Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider

3 stars

TOMB RAIDER reboots the entire franchise with this excellent origins story.

pc, adventure

A clever origins story of Lara Croft given a new depth for the new technology.

The menu certainly looks great in stereoscopic but the first cut scenes are not good on my equipment. Doubling and fluttering out of sync until the game play begins. However when it does, boy, oh, boy does it ever start with a bang! You find yourself hung upside down and surrounded by other suspicious hanging white bags full of what can only be the corpses of other victims like yourself.

The claustrophobic caves and tunnels are broken only by the hanging body of another young woman who obviously didn’t fare as well as you. As you finally make it outside and look at the Cliffside view the limitations of the stereoscopic imaging are observed. The tree’s, tracks and surrounding geography looks great, but as you get further away the depth perception flattens a little.

You don’t notice this too much however as soon you are quickly immersed back into the tight jungle confines where the immediate vicinity looks great in 3d. Everything runs well until you watch the playback on the little camcorder. Again the video matinee flutters and fails until she switches off the camera and we are back at the campsite.

Pretty soon the story has you killing wild deer for food, hiding from crazed cultists and ravenous wolves. The stereoscopic flutters thankfully only ever occur rarely in the matinees of the “found footage” on the camcorder.

The claustrophobic walls and tunnels are perfectly textured and with the high level of detail in Lara herself the combination makes for a hyper realistic environment. If you are a fan of the series or if you are a noob to the franchise the game delivers something very unique. Less of the puzzles of old and more realistic survival horror and thrills.

By the first few encounters Lara is a blood splattered mess like you might see emerging from the dungeon of some Texas Chainsaw horror film. Fortunately you can swap with a selection of stylish outfits that Miss Cross might require in guerrilla warfare.

The sure aim outfit is very reminiscent of Katnis from The Hunger Games.

You are reminded often that this is not a children’s game when you are dropped into streams of blood and dismembered bodies. Especially gruesome in stereoscopic. The signal responds more directly to the Pineal gland so the deaths of your friends dramatically imprint the sense of urgency to your reptilian mind and that fight and flight instinct kicks in.

The bricks and stone environments all have a solidity to them in stereoscopic that you don’t get if you play the game in standard display. The skin textures and character animations all add to the realism the game conveys.

It’s a pity those slight glitches let down its overall rating but definitely worth a play. When you are exploring the caverns and climbing far to reach area’s in 3d space you’re really get the feeling that you are truly exploring a new world. It’s only when you are looking out over an expansive area that the doubling occurs where the parallax isn’t set up for the distance.

Over all a great game though. Can’t wait to see if they have resolved these stereoscopic issues in the latest release. Review coming soon!

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