Tomb Raider: Reborn

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Release date:  5 March 2013

Genre:  Action-adventure

Platforms:  PC, PS3, Xbox 360

At just 21 years old, Lara Croft is a novice adventurer.  She’s an academic, an archaeology graduate, not used to exploration at all.   Lara believes that she may have found the lost kingdom of Yamatai, an island in the Dragon’s Triangle, just off the coast of Japan.  The Nishimura family, who are descendants of the Yamatai people, fund Lara’s very first journey, in search of the mysterious lost realm.

Lara and her co-explorers are traveling abroad a ship on route to the lost kingdom when they head into a turbulent storm.  The storm separates the expedition team and Lara is left to fend for herself.  On a desert island, in the middle of the Dragon’s Triangle, Lara’s survival skills are put to the ultimate test in the harshest of environments.  She learns to build fires, use a bow and arrow, hunt for food, grapple wild beasts and defend herself against brutal mercenaries.

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Tomb Raider devotees may be thrown off in the beginning of the game as the feisty Lara Croft they’ve grown to love over the years is replaced by a younger, more insecure version of the heroine.  The idea of Tomb Raider: Reborn being that this how Lara came to be a great archaeological explorer.  As the game a progresses Lara quickly matures, growing confident due to her newly acquired skills and steps into a slightly more assertive and autonomous role.

As a gamer you’re required to go through the motions of survival with Lara.  You hunt, you explore, you become a survivalist.  But there are still the classic Tomb Raider elements; the deciphering of clues as well as tensioned and dangerous battle scenes.

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The graphics are (as expected) highly impressive, truly lifelike.  The terrain, temples, mystical crypts and tombs placed over the island are finely detailed, while the murmurs of animals, cawing of birds and extreme weather are very convincing.

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Manoeuvring through the battle scenes can prove to be tricky especially if you’re not stealthy, and the bow and arrow adds an interesting new element to the Tomb Raider mode.

An overall satisfying look into a pressurised period that shaped Lara into the legend we know and adore.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

25 year old writer/blogger from Johannesburg with a particular interest in all things bookish and geeky.

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