Tomb Raider – 2013

Overall Rating and Thoughts
8/10

I was considering giving the total ranking of the game a 7, but due to how good the mechanics are I decided to give it an 8. The mechanics, and overall enjoyable combat allowed it to reach that level. In the overall score it was hard to get it a perfect score, because it was far from a perfect implementation. The Square Enix login bug affecting some users and existing users, and also the bad multiplayer implementation didn’t even allow me to play/test the multiplayer.

The game was put together well enough to be considered one of the more high quality games. Definitely worth playing, and definitely worth the sell price.

Music
8/10

The music in this game almost feels non-existent. Most of the time there is no music, which helps to set the tone of the game. During the time the music is present it blends in so well, that I almost don’t even notice it. I can’t really comment on the music because I didn’t really notice it, it all blended in well…so I guess that is a good point. Honestly, normally there is a lot of music in the game, this is one of the few that has very little. However the silence that you hear actually matches the overall feel of the game, so I think in this unique situation, that is a bonus.

Sound
9/10

The sound affects throughout the entire game are very high quality. The sound affects match the actions happening almost perfectly, and were well chosen. The sounds of the guns reloading, firing sounds, explosions and so forth were all very well done and orchestrated with the actions happening within the game.

Voice Acting
8/10

The voice acting is high quality. There are a few areas it could have “been slightly better”, but overall it was done very well. The only issue I saw was that the voice tones (especially on Lara) were sometimes recorded very low. This required you to have to turn the volume up pretty high to hear it. This might be a PC only issue.

Another minor complaint was that Lara’s voice acting almost seemed “over dramatic” in certain respects. Sometimes she would have over-reactive voice acting from very simple actions done within the game. Sometimes a basic jump/land would sound like she was dying.

Graphics
9/10

Graphics themselves are top notch (at least on a PC). I did notice several graphical glitches throughout the game.

– Sometimes the rope arrow attaches in the wrong place and there is an error floating in mid-space.
– Sometimes torches will cause a massive trail affect on the background of a sunset like the torch is washing away into the horizon.
– I saw other strange glitches. Like on the shipwrecked beach, it appeared as if a rope was swinging around the entire board.

Besides the very minor graphical glitches, I think the graphics are very high quality. The character models, weapon details, background details and even the environment itself were all done extremely well, with very high quality graphics.

Difficulty
9/10

The game is pretty laid back in difficulty for the most part. There are some areas that can get a little tricky (in regards to the puzzles) and some of the fighting scenes can take even an advanced gamer several retries to get right. Overall though the difficulty is the right blend to make you think, and work towards it…but not be overly frustrated by the time you get it figured out.

Bugs/Glitches/Errors
8/10

First let me re-mention the graphical glitches that I discussed above:

– Sometimes the rope arrow attaches in the wrong place and there is an error floating in mid-space.
– Sometimes torches will cause a massive trail effect on the background of a sunset like the torch is washing away into the horizon.
– I saw other strange glitches. Like on the shipwrecked beach, it appeared as if a rope was swinging around the entire board.

Beyond that, a major glitch/drawback is the butchered login system created by Square Enix. It is very glitchy at best, and does not work for everyone who tries to get it to work (leaving them totally cut off from being able to see/share the stats and so forth). The main people affected are those with existing Square Enix account and “digital” version purchasers. However, this is still a very critical bug and really detracts from the game a great deal on the PC version.

Overall Gameplay and Controls
9/10

The overall gameplay is very good. The controls are well laid out, and easy to remember. Combat is a little complicated at first, but once you get use to the mechanics thoroughly you can understand why they were laid out as they are. However the mechanics, control scheme, and overall feel of the game is one of the reasons that make it so addictive.

Realism
7/10

If your after realism, you will only getting that in limited bursts. Throughout the game, there are a lot of unrealistic elements. Pretty much anyone that undergoes as much as she does throughout the game would be crippled, maimed, and beyond dead by the time it was over. The combat itself can be realistic at times, but the realism itself is still hampered by the over the top damage she is able to take (and in some cases inflict) without becoming incapacitated.

As mentioned though there are a lot of very realistic gameplay elements. The only major thing taking away from the realism is how much damage she is able to take and deal with, and keep going.

Replay Value
6/10

Assuming you obtain all of the collectibles the first play through, the single player campaign is pretty much a one-off event. Once you get all of the collectibles, there really isn’t any further reason to continue playing. If you did play it again, it would be purely for the purpose of the story. However, I feel that due to how the game is setup, you feel satisfied at the end of the gameplay. There are enough combat scenes, exploration scenes, and so forth to leave you overall satisfied at the end. Enough so, to not warrant a second play through typically. The game itself also offers continuous play after beating it, which allows you to finish all collectibles at that point. Another typical reason you would not need to replay the game again.

Multiplayer itself can keep you busy awhile, but it can be frustrating (from my experiences). Explained in the multiplayer section under systems.

Systems

Collectibles
10/10

The collectibles system was well put together. They have several different things you can “collect” in each area. They do a very good job of tracking these unlockable on a per area basis, even showing you total percentage completion in each area. On top of that, they have skills that allow you to unlock items that are unfound on the map, as well as to find maps that show the areas automatically. With just a little effort, it’s possible to get a “perfect game” without even using a walkthrough.

Death Scenes
7/10

Sometimes when certain things happen you can encounter death scenes in the game. For example, in the shipwrecked beach, if you fall in the water in certain places her head slams against the side of the rocks. Overall these are a welcome addition to the game that add more depth besides only being able to die by enemies. All of them were well thought out and they are all very “Mortal Kombat” style death scenes, that were well created and well executed.

Friendly Fire
10/10

In certain situations if you aim at an ally and shoot at them (one of the NPC’s within the game) the game will start sounding a very annoying alarm. That was a very interesting and unique addition to the game. I was almost through the game before actually trying this, but upon hearing it, it added some humor to the game while at the same time setting up a good way to deal with friendly fire.

Multiplayer
??

I cannot really leave a detailed review on the mechanics/thoughts of multiplayer. I can say implementation would get a very low rating on the overall matching system. I was never able to get a match, and when I did people left. I tried for several hours across several days. To me that gives the multiplayer implementation a very low rating. I wanted to be fair, so I did not rate it because I was not able to get into multiplayer and see how it was actually setup and how the mechanics worked.

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