Tomb Raider Reloaded review: "Lara Croft is back and mobile"
| Tomb Raider Reloaded
Even people who don’t play video games have heard of Lara Croft - better known as the Tomb Raider - and with Lara still having a presence in the gaming world, CDE Entertainment has made their take on her adventures on mobile with Tomb Raider Reloaded. This 3D top-down level-based adventure sees Croft exploring a number of ruins and other dangerous locations. As she hunts for gold and relics, she's equipped with only one weapon to defend herself against enemies, supernatural or otherwise. You will take what you can get from each attempt to improve your loadout and have a better chance at success.
The standard Tomb Raider story is as follows: Lara Croft hears a legend about some ancient relic guarded by an ancient civilization. The problem is that other people (who may or may not be bad guys) hear about it too and set off to get it. So, Lara sets off to get it first, braving all the ancient puzzles and hostile creatures that stand in her way.
Tomb Raider Reloaded is similar, with the absence of human bad guys. She's just doing it for the thrills and for the potential to recover something historically significant or at the very least valuable. Make sure you outfit her with all the best gear before you go raiding.
This is possibly the closest that Tomb Raider has ever come to being an arcade game, which Tomb Raider Reloaded should take with pride. It calls back to some of the older games which were separated into chambers that were either about navigating, puzzle-solving, or fighting. This game literally does that by separating each area into multiple stages. You never know exactly what you're going to get going in for the first time. The good news is that each chamber gives you a decent window at the start to assess the situation before the danger arrives.
Although more recent entries have become much darker and grittier, this one is all about fun and colour. The assets are rounded and bright, but still have sharp edges and angles to emphasise certain details. Even though the top-down view puts you at a distance, you're still able to appreciate all the elements.
The Tomb Raider games are not what one might call "easy", and Tomb Raider Reloaded is definitely not either. It follows the same path as many other free-to-play games in that it gives you enough strength early on to boost confidence only to rip it away just as fast. While some of the chambers have some design behind them, a good number of them default to the strategy of overwhelm-the-player-with-enemies-spawning-everywhere. At this point, the game becomes all about luck rather than skill.
Then, as much as it may look that way, the levels aren't randomly generated. Each area will always have the same levels with the same structures in the same order with no surprises. Once you learn this, all it takes is some memorisation and patience - that is if you have enough resources to do so. Lara needs every bit of loot she can get to stand a chance, and the drops from the shop are not as valuable as they could be. So, this means you have to spend your precious and limited Tickets to grind stages in hopes of gaining enough loot and experience to make it through later areas that will throw more and more enemies at you.
Tomb Raider Reloaded is a 3D top-down mobile action shooter about Lara Croft going through various chambers, getting loot, and slaying creatures. It's a fast, fun, and colourful take on an action-packed IP that still feels challenging with reliable controls. Frustratingly, the difficulty can ramp up too fast with boring enemy-mob tactics that require you to grind a lot just to get a handful of possibly useful gear. Should you decide to brave the temples, prepare to do a lot of reloading.