-solving criteria. Initially, I play a game on “normal’’ difficulty level so I can enjoy it without worrying about every enemy encounter. But, since I was on break, I decided to play it on the hardest difficulty level, which was still way too easy — the puzzles never had me thinking for more than a minute or two, unlike its predecessor Tomb Raider 2. The puzzles in Tomb Raider 2 were more challenging; backtracking and exploring more of the area, I felt much more satisfied completing the puzzle, as if I just unlocked a door with a bobby pin.

The new game also falls into the “your game must have multiplayer” trap — which is not always bad — but, if it takes away from a perfect campaign, I would rather do without.

Besides the lack of difficult puzzles and Croft’s iconic “dual pistols,” Tomb Raider is still a great game and will provide many hours of action-packed mayhem. I am giving it a confident 8 out of 10: try renting it, and if you love it, buy it.