Posted: September 25, 2014
Even though this is a spin-off and not a main Tomb Raider entry, this game is pretty Tomb Raider-tastic.
Lara hunts down an artifact no one should wield and sets off apocalyptic events that only she can stop? YEP.
Plenty of shooting of natural and supernatural enemies in well-paced fight encounters? YEP.
Lots and lots of booby traps to avoid, disarm, or survive? YEP.
Puzzles that usually involve timing, platforming and typical Lara acrobatics? YEP.
Smartass one-liners and quips from Lara almost everytime she opens her mouth? Yep.
Well-placed and often hidden collectibles? Yep.
MANY, MANY GUNS? YEP.
Tomb raiding? You bet!
The controls are snappy and responsive, the puzzles and platforming are very satisfying, and ultimately pretty much everything about the gameplay is rewarding in some way. Every level has a handful of optional objectives you can try to complete for even more rewards -- such as artifacts or relics that boost your stats or combat ability in various ways. The game's visuals and audio both are actually a hell of a lot better than I expected, and I often found myself gleefully looking around to admire the level design or dancing around a boss in time with the boss stage's music.
Bonus: You can play this with a friend, and the game even redesigns much of the levels' puzzles to accomodate 2 players. The second player character, Totec, CANNOT be played on his own, i.e. if you're playing on your own, Lara is your only option. But, well, she's the far cooler option anyway. :P
A tip: Use a controller. The game only fully recognizes Xbox 360 type controllers but you can very easily fool it into accepting others by using a controller emulator (x360ce). Mouse and keyboard controls have much more precise aiming for shooting, but I found they just were too clunky for me for -everything- else.