I�ll admit I was never a big fan of the original Tomb Raider. I enjoyed it when I was younger, but as the years progressed I realized how wonky the controls are and how truly bad the camera is. But one aspect of the game has withstood the test of time: the persona of Lara Croft. I never viewed Lara as a sex symbol. I�ve always thought of her as a cool lady who kicks a lot of ass (she is). She has always been, in my mind, one of gaming�s best protagonists.
That�s why, when I first saw the new Lara in the January 2011 issue of Game Informer, I was concerned. That isn�t Lara Croft, I thought to myself. I had no qualms about the new Dante in DmC: Devil May Cry (because, let�s face it, the old Dante is nothing special), but rewinding gaming�s leading lady and transforming her into a scared young woman seemed like a strange decision. I was, however, excited for the gameplay changes Crystal Dynamics promised.
Tomb Raider doesn�t rest on its laurels. It takes the series in a bold new direction. The sloppy controls and poor camera that plagued the former games are gone. The old Lara Croft is gone, replaced by a human being with emotions and the like. I�m a fan of some of the other games, but I never considered any of them must-plays. I absolutely think Crystal Dynamic�s new vision is worth checking out. It�s my favorite Tomb Raider yet.
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The major misstep in Tomb Raider comes from its multiplayer offering. It�s annoying and boring. If the tagline for the campaign is �A survivor is born�, the tagline for the multiplayer should be �Leave no survivors�. Prepare to die a lot, and when that happens, prepare to stare at a lengthy respawn timer. The weapons feel bland and the environments are soulless. It is the very definition of �tacked on�. Stick to the campaign. Score: 9.5/10
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