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E3: Tomb Raider Gameplay

June 6, 2012


After watching the ‘Crossroads’ trailer earlier in the week, I felt that maybe the new Tomb Raider reboot by Crystal Dynamics was trying to be too much like Uncharted by taking us on a pure action ride instead of a survival action adventure. Well, after watching this gameplay trailer, some of my fears have been allayed. At least I’m looking forward to Tomb Raider again, despite some of its heavy action sequences.

To be fair, this section of gameplay is later in the game, according to the developers. There will obviously be more intensity as the game starts to reach its climax, but it looks like even at this point, Lara is still having to fight bitterly to survive encounters.

Seeing Lara pick off baddies with her bow and arrow looks immensely enjoyable, and watching her duck and weave out of a hail of gun fight is a satisfying moment to witness, Lara can’t go in guns blazing and hopefully you’ll have to pick your moments wisely. So yeah I’m starting to look forward to this again.

It also seems that Lara can take advantage of the environment, setting oil on fire with her bow and arrow to cook her foes, or taking the high ground and shooting down on her opponents (yes okay, there are guns which is meh, but at least the option for the bow is still there in this latter part of the game. Makes Ben a happy chappy).

Like Uncharted, Crystal Dynamics seems to understand how to ratchet up the tension in any given moment. Watching Lara gingerly reaching for the parachute as the glass below her cracks away. It’s edge-of-the-seat stuff and it’s brilliant.

I was worried that action set-pieces could diminish the survival element of the game, but I think I now trust Crystal Dynamics to dance that fine line between believability and out-and-out blockbuster action.

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