Snapshot: Tomb Raider (2013)

Tomb Raider Art

Yes, as of last Tuesday (March 5th, 2013) the new imagining of Tomb Raider was released! The game was developed by Crystal Dynamics, and published by Square Enix, and honestly it’s probably the best Tomb Raider game released; aside from the lack of puzzles to solve.

Graphically the game is astonishing. The environments though not truly “open-world” have an open world feel to them, though there are obvious paths for you to walk upon and invisible barriers to stop you from going anywhere outside the allotted space. So needless to say you won’t be glitching up mountains like in Bethesda games, but they leave just enough room for exploration of various artifacts and things needed to upgrade weapons. Since, they focus on these small hub-like areas instead of a sprawling free-for-all environment the areas look damn near realistic, and almost next generation. I’ve been playing on Sony’s console, so I’m sure on the PC it looks even better. Despite the vast traversal options the game never feels clunky and the frame rate never drops.

Tomb Raider_Lara Croft Voice ActressThe game sounds great as well. The weapons sound realistic whether its the small whistle from the bow string or the loud explosion of fire coming into contact with a natural gas line. Since the island is tropical you will hear a lot of nature related sounds like birds and wolves, which you can actually come into contact with. The voice acting is pretty solid for most of the characters, pulling you deeper into the fiction. The best voice acting is of course Lara Croft; played by Camilla Luddington. Camilla gives a solid performance of the re-imagined Lara Croft. Hell, she may be Lara Croft in disguise  as a voice actor.

This new Tomb Raider also implements some pretty amazing mechanics that makes it feel more like a survival game, rather than a third person cover shooter; though at its core that’s exactly what this game is. The most exciting mechanic they use is a reaction based Lara. When you come into an area or approach enemies she automatically draws her equipped weapon. So now you know there are enemies in the vicinity what else will she do? Well, when you approach a low wall, bush, tree, or well just about anything that’s worth hiding behind she will automatically go into cover. The cover doesn’t feel still, like games where you would snap into cover, but rather more natural as you move from object to object. They’ve also included a feature called “survival instinct,” which works a lot like Batman’s Detective Vision in the recent Arkham games. The primary use for it is to see objects you can interact with, animals you can hunt, or enemies in the nearby area. However, after some upgrade points, it becomes very handy in finding the hidden treasures of the island! (The collectibles are actually worth collecting, because it fills in more of the fiction of the island!)

Tomb Raider_CombatThe upgrade tree is similar to Farcry 3 with three different trees to fill out. The skills aren’t to the extreme that the one’s in Farcry are, nor are they about the stealth kills, but they upgrades do make some considerable upgrades to Lara’s survival and combat abilities. The weapon upgrades are different and interesting enough for you to care to do them. They add things like better accuracy, more damage, fire arrows, and silences (just to name a small amount). You’re not able to upgrade everything out of the gate, but rather as you become more intune with survival and you find gun parts that will enable the next set of upgrades. You’ll also need salvage (a sort of upgrade currency in the game) to make the weapon upgrades, but don’t fret salvage is everywhere.

The AI is far from intelligent, but they are extremely aggressive, normally attacking in groups allowing for some to attempt to flank you while others are spraying bullets and throwing sticks of dynamite. However, most of them aren’t very hard to kill until later in the game where a little more planning and strategy is beneficial due to the various enemy types, including armored enemies.

With all of that said, we get to the best part of the game… THE STORY! The story takes place on Lara’s first expedition to find a hidden (almost Atlantis-like) island, where she hopes to find answers to the worship and culture of the ‘Sun Queen.’ However, Lara believes they must head into the Dragon’s Triangle to find the island. The Dragon’s Triangle makes the Bermuda Triangle look like a bedtime story for little kids. Nonetheless, they head straight into the storm ridden and dangerous area in search of an adventure, however, the adventure finds Lara as they shipwreck on an island with a constantly changing climate that stops all who try to leave the island.

You’ll play as Lara as she goes from being an ‘innocent’ shipwrecked girl in search of her team as she faces the many dangers of the forested island with her instincts leading the way. Though, this story is one action and over coming, as well as, a story of loss and confusion. Lara will have to survive and overcome everything if she plans to help even just one of her friends last on an island overtaken by a group of bandits who’ve been stranded on the island for years, an island who has a great amount predatory animals, and many old dangerous and explosive (and wrecked) buildings. Oh and there’s a group of over-sized and very powerful enemies protecting a sacred chamber.

Honestly, I can’t see this game just simply being a prequel story. I feel like this game has great potential for a reboot of the series. With all the resources Crystal and Square dumped into this game I’m sure we’ll atleast see a trilogy out of this new and improved Tomb Raider. Hell, as long as they keep just about everything that made this game amazing and add some more puzzles I’m sold!

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Adventure time: Ice king Why did you steal our garbage? Collectors edition 3ds.

First of all if you don’t know what adventure time is shame on you! Your missing out. It’s a funny children’s cartoon on cartoon network. Why do I watch it then you ask? Lets just say when you watch it, you will realize its not just for children. But if you did know what adventure time was then YES they did make a video game. BUT! Only for 3ds and ds users. This comes with the enchiridion Steel-book case that holds all your little goodies in this collectors edition. If you do not know what that is the enchiridion is a book that fin and jake use to carry around it should them how to be aw sum and how to beat up bad guys etc. But later on in the series they end up giving it to a bear that wants to be like fin. And comes back up in the story later on when fin has a crazy nightmare. You get a stylus but it is Finns gold sword witch he dose not use anymore but it used to be the one he used in most of the episodes. You get the book of beasts witch I have never herd of before. And you get the pixleized version of Ooo map witch is your game play map. And of course the game. I have not played this yet it comes out today! And I’m so excited. I will be doing a unboxing video for those who want to see everything first hand. But it has a old school Zelda feel or a pokemon feel. Everything being pixelated like your playing your black and white game boy again.

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From the games description from gamestop.com:

Finn and Jake wake up one morning to find their trash stolen by the Ice King! Jake couldn’t care less about half-eaten bananas, crumpled up math notes, and old chicken diapers – but when the Ice King uses these stolen goods to construct a Garbage Princess, our heroes embark on a fantastical adventure and teach him a lesson! Journey through the Land of Ooo in an offbeat adventure and discover perilous dungeons, unimaginable treasures, the true meaning of friendship, and never-ending fun!

  • An original storyline and concept written by series creator Pendleton Ward
  • Classic Action Adventure gameplay!
  • Conquer dungeons, collect treasure, and complete quests in the Land of Ooo.
  • Punch, kick, or slash foes with Finn!
  • Use Jake’s magical stretchy powers!

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I Am so excited for this game! A New school game with old school twist. of coarse its going to be for children but to me and many fans can see the adult humor in it and favor it for that and the children’s theme. because hey who really wants to grow up?