Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition is a third-person shooter and action-adventure game that explores the origin story of Lara Croft. It features graphical upgrades and all of the content from Tomb Raider (2013).
Pro Lara Croft's origin story feels authentic
This reboot of Tomb Raider tells a thoughtful, personal story of how Lara Croft became a seasoned explorer.
She's wide-eyed and curious at the beginning of the game, growing into a more confident character as the plot progresses. Once she is left to fend for herself on the island she's stranded on, you see her fear and vulnerability over the unknown, and in how she struggles to learn how to hunt and survive. Each of her accomplishments are memorable because of how hard she fights to reach her goals.
By the end, you have a full story of how and why Lara transforms into the iconic character many know her as from the previous games.
Pro Exciting third-person shooting combat
The combat in Tomb Raider works really well and feels great, challenging you to stay active.
You start off with only a bow and arrow, gradually working your way up to guns and bigger weapons like rocket launchers. Shooting with guns or arrows feels satisfying with plenty of feedback, especially the hard kick from the game's many different shotguns. The enemy AI is aggressive without feeling cheap, keeping you moving from place to place as you take down everyone in your path. When an enemy gets too close, you can use whatever Lara's holding in her hand, like her gun or an arrow for a bloody, cinematic finishing move.
Combat is fast-paced and fun, constantly keeping you on your toes.
Pro Stealth sections shine
Instead of going in guns blazing during combat, you can take a strategic, stealthy approach. You have plenty of opportunities to quietly take out bad guys if that's what you'd rather do. You can either rack up carefully-aimed headshots with your bow and arrow, or sneak up behind enemies and choke them out one at a time. Silently traversing tight quarters all while taking everyone out unseen is quite enjoyable.
Pro Great cinematic cutscenes
Beyond Lara's personal story, the overall presentation of the plot is gripping in how cinematic it is. Some of the set pieces are wild, like Lara falling from impossible heights into the sea at the start of the game and managing to survive. The way she thinks herself out of tough situations is also impressive, such as with the way the camera follows her with closeups as she wriggles her way out of traps or takes down enemies who seemingly have the upper hand over her. The direction and acting are similar to those in action movies, telling a grand and intense story.
Con Not enough tombs to explore
It's odd that this is a reboot of Tomb Raider without the tombs. There are a handful of tombs here and there, but you won't find the amount that you may expect, especially if you're a fan of the series. The game mostly focuses on the combat and parkour segments without giving you the chance to go raid tombs for unique treasure. More tombs with puzzles to solve would have been nice as a side activity to break up the regular gameplay from story missions.
Con Generic and predictable finale
The way that the story concludes is disappointing because you can see it coming from a mile away. Throughout the game, you learn a lot about the cool history of the island you're stranded on as you fight for a way to escape and get back to civilization. You might think that the ending lives up to all the historical intrigue in a creative way. Sadly, the finale goes about the way you'd expect it without doing anything new. It's boring and cliche, feeling a lot like a lost opportunity to do something different and unique.
Con No dedicated servers for multiplayer
The multiplayer is peer-to-peer where your connection depends on the quality of one of the people in the lobby, who is the host. This means that you have to deal with lag, rubberbanding, and frequent disconnects when the host's connection is bad. Having dedicated servers could have drastically reduced this problem.
Con Excessive violence and gore
There are times when the violence is way too over-the-top. During cutscenes when Lara gets injured such as by falling and getting brutally impaled, the blood and gore can be extremely uncomfortable. To make it all worse, Lara's screams of pain are bloodcurdling and visceral, really making you feel for her. Even if you're used to violence in games, some of the scenes in Tomb Raider might be difficult to watch.