Rise of the Tomb Raider is finally out on PC this week. And – with everything Xbox One owners have been saying about its fluid story, amazing graphics, and focus on actually raiding tombs – it is fair to say that I am very excited.
But, if you haven’t been keeping up with Lara’s adventures since the original Tomb Raider was released on PlayStation back in 1996 (Windows|iOS|Android), then I have three games for you to enjoy before enjoying embarking on her latest escapade.
If you are excited for Rise of the Tomb Raider but haven’t yet played the 2013 reboot, Tomb Raider, you are missing out. The story, penned by Rihanna Pratchett, lays out the origin of this fascinating character, who begins here adventure as a curious student of Japanese archaeology and finishes as hardened, bow-wielding, survivor.
Lara and her friends are separated after being shipwrecked on an island, leaving the young hero to brave the elements, do battle with fanatical mercenaries, and rescue her friends. Oh, there are evil Japanese demons and spirits to deal with too. Really, she is just having a bad day all-round.
Her adventure takes you between the highest peaks to the lowest caves, and it all looks incredible. The narrative ties together the action that fluidly moves between navigation, combat, and environmental puzzle solving. Along the way Lara grows in confidence, skill, and resilience in a way that satisfies the story, gameplay, and her growth as a character. Absolutely brilliant.
Lara Croft: Guardian of Light is a spin-off of the main Tomb Raider franchise. Using a twin-stick shooter mechanic, it was designed as a small, fast-paced downloadable experience. While it retained the series’ visual motif of exploring ancient civilizations, it puts everything in an isometric perspective and focuses on action.
The story begins with Lara witnessing the release of Xolotl out of his imprisonment in the Mirror of Smoke, along with his army of trolls, giant spiders, and other demonic hordes. Even the famous tomb raider may have struggled with this alone, but luckily the mirror also spits out Totec, the Mayan leader of the Guardians of Light. Joining forces – at least in the co-op game – the two heroes head after Xolotl.
The arcade style run-and-gun nature of Guardian of Light feels very different most Tomb Raider titles. Enemies come thick and fast, and you must take them down quickly rather than utilizing stealth and guile. There is a good amount of problem solving too, however, and nowhere is this clearer than in co-op when the pair must combine their unique talents to move forward.
With Hitman GO (iOS|Android) and Lara Croft GO out on iOS and Android, the GO name is fast becoming one of mobile gaming’s greatest series. These turn-based, board game like experiences look wonderful, with a minimalist style that is both beautiful and clear. Plus, Lara Croft GO is the best to date.
Being turn-based game, you get your chance to move and attack using the game’s simple swipe and tap inputs. You can plan your move for as long as you like, because the system ensures that any monsters or other environmental hazards must wait for you to move before they take their GO… sorry. Don’t be fooled by the gentle pace, you’ll spend many a tense moment trying to work out just how many spaces that spider can move before you commit to an action.
It terms of gameplay it is the biggest departure for the series, but it remains faithful to the Tomb Raider ethos and I would say that it is the best portable Lara game available.
That’s my list of the best Lara Croft and Tomb Raider games out there, but if you think I missed off any classics, let me know below. That’s if for this week, remember to subscribe so you never miss an episode of Click-Swipe-Play, and remember to like and share this video if you enjoyed it.
See you next time!
Follow me on Twitter: @DoFuss