Tomb Raider (Series) Review

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Posted: 10 months ago, last updated 6 months ago.

Author: Andy Robertson.

OverviewOverview

Tomb Raider is a longstanding series that has been rebooted in recent years. This means it not only gets a fresh coat of paint like a re-release but is built from the ground up. All the games feature Lara Croft as the titular hero. She shoots, runs, jumps and fights her way to tombs that offer a calmer puzzle challenge.

This combination of exploration, puzzles and combat (along with an attractive powerful female protagonist) is what the game was originally known for. Although this continues into modern games, Lara is now a more vulnerable and believable person in her own right. She is motivated not only by adrenaline but also empathy with other characters and a conflicted relationship with her father.

The most modern games add in huge open worlds to explore and survive in. This ups the need to collect items and upgrade Lara as you do in a role-playing game. The puzzle-solving persists here too, both in main tomb complexes and smaller side-tomb quests although there is a focus on archaeological importance rather than hoarding valuable artefacts.

The original series:
  • Tomb Raider (1996) available on PC, PlayStation, Mac, iOS, Android
  • Tomb Raider II (1997) available on PC, PlayStation, Mac, iOS, Android
  • Tomb Raider III (1998) available on PC, PlayStation, Mac
  • The Last Revelation (1999) available on PC, PlayStation, Mac
  • Chronicles (2000) available on PC, PlayStation, Mac
  • The Angel of Darkness (2003) available on PC, PlayStation, Mac
The second series added more cinematic production and quick-time events where you have to press the right buttons quick enough to progress the filmic action sequences:
  • Legend (2006) available on PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, GameCube, Xbox, Xbox 360
  • Anniversary (2006) available on PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360, Wii, Mac, PlayStation 3
  • Underworld (2008) Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Wii, Xbox 360
The third series brought Lara to an open world and re-imagined her character and visual style for more modern audiences:
  • Tomb Raider (2013) available on PC, Mac, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015) available on PC, Mac, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2019) available on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
There are also spin-off portable games:
  • Tomb Raider on Gameboy Colour
  • Curse of the Sword on Gameboy Colour
  • The Prophecy on Gameboy Advance
  • Relic Run (2015) available on iOS and Android
  • Go (2016) available on iOS, Android, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita,Mac
There are smaller action spin-off games:
  • Guardian of Light (2010) available on Android, iOS, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • Temple of Osiris (2014) available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

DetailsDetails

Rating: PEGI 18+, ESRB MATURE 17+

Release Date: 09/11/2015, updated in 2019

Platforms: GameCube, Mac, Nintendo Wii, PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Role-Playing and Shooting.

 

TipsTips

View our choice of games like Tomb Raider. This game is good if you want to:

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between 12 hours and 22 hours to complete.
 
Players: This is a single player game. It will take around 12 hours to get through Tomb Raider (2013) on Xbox One or PlayStation 4. But to fully explore the open world can take 40 or 50 hours.

CostsCosts

Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider offers in-game purchases for seven challenge tombs, weapons, outfits, and skills. You can get these together via the Shadow of the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition.

This game is free with Xbox Game Pass. This game is free with PlayStation Now.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Tomb Raider (2013) is rated PEGI 18 with frequent moderate violence and occasional strong bad language. The examiners report expands this rating with the following: The game contains a scene where Lara has her hands tied and is touched in a potentially sexual manner by her captor. However, this only goes as far as him running his hand down the side of her body before she escapes. There are various death scenes in which Lara comes to gruesome ends. In one example, she falls into a pit of spikes. A spike forces its way through her temple and out the other side of her head. There is a blood splatter and she begins to slide down the spike, as the screen fades to black. The game also features frequent use of the word ‘*!@?*’.

This game has been rated ESRB MATURE 17+.

AccessibilityAccessibility

Accessibility for this game is as follows:
System Settings

The Wii has a few helpful settings, like disable rumble, but you have to use gesture controls for most games and the system menu. Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators. PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping). Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games... read more about system accessibility settings.


 




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