So I finished Tomb Raider finally. I have a lot of conflicting feeling for this game, mostly because I was so incredibly excited for it. Where I have been disappointed in the recent past with releases from other series that I had once loved, every bit of news I had heard about this game before its launch had actually given me hope, and I was genuinely and impatiently anticipating the day I would get to play it.
In some ways, it lived up to my hopes. When it wants to do a set piece, it does a fucking set piece, and it's pretty damn beautiful and epic. I loved this version of Lara, and she was instantly identifiable as Lara, albeit younger and less confident. It also ramped up the maturity, which is something I had been hoping for with Underworld, but better late than never.
One of my main issues, though, also stems from the maturity and the set pieces. Now, disclaimer, I don't mind gore or violence at all, so don't think that this is just me being sensitive, but I can't be the only one who stopped feeling sympathy for Lara after the tenth or twentieth quicktime event of her basically having the Worst Luck Ever. She gets so abused and beaten, and this doesn't even take into account the battering that she's taking from combat. This is just counting the unavoidable cinematic events. There is literally no way that she could be on her feet after everything she goes through. Adrenaline and sheer force of will would not cut it, not for how bad off she is shown to be in some parts. I feel like this was Crystal Dynamics just trying to figure out how to cram all of their ideas for "character building" and "survivalism" into one game's time, as if they're worried that they wouldn't have another chance to put these particular set pieces in another game, or that they think Lara might be too seasoned of a survivor to even get into such situations further down the road, and so they had to make sure that all of these things happened the first time around.
The issue, of course is that suspension of disbelief got harder and harder to maintain, and as I said before, I could no longer feel anything for Lara. The first time you see her in agony and suffering, it is real and disturbing, but after the twelfth time in just a couple of hours, you get dulled to it. I was actually laughing comically later on in the game, because I could predict these "Murphy's Law" moments coming from a mile away and had little reaction to them when they happened.
In any case, aside from some parts really overstaying their welcome (I could have cut out a full few sections of the game and they would not have been missed), and the same-old, same-old brown color palette of many of the locations, this was my only major issue. (Okay, so I disliked much of the combat, but that's really my own fault for not playing on Easy mode in a genre of game where I already knew I would be terrible at fighting.) Oh, and one more thing: putting all of the puzzling in optional tombs was a little sad. Even sadder when I realized that the "puzzles" could be solved by a braindead monkey.
Final verdict? Wasn't everything I hoped it would be, but for the frustrations I had, I don't regret buying or playing it, and I would recommend it to anyone who asked. As for now, I'm curious where Crystal Dynamics will take Lara from here.