Tomb Raider Xbox 360 User Review
Super Gamer Dude
The world's most famous fictional archeologist is back with a vengeance this time the survival and exploration action game comes with a new multiplayer mode. The perspective is that of a third person and also has an element of platforming.
The heroine or lead and the character which the player controls is, naturally, Lara Croft, but in this story she is younger than of late as this is something of an origin of version. Here she is a recently graduated archeology student whose studies have led her to seek the lost Kingdom of Yamatai. Through her contact with a family called Nishimura, who claim to be descendants of the ancient inhabitants of the lost kingdom, Lara raises money for an expedition to locate it. Lara's best friend and companion is Samantha Nishimura a representative of the ancient family. Others who accompany her are Dr.James Whitman, Conrad Wroth, Joselyn Reyes, Angus Grimaldi, Jonah Maiava, and Alex.
Whitman is a famous archaeologist who has a rough time lately dealing with divorce and bankruptcy. Roth is an ex Royal Marine who now has turned his survival and fighting skills towards adventure. Grimaldi is a typical blunt Glaswegian who calls spade a spade and a sarcophagus a coffin. Reyes is a female mechanic and a single mother and somewhat skeptical by nature. Maiava is the opposite and quite happy to believe in things not of this world and whose imposing physique belies his placid nature. Last but not least is the nerdy looking Alex who of course is an electronics wizz.
So there we have a good selection of personalities who together should be able to take on almost any challenge that the island of Yamatai and whatever or whoever inhabits it can put their way. And so they set sail on the good ship Endurance to explore Yamatai. But against all advice they make detour into the Dragon's Triangle near Japan and disaster strikes in the form of a violent storm. The main party survives and reaches land on an isolated island where Lara becomes divorced fro the rest of her party and is captured and imprisoned by a cave man who makes her an unwilling guest in the cave he knows as home.
Then things get complicated and to describe it would take as long as the game takes to play. There is an awful lot of content but certainly not a lot of awful content. Let me just say there are many twists and turns, trials and tribulations in which each character plays much the part you would expect them to and some which you would not. Bit if you are not yourself a cave dweller you will get the general idea from other games you may have played.
There are the compulsory arrays of weapons and skills and upgrades but these are just incidental to the game but are, as in all games, form the main source of the action, some original and some not. Lara herself is well endowed, and well armed, and fortunately does not wear too much clothing that might interfere with her weapons skills.
As expected the music is in itself a work of art and really needs some sort of quality audio system to do it justice and the graphics and animations, while never quite reaching the cinematic perfection of a film, also live up to expectations.
Super Gamer Dude
In Tomb Raider for the Xbox 360 Lara Croft the world's most famous fictional archeologist is back with a vengeance, or should we say, makes her first appearance, as this is a sort of 'what happened before' story or, as some would, say a prequel. Even that is not quite true because her origins were also charted in a previous title. Billed by the developers as 'an interconnected hub-and-spoke model that combines action-adventure, exploration, and survival mechanics' the game is played from a third person perspective and comes with a multiplayer mode.
The heroine, younger than you may remember her, but still wonderfully outfitted, is the role which you, as a player, take up. This young Lara has only recently graduated as an archaeologist and in the course of her studies she came across references to a supposedly lost kingdom named Yamatai. She comes into contact with the Nishimura family who claim to be descended from the original inhabitants this lost kingdom, and, with their encouragement Lara raises the funds and mounts an expedition to investigate the existence of Yamatai. Samantha, who just happens to be Lara's best friend and companion, is a member of the Nishimura family and becomes their representative on the expedition. Other members of the expedition are Dr.James Whitman, Conrad Wroth, Joselyn Reyes, Angus Grimaldi, Jonah Maiava, and Alex.
Whitman is a world renowned archaeologist, lately divorced and bankrupt and having a generally bad time of it. Roth was once a Royal Marine Commando who now puts his combat and survival experience to good use as an adventurer. Grimaldi is a Glaswegian Scot who is down to earth and tells it how it is. Reyes is a single mother and, surprisingly, also a mechanic, with a somewhat cynical disposition. Maiava is of a more spiritual bent and willing to believe in things without seeing very much in the way of proof, the sort who believes in ghosts. Jonah Maiava is a quiet unassuming man with an impressive physique. And last, and probably least, is the geeky looking Alex who of course is an electronics genius.
A good selection of differing personalities which of course fits perfectly with the games' requirements, and whose mixture of abilities when combined should equip them for the task in hand, but with sufficient weaknesses to make them vulnerable. So whoever, or perhaps more to the point whatever, inhabits the island of Yamatai, and if things go to plan, had better watch out. And so off they go, setting sail or turning on the engines of the good ship Endurance, to find and explore Yamatai. But all does not go to plan and against better advice they make a detour through the dangerous Dragon's Triangle and it is here that disaster befalls them in the form of a violent sea storm. The group survives and reaches an isolated island where they land and where Lara becomes separated from the rest her party and is captured and imprisoned by a hairy cave man type savage who makes her an unwilling guest in the cave he knows as home.
This is where the plot begins to get interesting and with its many twists and turns would most likely take as long as playing the game would, or perhaps that is a little unfair as there are quite a few hours of play time to be had out of it. There is an awful lot of content but certainly not a lot of awful content. Let's just use the usual get out by saying that there are many twists and turns, trials and tribulations in which each character plays much the part you would expect them to and some which you would not. And anyway too much detail would spoil it for the player and, if you are not yourself of the hairy cave dwelling type, you will get the general idea from other games you may have played.
There are of course the compulsory arsenals of wonderful weapons and marvelous skills and upgrades, but these are just incidental to the story but do, as in most games of this nature, form the main source of the action, some of it original and some not quite so. Lara herself, even in her younger days, is well endowed, well armed, and fortunately not too well dressed, as too much clothing might interfere with her weapons skills.
As expected the music is in itself a fine and fitting composition and would do justice to a quality audio system. The graphics and animations, while never quite reaching cinematic perfection, also live up to expectations.
Lara Croft fans will view this game as a must and for newcomers it presents a good introduction to the events of the earlier games in the series to which this is a useful and enjoyable prequel.