I picked up Tomb Raider this week after finding some time outside of work to play it. I loved the rebooted Tomb Raider and found it had lots to offer in the way of interesting level design.
I was immediately aware of just how much Crystal Dynamics love “the gap”, or rather the bait and switch platforming which seems to have been made famous particularly by Nathan Drake across the Uncharted series. I was only about 2 minutes in before the mountain I was traversing started to explode around me, sending me scrambling for a foothold only for it to collapse away yet again.
It’s put to good use here, kicking off the game with some nice high-tempo rock climbing sets the pace well for what I hope will be another gritty, hub-filled action platformer. The previous game in the series was a great way to spend a weekend; solid and polished.
My favourite aspect of this rebooted Tomb Raider series are the well crafted “level hubs” that pad out the campaign. They have a very satisfying loop to them, with some great challenges, verticality and almost Zelda-esque unlock path that broadens out as you acquire new gadgets and abilities. The first of which I encountered in “Rise of…” has a satisfying ramp up speed giving me a relaxed pace at first, allowing me to hunt and get those first few upgrades, then introducing enemies just as I’ve made note of all the great little perches and flanking spots.
The game is also making the most of its smooth controls (at least, on PC) and enhanced vertical mobility via the climbing picks, rope slides and well positioned mantle points. I’m excited to see if these feature more in combat bubbles moving forward.
A great introduction to the game so far, looking forward to the rest!