I am a huge fan of the Tomb Raider series. I still remember playing Tomb Raider II for hours when I was little. So of course I bought the new one as soon as it came out. I bought it on Steam, because I don't even have a DVD reader in my computer. I was in the US at the time, but I couldn't wait to get home to play it. I arrived sometime at 10PM at home, among the first five things I did was to install it, look at the intro level and then I went to sleep. I was anxiously waiting for the weekend to waste time on it. Then... stuff came up and I was busy pretty much every weekend until two weeks ago. I had a quiet oncall shift, so bring it on.
And now, after 25 hours of playing, I finally finished it. I got to around 92% completion, but the remainder 8% are just some grinding elements, of collecting miscellaneous items, which I'm really not interested in doing.
In general, it brings about the Tomb Raider feeling very well. There are plenty of puzzles with levers, platforms to rotate, water levels to control and jump timings to make correctly, all of which reminded me a lot of previous games.
The fighting style is very similar to the one in the previous game, but at least on normal mode, I found it quite easy, at least in the first 80% of the game. After that, you get some new enemies which are more of a pain. But the end game boss is completely disappointing. A completely successful run will finish him in 2 minutes, but you have to execute a combo with sub second precision, so it will probably take you several attempts to mash the keys correctly.
One thing that was missing in my opinion was the variety in the levels. The intro level takes place in Syria and after that you go to somewhere in Siberia. It's not completely icy winter all the time, because you sometime go to a geothermal valley that somehow still manages to have green vegetation even though everything around it is frozen. I remember that Tomb Raider II had Venice, The Great Wall, Tibet and an oil platform as levels. Tomb Raider: Legend was played in Bolivia, Tokyo, Ghana, Kazakhstan. I kinda missed that. Though to be fair, the previous game was set entirely on one island. But I hope that in the future they go back to exploring multiple places. The map shown at the end of the game indicate that we will be going to Yucatan!
A bit about the plot: after the hell Lara has been through in the reboot, she is now convinced that there is more to myths, than just myths, so she starts looking for the Divine Source, which her father also was looking for. She goes to Syria to find the tomb of the Prophet who was last known to have it. There she meets with Trinity, a mysterious and evil organization who also want to have the Divine Source, for bad reasons (TM). Clues point that it's actually in Siberia, so that's where we go. Lots of history comes in here, including the ancient city of Kitezh, an abandoned soviet base and the myth of Baba Yaga, who turns out to be an old lady using hallucinogenic plants. In the end, of course Lara kicks everyone's butt and destroys the Divine Source. In the meantime, she discovers some interesting and sad things about her family history and is betrayed :(
The graphics of the game are amazing. I'm glad I finally had the chance to put to test my GTX980, because I needed it for the PureHair thingy. I have too short of a memory to remember how her hair was ten years ago, but now it looks super realistic.
The soundtrack is quite meh and no part of it got stuck in my head.
I'll give the game an eight. I enjoyed playing it, but there were several bits that were disappointing enough.