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'Tomb Raider' re-establishes the franchise among the best in gaming (Photos)

Tomb Raider (Xbox 360)

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"Tomb Raider" is one of the most storied franchises in the history of gaming, and it has been around for generation after generation of consoles, and this new installment captures Lara at her very earliest beginnings.

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According to a report from 411Mania yesterday, "Tomb Raider" was a smash success, which begs the question of whether or not this title measures up to what Examiner.com thought of it.

In what is an origins piece of lead character Lara Croft's history, gamers get to know the character they have fallen deeply in love with over previous installments.

This woman's beginning is not short of action or peril as this game is a thrill-ride unlike any other.

"Tomb Raider" takes Lara Croft from a young individual, who is a frightened as a survivor and only has her instincts and physical abilities to rely on, to an independent, strong woman who stands the true test of human endurance and mental stability.

This thrilling journey starts off with a bang as Crystal Dynamics did a fascinating job of setting the scene for when gamers start to get involved.

After the death defying events start the game off, players have to fight their way to freedom, which is where the journey of Lara Croft begins.

Cinematics in this game are superb and every visual that is involved with each scene is extremely well done.

Having seen some titles that haven't been up to snuff this season so far, "Tomb Raider's" game engine is up to the challenge.

Each scene leaves players wanting more, and does a great job of setting the mood and tone for what gamers are about to experience next.

This game is not a brightly-colored, happy adventure, nor should it be. This "Tomb Raider" is extremely gritty, which is a theme that is constant throughout the game.

Grittiness is something that fits the story given the tone in which everything is presented. Crystal Dynamics committed to a certain tone in this game and they were consistently hitting that feel all throughout.

For people who are looking for a solid, action-packed game, this game would be the definition of that, as it has excellent action sequences, and they do a nice job of providing entertaining breaks in gameplay that are not predictable at all.

For example, the opening sequence of this game is one hell of a way to introduce players to Lara and some of the game's core mechanics. There are many directions Crystal Dynamics could have taken the beginning of the game, but throwing gamers right into the mix was indeed the best method.

Over the course of time that people play this game, it will make you think, so for those who do not pay attention to details, you may become frustrated with things.

"Tomb Raider" does a great job of keeping the player on their toes, and it makes people really think about the certain ways they can escape different situations or how they can accomplish specific tasks.

This all is a welcomed change and difference in style than most of the games we see nowadays.

Although some of Lara's long distance jumping is not exactly realistic, who cares, because a real version of a person like this would end with someone getting ripped into shreds by a wild wolf or falling many feet to their death, and that's not very entertaining to most normal people.

So leap on, Lara, leap on.

Just when you expect one thing to happen in this game, you are confronted by another event, which tends to catch you off guard.

The unpredictability to this game is great and really tests people's reactions. If you are not paying attention to certain themes in this game, you will really have a hard time staying alive.

The tone in any great game is often set by the score for it, and this title has perfectly fitting music for the setting.

The tunes in this "Tomb Raider" fit very well with the world and environment that gamers are in, plus it helps create an accentuated feel of uncertainty and adventure in many situations.

The control scheme for this game is very practical and it lends itself to gamers very easily. Each button doesn't just have one use, but multiple.

Certain situations will require different actions from each button, which places a higher priority on the player paying attention to what is happening. This will hold your attention for hours and hours.

The game's mechanics and actions are set, but they do change as gamers play through the story.

Some aspects of this game resemble last year's hit "Sleeping Dogs," which is a very good thing. The upgrading system and its presentation are similar to what players experienced with the 2012 open-world title.

The amount of customization and improvements gamers can make are great, and really provide a lot of depth to the game's overall experience.

If players want to be a great survivor, they can, or if they want to be a strong hunter, people can also dedicate their skill points to that as well.

When people upgrade themselves will be key, as improvements like that can only be made when gamers find the fire pits that are scattered throughout the game.

In addition to the customization, people will love the scattered salvage and collectibles that are all around the world. Seriously, you will not want to move onto the next part of the game until you've collected everything.

And everything is findable, which entices you to stick around and search even more. The alternative goals and objectives really make this game great and very well rounded.

Each character in "Tomb Raider" provide further depth to the story and really bring a lot of emotions and reactions out of each scene.

They are so deep that some people will make you wonder about whether they are good or bad or if they are going to turn against you. The characters do a great job of messing with gamers' minds.

On the whole, this story is fantastic and it does a phenomenal job of delivering the origin story gamers have wanted, with hopefully more iterations to come in the future.

When looking at the multiplayer aspect of this game, it is fun and interesting, but it is not something that separates itself from other online multiplayer experiences.

There are some great ideas like the game mode "Rescue," where one team needs to race to acquire medicine so they can return it to their base, while the other team tries to stop them by deadly force.

And then there is the entertaining mode "Cry for Help," which has one team trying to activate their radio transmitters, while the other team tries to stop them and steal their devices away.

Both very good ideas, but they needed a bit more time to workout some animation and fluidity issues that they have.

"Team Deathmatch" and "Free for All" are fun modes as well, but the multiplayer will not what makes you want to buy this game, so that will not be dwelled on. This game is a must-have because of the immersive, deep and compelling single player that any gamer will love.

Anything you find in the multiplayer is a bonus.

Overall, this game is a knockout and will please gamers of all types, so do yourself a favor and invest in the new "Tomb Raider."

Whether or not you are new to this franchise or if you have played every installment before this game ten times over, you will love "Tomb Raider."

This game deserves a perfect five out of five.

  • "Tomb Raider" for Xbox 360 was given to Steven Ruygrok for review purposes and the title was provided at no charge.

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