In a delicious role reversal last night, I got to play a game on release day while Rick quietly did dishes and packed up our lunches. What game could have prompted such rapt attention from yours truly? Well, the long awaited Tomb Raider reboot, of course.
After scurrying around to get all my post work chores and dinner ready, I settled into our crumbling couch to dig in to some hardcore gaming action. As mentioned elsewhere on this blog, I kinda suck at video games, so I cranked the difficulty down to “Easy” and prayed that the the team at Crystal Dynamics had made accommodations for total noobs like myself. Although I only got about an hour in, I didn’t find anything I had to do particularly difficult (despite dying a number of times) and I’d have to say that the focus on action and story make Tomb Raider a very good choice to novice gamers like myself.
The action is pretty linear, but well designed set pieces and novel controls help to add a sense of urgency to the player’s actions. As expected, the score is top notch and the environments are ridiculously beautiful. I remember actually taking a short break from playing to show Rick the rainbow that appeared when I moved the camera a certain way between the setting sun and a waterfall. It’s these little touches that make up for the often stiff character animations and ludicrous storyline (Dragon’s Triangle, really?) and keep even a notorious story snob like myself engaged.
Rick especially enjoyed my snarky banter as I played, which was made even more hilarious by the fact that I was playing with headphones on so there was no audio context for my ramblings to “…scramble, bitch, scramble…” or “…well what the fuck did you expect the creepy secret bunker on Rape Island to look like?” And even though it wasn’t exactly challenging on Easy, the game does a very good job of pacing things so that you can be surprised at any moment.
While pretty linear so far, I do have to say that I’m very interested in where things lead and will definitely be carving time out of my busy schedule to delve into the game further.