Tomb Raider Review Round-Up: Unleash The Uncharted Comparisons!

By Pete Haas 2013-02-25 08:41:43 discussion comments
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Today the review embargo for Tomb Raider's reboot was lifted worldwide. A slew of reviews have hit the Internet that all answer the question, "How does Tomb Raider stack up to Uncharted?"

Gamers have been making comparisons between UC and TR ever since Crystal Dynamics showed off the first gameplay footage from the reboot. It's no surprise that the reviews would continue the trend. They're easy games to match up with each other. Both are a mixture of third-person shooting, stealth, platforming and puzzles. Furthermore, they star thrill-seeking treasure hunters in search of the sacred whatever.

The comparisons between the two games might seem tiresome at this point. Still, it's tough to ignore the abundant similarities between the games. The Uncharted series is so well-known at this point that it provides a useful measuring stick for Raider. I mean, what else are you going to compare Tomb Raider to? Temple Run?

Anyway, excerpts from ten reviews are below. As you might imagine, each excerpt mentions Uncharted.

VG247 - "Tomb Raider is arguably one of the best action games in recent memory, but it canít call the lionís share of its accomplishments its own. Yes it borrows heavily from Uncharted, the world design riffs on Zelda, and the cover shooting isnít new, but I think that getting too hung up on its inspiration is to miss the point. This is a thoroughly enjoyable game regardless."

Destructoid - "Evolving from past installments in the series, and taking no shortage of cues from Uncharted, Tomb Raider gives us a heavier, more methodical game, liberally peppered with impressive setpieces and moments of calm eeriness that almost borders on survival horror. When not in combat, Lara will be climbing rock faces, jumping over chasms, shimmying up ropes and solving puzzles, all using a fairly simple interface that tosses in the occasional one-button QTE to keep you on your toes."

OPM UK - "One place where Naughty Dog still undoubtedly leads the way is in storytelling, although Raiderís origins tale does what it sets out to do, and Lara in particular is a pleasingly well-rounded (no, not like that) lead. After a storm leaves her and her crew shipwrecked on a mysterious and Ė shock horror Ė deadly Pacific island, the teamís archaeological mission is put on hold in favour of saving their skins and getting away from the Isle Of Maneaters."

Kotaku - "The key difference from, say, Batman: Arkham City or any Uncharted game is how effectively Tomb Raider drives home the physically grueling experience of being an adventure hero. After all, you never see Batman sweat and, despite his grumbling, Nathan Drake tends to be very well-adjusted to what he has to endure. Not the 2013 edition of Lara Croft. She yelps, groans and screams in combat and traversal. You know she's going to make that jump. But it's going to sound really unpleasant when she does. And when she dies? The game unleashes truly gruesome death scenesówhich, yes, call back to previous TR gamesóthat turned my stomach no matter how often I saw them."

Gamespot - "The gameplay of this series reboot takes a few cues from a current titan of the genre--Nathan Drake and the Uncharted series--but don't let that familiarity put you off. This origin story is a terrific adventure that balances moments of quiet exploration with plenty of rip-roaring action to keep you enthralled from start to finish."

Penny Arcade Report - "Youíll also notice echoes of LOST, and even Resident Evil 5. Tomb Raider isnít shy about aping some of the sense of scope and the gigantic set pieces from the Uncharted series, but Lara Croft and company put their own stamp on every piece of this diverse pie. Some artists sample, and others create something original and cohesive by using bits and pieces of old material and putting it together in new and interesting ways. Tomb Raider is the latter."

Telegraph - "In fact, the handling of Lara as a character, as well as that of the other survivors, is masterful. The story itself is a lot more recognisably Tomb Raider than you might expect given the darker new tone, and it's certainly nothing over-elaborate. It goes for the kind of pulpy tone Uncharted does so well, albeit more grounded. What really stands out is how fleshed-out the characters are; everyone from the weasly, cowardly Whitman to the stoic, determined Reyes is memorable. And Lara herself is unquestionably the best interpretation of the character yet; infinitely capable, determined and ingenious in equal measure. It's a refreshing change to see an action hero who isn't just swagger and bravado, there's a much more human side to Lara's character, something touched upon as she's forced to face off against the enemies who make up the story's maniacal cult."

Digital Spy - "With brawling abilities to unlock, explosives and environmental hazards littering the scene, players can also go in all guns blazing, which isn't as much fun as using stealth, but does add some much welcome variety. Gun fights are a little too frequent at times, particularly towards the end of the game, but compared to the original Uncharted, for example, shootouts never outstay their welcome."

CVG - "From afar the first obvious comparison to make in terms of combat would be with Uncharted's breed of cover-based shooting. Here though, Lara automatically leans down slightly whenever enemies are nearby, and when you move towards cover, you seamlessly press up against it. These smooth transitions cut down on dodgy moments, and lend combat a rampant, chaotic flow. You won't find yourself erroneously attached to the wrong bit of cover - but you'll still maintain complete control over Lara as she leans out. (You press the left trigger to fire.)"

OXM UK - "A change of focus permeates; pornstar busts and colossal caverns eschewed for vulnerable young ladies and Gears-besting body counts. Accept that this emotionally exhausting redux has germinated in - whisper it - a post-Uncharted petri dish and you'll appreciate it's a superb title on its own merits. It's just that you might have to squint a little, or at least venture off the beaten track, to find any actual tombs to raid."
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