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It's fun and Pretty
Strong Lead Female
So they took a "sexualized" yet strong and amazing female role model, toned her sexy strong down, and made her weak, reckless and haphazardly surviving. Go Feminism.
Rise of the Tomb Raider: A Realistic Review
Rise of the Tomb Raider, despite the faults, is quite a good game. The story is about young Lara Croft going on a crazy expedition to discover the artifact her father died trying to obtain. This Lara though is different, she’s young, naive, spontaneous and dangerously impulsive. It’s almost as if she never paid mind to her father or went on any mountaineering trips with him as pointed out shortly.
Tomb Raider starts out with a great story setup. Lara Croft is on an expedition with a friend on some high mountain pass. But there’s a few problems already. She’s horribly under prepared and not focusing on the most dangerous section of the path. She’s cold, cupping her hands and otherwise distracted in what appears to be 60mph cross winds and a narrow crossing. She doesn’t have her mountaineering backpack, nor wearing the right clothing. A perfect setup for her series of failures that shortly follow. Lara is obsessed with finding the Divine source, a mystical artifact her father died trying to find.
Lara’s driven and impulsive nature soon find her in a world of trouble on the mountain pass as a storm approaches. She’s soon separated from her friend, hoping he somehow survived the avalanche. Lara survives the chaos and finds herself needing fire and shelter. Since she brought no supplies, save a pair of ice climbing axes, she has to craft a bow and hunt. From here the game actually starts.
Siberia is a notoriously cold and wretched wasteland in the vast expanse of land known as Russia. The average climate in Siberia is continental subarctic with yearly average temps of about 23° F. Being in the mountains pushes this temperature even lower. In this sort of frigid environment, calorie requirements are extremely high just in order to stay warm. No sleeping bag and no tent, Lara is in a bit of a bad situation. Thankfully we can craft our way out of this by hunting for animal skins and collecting other resources along the way.
Tomb Raider consists of the bare survival mechanics. If you’ve played the Far Cry games or any other similar survival games you’ll already be familiar. hunt animal, skin it for food and resources. At first you have a bow, it’s silent and efficient to kill rabbits. Deer on the other hand, they’re crafty buggers. Your best option to to get on a high platform and wait for them to arrive in the area. Then loose an arrow at them. After this the deer dies and you can skin it; Nope! The deer is now injured and crying in pain while limping the heck away from you. If you miss your second shot, the chase is on. Find it, kill it, skin it. I’m not complaining, this is actually quite enjoyable.
There’s bigger game to hunt too. Bear, leopards and people. So you can craft specialty arrows to make the hunt less dangerous to yourself. Poison arrows take down the big game in 2 or so hits. Plenty of fun to be had here.
The mechanics of hunting people is as you’d imagine. Hide behind objects, wait till your prey is isolated from the pack (people always travel in flocks, so annoying) and loose an arrow into their throat. If that’s not satisfying enough, you can field craft explosives or set ’em ablaze with lanterns found scattered about their dens. This is by far the most quarry to hunt as they come in a wide variety.
Tomb Raider is a beautiful game. But it’s terribly optimized on PC. Turning off the Nvidia hair granted an extra 10fps. With my now aging GTX 980 vid card, the game “usually” runs at 1440 resolution with max detail at about 45fps. This decent frame rate severely drops and cuts out sound at random intervals. Some cutscenes will freeze up while the sound marches forward. The Lumber yard, a major survival/hunting zone has atrocious rates at about 15-25fps and will swing wildly. I feel though, despite it’s poor judgement, Square-Enix will fix these issues within a month or three.
I love Rise of the Tomb Raider despite all the flaws buried within. I don’t however like Lara Croft’s portrayal as a really poor and ill prepared mountaineer. She may be a fantastic ice climber, but it appears her skills were all gained in climbing gyms, street side frozen waterfalls and girl scout camp. Her mountaineering skills are absolutely horribly portrayed as reckless and needlessly endangering herself and the other people that travel with her. A good portion of the plot rides on this bumbling and a secret group of people as her “guardian angels”. I don’t feel Lara’s rebirth makes her out to be a positive female role model, and that’s a shame really. The female mountaineers and climbers I hang with put Lara to shame.
I do hope future versions show a less dangerous Lara and stronger character development. While her story is great, her personality traits need serious development.
In spite of all this, I still gave the game a high rating of 3.5 our of 5. It is a good enough game to overlook major flaws. With hope Square patches “Rise of the Tomb Raider” performance and it can get it’s 4.5 star rating it deserves.
Sadly, Square-Enix has lost it’s way years ago and Warner Brothers is my new favorite game publisher. WB focuses on pushing less games at significantly higher quality as Mad Max and Shadows of Mordor have proven.