Three Things that Sucked:
1. Bosses (or lack thereof)
There’s only one enemy in the whole game I’d classify as a real boss, and it’s not even a major boss, just a regular one that shows up out of nowhere. There are maybe two or three mini-bosses. Other than that you’re just facing foot soldiers, which is quite disappointing in light of some past Tomb Raider bosses.
2. Collecting shit
Scrap metal, antiques, gps caches, weapons parts, there’s just way too much shit to look for. Worst of all, it falls in that annoying middle ground between necessary and optional. Either you screw up the pace of the game or you keep chugging ahead and risk being severely underleveled. Oh, did I mention this is the kind of game that teases you with treasure that’s inaccessible until you’ve leveled up much later in the game? Nothing says “fun” like climbing up a cliff and jumping off a few dozen times until you’re absolutely convinced you can’t get across without some hypothetical future upgrade.
I get that not every game can be pure action. You need to break it up with something, like puzzle solving, exploration, or mini-games. I also get that game designers are cocky assholes who want you to explore every last cubic inch of the environments they put way too much effort into creating.
3. The handgun
The bow, rifle, and shotgun were all great weapons. Once you obtain them all, the handgun becomes the odd man out. I don’t think I used it once in the second half of the game. It was probably only there in the first place as a Tomb Raider staple.
Three Things that Rocked:
1. Lara Croft
Lara starts out as a total moéblob. You just want to dress her up in something frilly and feed her tea and cake until she starts doing an uncoordinated dance. By the end of the game she becomes a fearless killing machine well deserving of a firm pat on the ass.
2. The graphics
As far as I can recall, this is the only console game I’ve ever played to completion within a year of its release. I haven’t seen the XBox One and PS4 in action. Nor do I usually care about graphics. In short, my perspective may be a bit skewed here, but this game was gorgeous. Everything was fluid and detailed. I had a hard time telling when the cut scenes ended and when the gameplay began.
3. The bow
When I first saw Lara with a bow, I assumed it was a shameless ploy to leech of the popularity of The Hunger Games. It probably was. Same deal with the game taking place in
Japan Yamatai. Definitely not a sales ploy.
Anyway, the bow was a damn cool weapon. Flaming arrows, ropes, distractions, silent kills, whatever you need, the bow does it.