Pushing Through in Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider

Coming off Bioshock Infinite, I was anxious to start Tomb Raider, a game I have had my eye on since the first E3 reveal way back when. But once I started, there was one big problem: I just couldn’t get into it. There were a number of reasons for this: I was tired, I was trying to get in a little more WWE ’13 before trading it in and I had a pretty busy week with lots of “real life” obstacles getting in the way. I liked what I played, but being only able to play in 20-30 minute sessions a night wasn’t allowing me to get invested in Lara Croft and her tribulations in the Dragon’s Triangle. Even during cut-scenes, I found myself checking Twitter instead of paying attention.

But, as I knew it would, the game finally grabbed me this past weekend, when I was able to play for a few hours in one sitting. Little things like upgrading your weapons, exploring the areas and the really fun use of the bow managed to reel me in and after one gorgeous and harrowing sequence where Lara must climb an insanely tall radio tower, I am now riveted. The mystery of the island and how Lara overcomes these dangerous situations have got me playing through the story at a fairly decent clip now. The voice acting is great, with perhaps the exception of Whitman, who’s characterization just feels out of place with the rest of the cast and the gameplay is tight.

The thing is, I knew I would eventually come to love the game, it just took one good play session for things to kick in. As I said, this wasn’t the game’s fault but my own. Sometimes, you need to be in the right mood to enjoy a game properly. There have been games that I disliked at first, but coming back to them with a different mindset, I found myself loving them and questioning why I was so quick to dismiss them in the first place. You see, video games, as you know, are like gravity. All they take is a little push.

Not every game can be love at first sight. Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper and get to know the game. The rewards can be very fulfilling, as I am discovering right now. Has this been your experience with Tomb Raider or any other games that didn’t grab you at first glance? Or even a game you liked at first, but eventually turned you off (*cough* L.A. Noire *cough*)?

Let’s hear your tales of joy and woe!

Written by

Age: 34 PSN ID: Starkiller81. I've played games since before I can remember, starting with my dad's Atari and I haven't stopped yet. Keep them coming and I will keep playing them.

3 thoughts on “Pushing Through in Tomb Raider”

  1. Man I love that radio tower part, it was such a great symbolic moment. Dragon Age 2 was this way for me. When I first started it, nothing really grabbed me about it and it frustrated me since I loved Dragon Age: Origins. The graphics were a step backwards and I didn’t encounter as many loveable characters upfront as the previous game, which led me to drop it before even completing the first act. Two months later I picked it up again, this time choosing a female Hawke rather than a male (the male Hawke’s voice felt off for me) and I enjoyed it so much more. Also I chose to be a mage, which makes the game so much more interesting. When you choose female, your brother (rather than your apostate sister) survives the opening of the game. He later becomes a Templar, and since I was a female mage that put us on either side of the game’s Templar vs. Mage debate, which lead to a far more dynamic experience.

  2. I think Minecraft was that way for me. I didn’t fall in love with the game at first glance. I didn’t even buy it until it released back in 2011, but the first thing I did after installing it was go into survival mode and screw around. I assumed there would be some kind of tutorial or something, but I was wrong. I blindly wandered around a tundra, not knowing what to do, until night fell and I got ravaged by skeletons. Then I respawned and used my Terraria logic to decide that I needed shelter. I still didn’t know how to craft anything, though. So I made a dirt hovel. I more or less made a small room in the side of a hill, with dirt walls and no door. I had no pickaxe, so I foolishly spent 10 seconds each hacking away at stone blocks with my fists. And then, a skeleton shot me to death through the window.

    So, I stuck with creative mode, and had a moderately good time. But I never really went back to survival mode.

    One day, I decided to just learn how to play the game. I went onto the wiki and started learning about the game. How to start, how things are crafted and mined, etc.

    The moment I crafted a wooden pickaxe was the little push I needed for me to love the game, and it’s been quite a joyride ever since then (not that Minecraft doesn’t still have its fair share of rage-inducing moments).

  3. Unfortunatly Mass Effect was like this for me. My friend had a cop of it for the 360 at his house and I remember the first time I popped it in I thought it was extremely boring and unfun. It was a year later that I tried it agin for longer than an hour and one the beacon part hit, I was hooked. I beat it over a week then went and bought it for my PC and played it again immediatly. Other than that if a game any grab me within three hours, I usually abandon it.

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