'Hugely exciting' Tomb Raider reboot reinvents Lara Croft

Mar 5, 2013

Cinematic origins story shows videogaming's most enduring heroine as we've never seen her before

What you need to know
A reboot of the popular 17-year-old Tomb Raider action-adventure videogame series has been released in the UK. The new game, developed by Crystal Dynamics and called simply Tomb Raider, returns to the origins of the fictional archaeologist Lara Croft.

This "prequel" tells the story of Lara Croft as she sets out to "make her mark" in the world of archaeology. When the ship she is travelling in is hit by a violent storm, Croft and a group of survivors are left stranded on a dangerous tropical island. Lara has to find food and water and fight a group of mercenaries to survive.

Gameplay can be both single-player and multi-player and involves exploration, survival skills and combat with a bow and arrow and gun.

What the critics like
This origins story "feels both authentic and hugely exciting", says Keza MacDonald on IGN. We see Lara Croft as we've never seen her before. "It's well-written, sympathetic, beautiful and just incredibly well-made."

Tomb Raider is "a great cinematic action adventure", with one of gaming's great lead performances, says David Jenkins in Metro. It's a "hugely enjoyable" game thanks to great graphics, excellent combat, and a "genuinely sympathetic protagonist".

"Tomb Raider is relentlessly absorbing," says Simon Parkin in The Guardian. The fun is found in thoroughness and endurance, while "Lara's exquisite animation allows her to move through the world with unmatched grace".

What they don't like
All the screaming and panting give it the ambience of "a violent pornographic film" and the overblown violent imagery soon loses its power to shock, says Ellie Gibson on Eurogramer. It's a shame, because beneath the noise there is a brilliant character, an engaging story and "moments of true beauty and pathos fighting for attention".

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