TOMB RAIDER’S FU­TURE IS LARA’S PAST

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - LEVEL UP - —RE­VIEWS BYARUP DAS

It’s been 17 years since Tomb Raider brought a rev­o­lu­tion to the gam­ing world. Scep­tics crit­i­cised Lara Croft as a “wannabe” In­di­ana Jones, but her thirst to ex­plore the an­cient, as well as the dare­devil stunts and gun­sling­ing na­ture helped her at­tain a cult sta­tus like Nin­tendo’s plump plumper Su­per Mario. De­spite nine games and two block­buster Hol­ly­wood movies, the fran­chise has re­cently been find­ing it dif­fi­cult to com­pete with the likes of Prince of Per­sia and Assassin’s

Creed. To re­boot the Lara Croft ma­nia, Crys­tal Dy­nam­ics de­cided to re­veal the Lara from when she was not the ac­com­plished Tomb Raider we know off.

GAME PLAY: In her late teens, Lara is on a voy­age to track a leg­endary Ja­panese Queen. Ship­wrecked on a strange Pa­cific is­land, she finds her­self con­fined to a dark cave. The in­hab­i­tants are a band of ruth­less cast­aways. In­ter­est­ingly, a young, trem­bling, Lara shows a ner­vous­ness which no other Tomb Raider game has ever re­vealed. This adds re­al­ism to the game and it is not just about es­cap­ing the blood thirsty goons but also learn­ing to sur­vive — things as sim­ple as learn­ing to start a fire, use a bow and ar­row and skin a deer. When she kills her as­sailant in self-de­fence you will see her col­lapse from the shock and the guilt of tak­ing a life. All very dif­fer­ent from its typ­i­cal swash­buck­ling guns blaz­ing style.

AWE­SOME VI­SU­ALS: This eas­ily has one of the best graph­ics in con­sole gam­ing his­tory af­ter Cr­y­sis. Lara’s move­ments are beau­ti­fully vi­su­alised and thought out like her wary looks when she has to walk through flooded ar­eas or au­to­mat­i­cally brushes her hand against when she walks past it. The au­dio ef­fects and sound track add to the is­land’s eeri­ness.

MUL­TI­PLAYER MODE: Stick to the solo cam­paign. This mode does pro­vide some chaotic fun and comes with multi-lev­elled maps over the four match types, it is just a snack to the ac­tual. The only good thing in this mode is that Lara moves faster. We would have pre­ferred if she could sprint at times while go­ing solo.

VER­DICT: This is the most com­plete game the fran­chise has come out with. Along with the cam­era an­gles and breath­tak­ing game­play, Lara’s emo­tions takes this ti­tle to a dif­fer­ent level.

BAG IT OR JUNK IT?

Life-like graph­ics and Lara’s emo­tions make this a hit

TOMB RAIDER Price: ` 2,499

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