The Enigma of My Opinion on Tomb Raider

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So, I played some Tomb Raider today. I played the reboot recently released on PS3, got to about a little more than halfway through the game until I decided I’d played enough to have gotten a general picture of what the game is like.

It’s a pretty fun game; the action and exploration are decent, the writing and voice acting are great, Lara Croft is hot, and the locales featured in the game are quite breathtaking. It’s a little staggering how beautiful and distinct each location is in the game. Each place has it’s own flavour of grandeur, its own fresh take on the “Oriental Ruins in a Tropical Paradise” trope (I’m looking at you, Far Cry 3 & 4).

But to be honest, it feels a little awkward for me to be writing this because I don’t have strong feelings about this game either way.

Perhaps it’s the cold air in my basement or carb-crash exhaustion after lunch, but aside from the momentary excitement I’d feel at each new locale or at the start of every story-arc, I never felt much. I certainly haven’t carried much emotion over to the writing of this post. I wonder why that is.

I was going to write things like “the most scripted fun I’ve had since MW2” and “most epic jump towards a helicopter from a dangerous shanty-town since MW2”. But now I wonder if I was only excited to see the same tropes in Tomb Raider as I saw in one of my favourite games of all time.

At this point in the article, I decided to give Tomb Raider another try. But a second session didn’t much change my opinion. I remember this feeling, now. It’s quite familiar. It’s the feeling I get when I play CoD online for way too long, way past the point that it’s still fun. It’s the feeling of dull, but comfortable repetition.

It’s not because the game’s mechanics aren’t new to me; the combat’s like GTA or The Last of Us, exploration is similar to Assassin’s Creed. Genre-remixes and mechanic-remixes of other games can be super fun, after all. I just don’t feel very involved in this game. It’s The Last of Us without the tension, Assassin’s Creed without the need for speed. Even the beautiful set and level design sort of falls flat: it seems that the majority of my time, I’ve spent in a dull, brown shanty town.

It’s awfully silly to me that such a beautiful game would put me in a shanty town for much of my perceived time, haha.

All in all, I don’t have anything interesting to say about the game. It doesn’t entertain me to complain about a game when my complaints don’t seem to teach me anything, don’t seem to move me forward. I don’t feel as if I’ve learned from my experience so far with Tomb Raider. I don’t feel as if I really have anything tangible to complain about. And maybe that’s just it. Maybe this game is just…. lacking.

I took a break from writing to look at a Tomb Raider review from my favourite VG news site. 4.5/5, praising every aspect of the game. Maybe I’m just numb to these things.

I really wish I understood why I’m just not feeling it for this game. But I don’t have a clue. I don’t even have any leads to follow. And I find it amusing that it bothers me so much, haha. I guess it’s because that’s just who I see myself as: someone with something to say about everything. It’s not so bad to have my perspective shaken up, though.

I guess I’ll give Tomb Raider one more shot. Going from Hard difficulty down to Normal has made the combat seem a lot more consistent. No more unmanageable spikes of difficulty. I need to keep my eyes open for something I haven’t seen before and focus on that, and let the negativity fall away because I’m sure there’s something here I can appreciate.

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