Tomb Raider Diary – Blending the Old with the New

Crystal Dynamics manages to keep the core of the series while adding new elements

Back in 2010 when Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics confirmed that they were working on a special reboot of the long-running Tomb Raider series called simply Tomb Raider, many fans were shocked to see that the two companies overhauled the franchise and introduced a new protagonist in the form of a younger version of heroine Lara Croft.

After subsequent presentations and gameplay demonstrations, fans become worried that Crystal Dynamics is straying too far from the core of the franchise, which was to raid tombs while controlling the very attractive explorer.

According to many, the new title was borrowing heavily from other popular games like Uncharted, which were in turn based on classic Tomb Raider titles.

Now, after the game's release earlier this week, fans can see that, while plenty of new mechanics have been added to the game, it's still quite similar to plenty of previous games in the series, as you still get to explore exotic locations, raid tombs for loot, while facing off against many different enemies and solving plenty of puzzles.

Most of the new additions, such as the level-up mechanic for Lara's skills, but also the upgrade system for Lara's various guns and weapons based on scavenged components, work really well and are cleverly integrated into the game to give it a sense of progression just like in many role-playing games.

The quick time events are a bit annoying, especially at first where there are quite a few cinematic sequences, but they slowly dwindle as you go through the game.

Set pieces are many and quite a few will make you sweat in anticipation of what happens next to Lara. If you make a mistake, however, you'll certainly cringe at the many gruesome deaths that await the young explorer.

The new Tomb Raider is a great reboot for the series as while it introduces plenty of things and mechanics, it still respects the core of the franchise.

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