Rebooting a franchise is a delicate matter as I'm sure many would agree, not just the logistics of redesigning a specific, memorable character but to entice a new audience and produce something as fresh as the franchise was back then.
Lara Croft is no exception. She made the jump from her limited polygon days throughout the 2000's but not many people cared. Thus she faded from the limelight. Until 2013 when Tomb Raider was released.
The only complaint that most reviewers have and that i tend to agree with is the story. Truth be told it's not the best story ever written. You will recognise certain ploys and plot twists and may even see them coming. But it's the island that fleshes this story out, it's the story behind the environments that guide you through the story and you end up just appreciating the narrative for what it is.
This is a origin story, it's taking a sweet and innocent girl, determined to follow her fathers legacy, and transforming her into a symbol of the strong, confident woman who can tackle anything in her path. Lara is not just the body that the player inhabits, she is a realised character, strong, confident and determined to survive (By the end, I'm sure you will agree with me!)
Originally released in 2013 I must say the graphics were fantastic from the off. They were gorgeous, and well rendered, I personally never encountered texture pop-ins or any other occurrences that would have put the score down. Depending on the age of your machine the frame rate could sometimes stoop during intense firefights, but this was rare.
This definitive edition ups the ante on how powerful next gen consoles are. The team has rebuilt many environment and character models, using a higher pre render method allowing for the console to push what they have produced. Lara herself is more realised and fleshed out (literally!) Her hair flows naturally in-game and her skin shows the scars and wounds that she braves with a realism that is unmatched in many games. Particle effects seem to be all the rage right now with most next gen games, and Tomb Raider makes full use of that technology, firefights explode with beauty, dust falls from ancient environments and flames look fluid and glossed against a midnight backdrop. To say this game looks gorgeous would do it a disservice, but it's safe to say this Definitive edition packs an enormous amount of punch!
Like the original there is platforming aplenty, however most of the "Tomb Raiding" is left to 8 secret tombs hidden throughout the world (Including the 1 new tomb added with the new edition) Instead the game follows a more Uncharted-like experience, with extravagant set pieces and atmospheric exploring providing an almost movie-like experience. You collect a number of weapons throughout the game and are able to level-up and mod them to your hearts content. I should note however by the end of the game you will have pretty much maxed out everything.
The island is split into different areas and camps and features a Metroid style navigation where you can go back to previous locations to pick up any treasures you may have missed. It's not an open world game, but it comes pretty close.
You will be forced into firefights with many enemies and will be forced to use different firearms to deal with them, these fights get intense fast and will push you to use everything in your arsenal. To help you can use Survival Instinct to highlight items in the environment to help you out.
If you didn't get the chance to play this the first time around, it is now the perfect time, want action, drama, adventure and epic set-pieces? well here it is on a polished plate!