I was one of the lucky ones to get a free code for this, since The Times cocked up and allowed their “subscriber only” offer to be accessible to all and sundry. I’d just played the demo too, and was about to buy it anyway when I realised I had enough other games to be getting on with so would wait for a price drop. Ten minutes later – free code!
You’ll be noticing that there’s no “Tomb Raider” in the title. There are, however, tombs (of a sort) to traverse, and indeed “raid”, but the developers have chosen to distance this a bit from those platforming, 3rd person puzzle shooting games, instead turning this into a sort of grown-up Lego Indiana Jones crossed with the likes of Geometry Wars. No, stay with me on this…
You see, it’s a simplified Tomb Raider, in terms of types, quantity and complexity of puzzles. Puzzles much like those in the Lego games. There are also some objects that can only be destroyed or activated with certain weapons – like in the Lego games. And it’s all viewed from a sort of isometric angle, not entirely unlike the Lego games. Then there’s the combat, which is pretty standard twin-stickery, like Geometry Wars (and 446512 other games). See? That wasn’t so hard to imagine, was it?
But is it any good? Let me put it this way – I got it on Friday, completed it on Sunday, and it was the only game I played (or even wanted to play). So yes, it’s good. It’s short (although there are more episodes planned as DLC), at around 4-5 hours, and pretty easy, but it was great fun and it surprised me how well a Tomb Raider game could work when not actually presented like a Tomb Raider game.
The only real disappointments were that the end boss was far too easy, and some of the game is repetitive. It also suffers a bit from a cliché of how to make games harder later on: simply have more baddies.