REVIEW: Tomb Raider (2013)

It’s taken me awhile to get started on this review; partly because I wanted to watch the boyfriend’s play-through and gather my thoughts from it, as I prefer to enjoy the experience my first time through, but also because severe writer’s block has been my plague recently. With that being said, I guess I can just dive right in.


Tomb Raider has been “re-made” four times to date, the first in 2003 with the ill-fated Angel of Darkness, featuring a Lara Croft completely unfamiliar to her devoted fan-base; dark and haunted by the death of her mentor/competitor Von Croy and on the run from the Gendarme. The controls were horrible, the supernatural story line too far fetched even for the biggest Lara lover, and was deemed a critical failure that resulted in the demise of Core Design/Eidos as we knew them. Tomb Raider was then (still unofficially) redesigned for the second time in 2006 after Crystal Dynamics acquired the title, introducing us to Tomb Raider: Legend (followed up by a sequel, Underworld, in 2008). While disappointingly short, this game was a satisfying step in the right direction – Lara was back to her globe-trotting ways, maneuvering through trap-laden tombs and killing baddies in the pre-Call of Duty style. Legend and Underworld were worthy, if slightly underwhelming, successors to AOD. Lara Croft’s penultimate revision was in 2007’s Anniversary, wherein Crystal Dynamics (taking over the mantle from Core Design, who’s original attempt had the possibility of being completely awesome, and of whose permanent shelving fans will always be resentful) redesigned and re-imagined the original Tomb Raider for it’s ten year anniversary. The game was a highly enjoyable blast from the past, igniting our fever for re-boots (a Tomb Raider 2: The Dagger of Xian re-boot is every fan’s Holy Grail, with petitions still circulating the internet) and indulging our penchant toward nostalgia.

None of the previous re-boots filled me with as much dread as Tomb Raider (2013) did. Continue reading