Quick Attack: Tomb Raider

Quick Attacks are Vagary.TV’s way of giving you, the reader, a glimpse at a game we are playing. This could be a game we are reviewing in full or just something we picked up for a few days to kill some time but either way it will highlight thoughts and impressions from the first hour or two of gameplay.

In this Quick Attack, Don hits the bullet points during a one hour session with the new Tomb Raider game for Playstation 3.

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  • The opening is simply stunning visually. That shouldn’t really shock anyone, as AAA games generally have amazing visual cutscenes. But I digress.
  • Little time is wasted, as you are thrown straight into a sticky situation. At one point, I winced and squirmed at a certain event that looked very painful. The visual cues that show Lara is in pain is also a nice touch.
  • The first puzzle had me scratching my head. Of course, that doesn’t take much. Using the “Survival Instinct” mechanic (hit L2 and the game highlights points of interest), I eventually figured it out. My wife even attempted to help, but we just weren’t looking high enough in-game.
  • After the puzzle, there is a nice little running sequence. Anytime I am running through a cave in a game, with boulders smashing down, I think of Indiana Jones. That aside, I was not happy to see Tomb Raider have quick time events. I really can’t stand QTE’s. Like, REALLY can’t stand them.
  • A pan out view of wreckage on the island, with a bloody and dirty Lara overlooking it. My wife chimed in, “Look, it’s LOST!” -.-
  • Another great visual aesthetic is the rain drops on the screen. Sure, it’s third-person, so logically it’s a little silly. But it adds a layer of immersion if you don’t think too hard about it. Personally, I love it.
  • The first platforming section was very cinematic. Lots of dramatic things happening and such. Sorry, I am still trying to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, so no details. :)
  • When you finally get the bow, it’s very satisfying. At one point, you are trapped, and have to shoot wolves as they attack. Shooting with the bow feels good, whereas I don’t like shooting with guns (which you get after your first hour) so much.
  • After getting the bow, you are sent to a small enclosed area in the woods to explore. There are artifacts, journals, and GPS caches which are scattered around all areas of the game. It was fun to just let loose and run around a little bit.

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I’ve since sunk a few more hours into Tomb Raider, and have nothing but good things to say about it so far. The pacing is great, the visuals are stunning, the sound is above average, and the plot has kept me engaged. New mechanics like gear upgrades and rock climbing are introduced to spice things up, too. Look for the full review in the coming days.

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Author: Don Parsons View all posts by
Starting out as a founding member of Gamingcore Podcast, Don ventured on to start Gameciety; which began as a podcast, and ended as a blog. Don now handles Vagary.tv's PR work, is part of the reviews staff and has various other little projects he does for the site.