'Tomb Raider: GOTY Edition'
Microsoft Xbox 360 (PS3)
ESRB rating: Mature
Review rating: 5.0 stars
Lara Croft's first outing on the original PlayStation helped introduce 3D gaming to the world, but several sequels fell flat on their face. Now the series has undergone a much-needed reboot, and the new "Tomb Raider" is intense, fun and engaging! The GOTY edition features all of the previously downloadable content included for free.
Lara's story begins as she abandons a sinking ship and awakens on a remote island. She feels cold and alone and quickly discovers the hardships of enduring both the remote wilderness and merciless natives. This isn't the spunky spelunker that gamers have come to know, and Lara soon transforms from an innocent, wide-eyed archeologist to a hardened survivalist.
It doesn't take long for Lara to discover that she has to kill to survive. On one hand, she must hunt animals for sustenance, and on the other she is forced to kill humans before they kill her. I really appreciate how she is sickened by both acts at the beginning because it adds authenticity to her character.
Four main weapons are at her disposal throughout the game: a compound bow, pistol, shotgun and automatic rifle. My favorite weapon is the bow because it lets Lara silently take out enemies, which lets players use a stealthy approach if they choose. Another great addition is the ability to upgrade all weapons with various accoutrements such as a larger clip, extra damage and even a secondary fire feature!
In addition to combat and linear mission objectives, Lara is tasked with a wide variety of adventuresome activities that include searching for hidden documents and artifacts, rescuing members of her crew and even finding hidden tombs. While there aren't many blatant puzzles, simply finding her way around the island or discovering new areas equates to built-in puzzles.
When you combine the low price with the downloadable content, "Tomb Raider: GOTY Edition," ends up as a fantastic game at a fantastic bargain!