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Tomb Raider review round-up: Lara returns in fine form

All the review scores in one place...

Lara is back, and in fine form it would seem. In our Tomb Raider review we gave her latest peril-filled adventure a 9.0, describing it as "violent, scary, ambitious and inventive."

Although there's a noticeable lack of tombs and unconvincing characters, these issues "can't mar a blockbuster return to form for Tomb Raider".

Reviews for Tomb Raider have started to show up online and, as always, we've gathered them up for your consideration below.

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  • Edge: 8 - Tomb Raider retains its own identity, and much of that is down to its British heroine. Whether she's huddled up against the cold or sending five men to their doom with an explosive arrow, this is still Lara Croft, one of gaming's most distinctive heroes - and now she has a personality that extends far beyond the bounds of her bra straps. If the purpose of a reboot is to redefine a character and set them up for the future, then this is a job well done.
  • CVG: 9.0 - Violent, scary, ambitious, inventive: a lack of tombs and unconvincing characters can't mar a blockbuster return to form for Tomb Raider.
  • GamesRadar: 4.5 - Even if you've never been a huge fan of Lara Croft's fortune-hunting adventures, Tomb Raider is sure to impress. Its expert sense of pacing, captivating setting, and dark tone create a truly memorable experience that's further enhanced by an immense level of detail. Lara croft, the old Lara Croft, is dead. In place of a dolled-up gunslinger is a do-what-it-takes survivor--and we hope she hasn't had her fill of adventuring just yet.
  • Eurogamer: 8/10 - Beneath the noise there is an engaging story clamouring to be heard, and there are moments of true beauty, serenity and pathos fighting for attention. The game does get better as it goes on, and despite the distractions the last few hours are a pleasure to play. At the centre of it all is a brilliant character, still iconic but more human and believable than she's ever been before.
  • IGN: 9.1 - Tomb Raider is well-written, sympathetic, exciting, beautiful and just incredibly well-made. The single-player rarely makes a mis-step, and though Lara's quick transformation into a hardened killer seems at odds with the narrative at first, the game quickly moves past it. It is a superb action game that brings a new emotional dimension to one of gaming's most enduring icons, and repositions her alongside Nathan Drake at the top of gaming's action-hero heirachy.
  • OXM UK: 8 - Tomb Raider is an excellent game that, while paying tribute to Lara Croft's heritage, certainly feels like a new beginning - mechanically as well as thematically. It's visually dazzling, narratively affecting, dangerously near best-in-class when it comes to solid shooting, vertiginous platforming and ballsy set plays... and bodes fantastically for any future instalments. If, however, you're a long-time Raider who yearned for this reboot to push your grey matter to its logical limits with switches, inscrutable puzzles and sprawling cave networks... well, you might just want to dig out that dusty copy of Anniversary instead.
  • GameSpot: 8.5 - The single-player campaign here is the main attraction, and it is excellent. It doesn't try to rewrite the book on third-person action adventure games. But with its excellent controls, engaging heroine, thrilling combat, and fascinating setting, it doesn't need to. Lara may be covering some previously charted territory here, but Tomb Raider is so well-crafted, you won't mind at all.
  • Kotaku: Yes - The truth here is that this game is a finely crafted reboot, one that ensures that Lara Croft herself won't become a relic of the past. It's gloomier, yes, and laden with a thick sheen of meta-awareness. This new origin story throws more trouble at its heroine than ever before. But the changes folded into this Tomb Raider add a turbulent urgency that the old adventures lacked. We're left with a Lara Croft that we know better. She can handle what's coming, especially when it looks like she can't
  • Destructoid: 8.5 - Tomb Raider could so easily have gone wrong, and its opening gambit looks like it's heading down a most erroneous path. It starts off with some ambushing QTEs and absolutely pummels Lara Croft into the dirt to such a degree, you'd almost suspect the developers were getting off on it. This first impression is an awkward obfuscation, however, one that soon erodes to reveal a savvy, thoughtful, and above all, immensely enjoyable game. In fact, I'm happy to go on record as saying this is the best Tomb Raider game I've played. Tightly produced, competent in both its puzzling and its combat, this is one reboot that manages to be unequivocally superior to its predecessors. Lara Croft has at last scaled the mountain of relevance once again, and the view's pretty good from up there.
  • Shacknews: No Score - In the end, I enjoyed the Tomb Raider ride, but in a B-grade thriller sort of way. A lot of that has to do with the new direction it takes, which skews towards a much different and action-oriented balance of gameplay than its predecessors, and a script that can't quite bear the weight of the story's serious tone. There are a lot of exciting, cinematic moments and action to experience within, even though they come at the expense of the spirit of exploration and environmental puzzling the IP was originally built upon.
  • Official PlayStation Magazine: 8 - Even the tombs can't match up to the brilliant catacomb-climbing sections from Assassin's Creed 2. These bars have been set high for any game to reach, no doubt, but Tomb Raider is not far from breathing that same rarefied air. PlayStation's first lady is back in style, even if the crown no longer fits as once it did.
  • The Telegraph: 5/5 - Tomb Raider sits comfortably as one of this generation's best action games. It fixes the flaws of past games in the series, without straying too far from its roots to be alienating. Lara's never been represented better, and sits comfortably alongside a cast of nuanced, intelligently-written characters. The environmental traversal is varied, involved and non-linear, and the combat mechanics are fantastic. It's unquestionably the zenith of the series, and since this marks a new beginning for the franchise, that's a very exciting prospect indeed.
  • Polygon: 9 - It's easy to point out the many ways that Tomb Raider borrows bits and pieces from other popular games of the last five years, but Crystal Dynamics has blended these disparate strengths into something remarkable. It's cinematic yet open, intense yet laid-back, fresh yet polished. It's a near-perfect embodiment of the age of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with a hint of what to expect next.
  • Penny Arcade Report: No score - The missteps are small and few, and the triumphs are many and large. Tomb Raider re-introduces us to the character of Lara Croft, explains how she came to be the hero we know from earlier games, and then sets her on her way to more adventures. The game's final line, and the tiny hint at a possible sequel if you know where to look, do a great job at capping off a fulfilling adventure. I walked away from the game as the credits rolled like one walks away from a grand meal: Feeling satisfied and refreshed.
  • Digital Spy: 5/5 - While it's a little too early to gauge the success of the Tomb Raider multiplayer experience, the single-player campaign alone is well worth the price of admission. With a well written cast of characters, mightily impressive production techniques, sumptuous visuals, tight platforming and surprisingly enjoyable combat, Tomb Raider is most definitely a release to be treasured.

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