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Bringing Lara Croft to a new generation of gamers without being castrated by the large Tomb Raider fan base was the challenge met by Square Enix when taking on development of this title, did it pay off?

The game kicks off with a group of explorers headed reluctantly to an island under the guidance of a young Lara Croft. Immediately we are shown how impressive the graphics are, as expected from a studio like Square. They hold up surprisingly well, there aren’t any moments of lag or slowdown, even during the most intense action sequences.

Between the quick-time-events (QTEs) to climbing puzzles and action sequences, many gamers will be quick to scream ‘UNCHARTED!’ however, the game play differentiates itself by giving the player the ability to upgrade Lara’s weapons and earning new skills by collecting salvage and gaining experience points respectively.

It also moves seamlessly between QTEs and regular game play, which allows for a smooth experience. The action sequences are plentiful and dealt with well, giving the player the choice to either play aggressively using loud and powerful weapons, or taking a more stealthy approach using the bow-and-arrow.

Outside of the main story, the game allows the player to explore the open-world style island to search for multiple relics, journals, GPS caches and challenging hidden tombs.  This adds plenty more hours for the more obsessive compulsive gamer, and it rarely feels arduous or like a grind.

Where the game does fall short, however, is in its character development. Outside of Lara (who is beautifully voice acted) the ensemble cast seem somewhat one-dimensional, especially the main antagonist. Without divulging too many details, there is almost no real introduction to the villain, and unless your keen eye is able to discover diary and journal entries throughout the island, you wouldn’t fully understand his motives.

Tomb Raider is a great entry into the franchise, borrowing from titles such as Uncharted and the Arkham games to help bring Lara Croft to a new generation of gamers whilst keeping old fans happy.

Tomb Raider review info: